Procrastinators Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from chronic procrastination.

new and already grateful

Hi, I'm Rita and I have been searching the web since about 10pm (it's now 3 am)looking desperately for answers to what is wrong with me. I've been feeling out of my mind periodically for months, and today was horrible - sunk in depression punctuated by terror, way beyond anxiety, about the work I am NOT getting done when I feel like this...helpless and hopeless. I could not really find a name for what was wrong, just this dread about the fact that I have no concept of time at all and can't get a grip on time, that time is some mysterious powerful enemy I cannot master no matter how smart I am or how hard I try. My husband has dyslexia and I thought, I must have something similar only instead of letters and numbers, my brain can't process time. After being sober 25 years, in codependent recovery 18 years, and free from compulsive eating for 8 years, I was now convinced that some sort of physiological mental illness was setting in. Still not sure it isn't, but finding this site was sure a relief. I definitely recognize the broad pattern of addiction in this thing I'm feeling/doing. I've always been a late-nik, and even as a child had trouble "transitioning," changing from one activity to another. But after the booze, control and food were gone, the "time management" slid completely out of control. In the last 2 years it has gotten so bad that I have been shamed out of my home AA group (coupla people thought if they publicly humiliated me every time I was late, it would cure me), had bitter arguments with friends to whom promptness is a sign of respect, and am at serious risk of losing my business over failing to complete contracted work on time. I enjoyed reading the posts here and I do identify - are there sponsors and stepwork here? Thanks to whoever started this site. You have been "an instrument of peace."


It's incredible that members of the AA group thought humiliating you could be helpful - would that have helped them in their time of need? It reflects an amazing lack of empathy, or being able to transfer an understanding of one problem (alcohol) for another (chronic lateness), although I do think that many people trivialise procrastination and chronic lateness, and that's part of what procrastinators have to deal with (I do it to myself sometimes).

We don't have mentors or '12 steps' (I'm guessing that's an AA technique), but we have suggestions from each other about things that have worked for us. The same things aren't going to work for everyone because our situations are unique, so we build our own programme and use the group for support.

As I've mentioned in another thread, it's still quite quiet here so if you need frequent support (like I do) you may need to find somewhere else too, but I've found it helpful to return here on a 'casual' basis to explore what's going on for me, to share ideas with others, and to give/seek support. I just need to be careful not to use boards to procrastinate too much (I know I do it, and I try not to let it get out of hand).

My timer's about to go off, so I'm going to stop procrastinating shortly! I hope you find a solution that works for you.


Hello Grateful Rita

Welcome. Good to hear from you. You are not alone. I don't know how much I can offer in terms of ongoing one-on-one support, and I'd hate to promise and not keep, but I hope the casual check-ins and just having the forum can help. I am grateful for it. It sounds like you're in a bad place, but please don't despair. I really do belive that it is possible to make baby steps (maybe 12 of them? ours haven't been written yet) and change behavior -- First, please settle in and really give yourself credit for your sobriety and healthier eating habits. Well done. That's huge. I think it's interesting that this self-destructive tendency or habit has kind of been chased into this particular corner for you: time management. I don't think it's an issue of disorder or incapability. You seem very capable. But if you are having terror spells, that's real misery. It's the special kind of misery that is created when you watch yourself do the wrong thing. All the while knowing what you'd really be better off doing. All the while knowing what would be healthier and what would support your life and goals. It's a horrible feeling! But be glad you're not utterly complacent. You haven't accepted this as your situation forever and always. It's not acceptable to you, because you are feeling miserable about it. I'm just gonna throw out a few ideas -- amateur psychology based on my own experience and feelings. When you think about being or becoming a person who is 1. sober, 2. healthy AND 3. responsible with time, do you fear acheiving that perfection? Would it be too far to fall? Would it cause you anxiety to be "pure" or problem free? Sometimes when I clean my house really well I start to feel nervous. Or obsessive about when it's going to be messy again. One day I realized for myself that I was sort of creating my own problems (through time tweakiness) is a way of being in control of the void. Like magical thinking, thinking if I just put my problems here I won't get any more, or any really big ones. Or something like that. What has helped me is a constant mantra that the world is big, bigger than I can comprehend, and that I'm not required to be in control of everything, so that it's really up to me to recognize what's important to ME in my piddly little life, to value it just as it is and to do my best to maintain what's good about it. And maybe, when I've got the basics down, I can start to dream a little about what else I might want it to be. The trick is not grabbing too much and really sensing my limits, so that I can rise up to meet the real, not the imagined challenges. I hope that's helpful. I wish you many strong moments, turning into many strong days, until they become natural and light.

Gnothi Seauton ~ Know Thyself

I'm sure I replied to this earlier...

This is the second time this has happened. I posted a fairly long reply to this but it's disappeared. I'm off to bed now, but I'll try and get back to you and see if I can remember the gist of what I said.

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