I’m Not Lazy, Thanks – From a Serial Procrastinator
Missed me? No? I think the only one who actually missed me on this blog is, well, me.
It feels great getting back to writing after being away for such a long time. What I’m coming back with is a short message from what I’m calling a “Serial Procrastinator” – aka myself. I guess this is more of a piece to say to myself, rather than to you. But since I’ve made the decision to not hide behind my walls as much and try to really work on the things that I love, here’s a little text for you all.
I’ve recently seen a video that says procrastination is not a condition, it’s actually a SYMPTOM. And that actually blew my mind and got me thinking. The person listed many conditions that actually have procrastination as a symptom such as anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and many more that I won’t mention because the focus of this piece is on this one symptom.
The video proceeds to discuss how everyone tries to focus on the “root problem”, but it is actually super hard to identify this “root problem” because you don’t know where to start. The person then continues to give an example of how tackling procrastination first might help discover what triggers it in the first place. Now again, I won’t get into many details but if you’re interested in watching that video just click on the word pancakes -> PANCAKES.
What I’m trying to say
My message to everyone out there reading this post (and mainly to myself), is that if you’re struggling with procrastination, especially if it begins to hinder your work or life, you’re never too far gone and it’s okay. My issue with this whole thing is that I’ve had so many traumas one after the other for so many years without ever fully reckoning with either of them. I sometimes feel like I am so damaged inside that there really is no way to fix me, so I gave up a long time ago. Instead, I try to help everyone around me and others who interact with my content, because I don’t want anyone to go through what I went through (and what I go through to this day). Not dealing with any of these traumas properly resulted in them being piled up and me just postponing confrontation until basically forever. At this point, I’ve become so numb that whatever comes next is just welcomed and pushed to that pile to make friends with my other traumas. It’s becoming a f*cking party over there.
Have we found a cause?
Anyway, I’ve already begun to overshare (another response-mechanism to trauma y’all here’s a TikTok to prove it. You know the drill: PANCAKES). What I’m trying to say is that I’ve found the root of my procrastination after it getting too much for me and after it kept me from being able to break free for two years now.
I know that it’s ✨impossible✨ for many people (especially if you’re from my home country) to believe that there is actually something wrong if you procrastinate. My home country is slowly getting better, but the majority do not believe that mental health is something that actually needs to be monitored and treated unless something insanely traumatic happens to a person. That’s something that I like to call “damage control”. Personally, I think it’s equally as important to also monitor your mental health and work on “prevention” and preparing one’s mind when traumatic events actually happen.
Is it procrastination or am I just lazy?
Growing up in that kind of environment where mental health basically isn’t even a thing contributed to the many struggles I have and the insane number of obstacles that I need to overcome every day. It’s also the reason why I’m afraid to go to an actual therapist and get professional help. It’s not that I care what other people think or say, rather it’s because of this idea that “you’ve got to get through it” on your own because you’re just lazy. That’s what I’ve been constantly told by almost everyone around me. That I’m “lazy”. I say “almost everyone” because those who didn’t say I was lazy actually had mercy on me and didn’t say anything but tried to give me advice. To this day, no one ever had the interest or time to actually consider that my procrastination actually is something that might need to be checked.
Now I know that self-diagnosing isn’t the best thing in the world, which is why I haven’t diagnosed myself with anything yet. Another reason is that I just don’t want to face those around me and have to actually say to their faces that I’m not just “lazy”. For a long time, I’ve just stopped responding to people who try to dismiss my struggles. I just stay quiet, change the subject or respond with a dry “yeah” or “okay”. I don’t even have the energy or interest to engage any further. They’ve all made it abundantly clear that this struggle is my own and my own only. Why would I want to include anyone else? – Another reason why I haven’t been to a therapist yet.
My procrastination has gotten to a point where it’s actually hindering my work and my life. I’ve somehow waited for this moment but never knew it had already come. I kept referring to it as a “burnout”. In a way I was actually burned out because I had worked long hours for about two years and had to deal with a number of extremely difficult people who sucked the life out of me, nearly overworked me to death and didn’t even reply to my email when I said I was leaving to study abroad. They basically took what they could out of me and were just like “If you want to leave f*ck off then”. Before that, I worked 2-3 jobs constantly alongside studying full-time for 4 years and also incorporated learning German for 4 hours every day in my 3rd year of studies (yes, 4 hours a day for a whole year). For 6 years I was working and studying for 10-14 hours every day. I’m not even going to get into house and family chores because that is a whole article on its own. Now all of that hard work really did contribute to a lot of my success in studying, getting a killer CV and building a reputation for myself. The problem is that my traumas don’t let me enjoy any of my accomplishments and I don’t even know if I’m proud of myself or not.
I’ve faced multiple traumas, hadn’t properly dealt with any of them, worked and studied hard as a “procrastination” method to not deal with them, and ended up not being able to either face my traumas or keep working and studying hard.
What I’ve learned
This wasn’t something I expected to happen. I overworked myself in order to not deal with my traumas and it turns out that you really can’t always run away from your problems.
Maybe this is actually a good thing. I finally can get to work on myself in the way I deserve. I owe it to myself and my body for keeping this up for so long. What I’ve learned is that I’m not lazy. I’m struggling – and that was a big turn around for me.
I’m slowly working towards bettering myself, and hopefully will be able to go to therapy soon and learn how to properly confront my traumas. In the meantime, I’m actually… okay. It’s so weird to write that. I actually am fine. There is a suuuuuuuuuper long way to go, and today was supposed to be a day of change where I actually start to tackle some of the issues I’ve been dealing with. I’m a little late with my planned work, more than I’d like to be but I’m fine with that as well. I’m actually quite happy to be writing this blog post and getting this off my chest. Writing is weirdly cathartic to me. I use my words best to describe what I’m going through and what I’m feeling, but often I can’t enunciate them.
So I’ve learned a few things these past two years:
- I need to write more because it helps me deal with my issues and helps me express what I’m feeling without addressing it to an actual person (because human interaction – yikes)
- Procrastination isn’t the end of the line, and it isn’t even the beginning. But it is still something that needs to be confronted and work is needed towards bettering one’s self.
- People who try to justify your actions as “lazy” or give random advice do actually care and want you to do better, but they’re f*cking clueless.
- It’s never too late to start turning your life around, even if it takes years (it took me 15+ years to stop making fun of achieving everything in the last minute and 2+ years of being stagnant to truly understand what is wrong with me).
- It’s extremely cathartic when you make peace with what you’ve been through (even if you haven’t dealt with everything – there’s time for that) and are able to move forward.
As a last note
In the end, the only one who can really help you is you. That’s the amazing and miserable truth. I’m here to say that being a serial procrastinator may be a symptom of something bigger, but it’s okay if you don’t know what that is yet and that you can start working towards bettering yourself whenever you’re ready.
I’m not going to give some pep talk on how strong you are and how you can do this, because I don’t think that’s what you need right now. And I’m not a coach or a therapist to take you from point A to B, I’m just sharing my own realization and what I’ve been through in hopes of helping a reader understand that it’s not always that we’re “lazy”. If you’re struggling with procrastination and you’re reading this, I think what you need is someone to tell you that it’s okay. And that’s what I’m trying to do with this post. The most important thing is that you are OKAY with what you’ve been through, that procrastination is present in your life and that you can do something about it.
I’ll continue posting about my progress and thoughts, and who knows I might get way better in a few months. Let’s see how that turns out. I’m quite excited.
I hope you enjoyed this article, and if you’ve made it so far – THANK YOU. Thank you for caring enough to read until the end.
Until next time!
Love and pancakes,
Photo by Hernan Sanchez on Unsplash
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