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EricP

PROCRASTINATION

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Procrastination is my new word for much of my Adderall recovery! While I have experienced and continue to experience many symptoms of anxiety, depression, fatigue and memory struggles; procrastination seems to be the winner!

I know am actually still capable of a lot, I just often seem to wait and wait and wait. Not sure what I am waiting for? The withdrawal to suddenly end on its own?!

Whether it's to get up and get a little exercise, head to the store or call a certain client at work it can be a struggle to "just get started" on some of the simplest of things.  

Funny if you google "drugs to help procrastination" the first thing that pops up is Ritalin, Modafinil and Adderall. Lol 

Anyway not sure there is a quick fix besides taking it a day at a time and forcing ourselves to keep busy but thought I would share! 

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A lot of procrastination is fear based.

For me, what it comes down to is I’m usually unsure of what my next step is. Once I zoom out and can break things down into a series of straightforward smaller steps (sometimes as simple as “look up xyz’s phone number, call xyz,” etc), I can then usually start plugging away at them. 

Otherwise, I’m overwhelmed by this sense of generalized anxiety or doom. 

Earlier on in my recovery, I had to ask for a lot of help doing things that “normal” people would consider routine. Thankfully, I got ok with asking for help early and often. It gets A LOT better with time, even if it may not feel like it. 

Lot of good books on the topic out there and its first cousin, perfectionism. But if you’re like me, you’ll buy the books, read the first seven pages, then procrastinate on reading the rest. ; )

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I agree smaller less intimidating steps do help a lot! Also a lot more rewarding as there are things to do that can be easily crossed off the list. 

I do can relate to the fear part as well. I think there is often a fear of not performing thus you put itt off or avoid it all together. 

I am also finally getting to a place where I don't worry as much about having a low day on a day I have committed to something sizable. I seriously would avoid scheduling with people or certain jobs as I was afraid whatever day I chose could be one of the days I could barely get myself out of the house. While I still have low days they are a little less debilitating lately.

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Procrastination for me was awful in those early months of recover due to very low dopamine levels. It was almost like I procrastinated on purpose just so I would feel something when a deadline finally crept up. Indecision went along with the procrastination too, I would find it difficult to make the smallest decisions thus adding to my anxiety. Eventually it does get better if you keep pushing forward. Just take one step at a time and get outside and do some exercise! Just walking around helped tremendously in those early days.

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Yeah the procrastination can be completely paralyzing.  I remember being at both work and home not being able to physically make myself begin a task that needs to be done.  At work, I would just mindlessly scroll through social media as a distraction or escape...not doing the thing that needs to be done until the last possible minute.  Or at home I'd sit there paralyzed while my wife took care of the house.  In my mind I wanted to pry myself out of the recliner and do the right thing but I couldn't take that initiative.

I understand everyone goes through this extreme procrastination phase and you have to be patient with yourself but eventually you get to the point where MASSIVE ACTION is the cure all.  You just have to keep making new goals/habits and do them no matter what.  Recently, I've committed to meditating everyday with the headspace app no matter what, I've got a 56 day streak going.  I also gave myself a rule to not even login to my facebook or twitter on the company computer which I haven't done for several weeks.  Monday thru Friday I wake up before 5am and go the gym no matter what.  What do you do when you don't feel like it?  Its simple, You do it anyway and I guarantee you'll never regret it.  I follow a retired navy seal Jocko who has the motto "discipline equals freedom" and the more I discipline myself the more free I'm feeling.  I highly recommend following him on social media and/or reading any of his books.

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Ha nice TJ. I've been following Jocko for a while as well. 4:30AM COME GET SOME. Bit of a nutjob but I love it. 

StayFocused plugin is great. I activated the nuclear option for social media on my work computer years ago. Don't regret it at all: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/stayfocusd/laankejkbhbdhmipfmgcngdelahlfoji?hl=es

Meditation is huge. 

The massive action approach is especially good if you have feelings of shame and remorse and fear and whatever else. Much better to put those things to work as motivation for making changes in your life.

A trap you have to be aware of with that approach is you will inevitably slip at some point. This has happened with me and just about every guy I work with IRL. If your sense of self worth/ego is all wrapped up in "Everything's great because I'm doing this and maybe even I'm better than other people who aren't," it can be a crushing blow when that happens. 

The key is to not let that derail you and to get back on the horse, or "a" horse really. I did that hardcore massive action thing for pretty much my entire second year. Brother was living with me. We meditated every morning, hit the gym, ate perfectly, etc, and it was great. Some of those things have stuck, some haven't, some have evolved over time. And I think that's exactly what's supposed to happen.  

Learning to act despite how we feel is a HUGE part of recovery from Adderall addiction. 

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