Addictive Behavior: Procrastination

April 7, 2010 — 3 Comments

I procrastinate. There, I figured I would go ahead and say that right away before I put it off. Procrastination is a character flaw that I share with many other recovering addicts. Why do we procrastinate? Well it’s certainly not because it feels good.

Procrastinating makes me feel like I always have some unfinished business looming over my head. I usually procrastinate out of some sort of fear. It may not always seem like that on the surface but when I’m honest with myself about why I didn’t do something I should have, it is usually because of fear. When you do something over and over regardless of the repercussions it definitely fits into addictive thinking.

Where has my fear and procrastination gotten me this time? The dentist chair. I had been putting off going to the dentist for a really long time. A really long time. Because I lived in denial about the need to see a dentist I was not aware that one of my teeth had a cavity. Yesterday I bit down on something and my tooth broke. Painful? Yes it is. Avoidable? Could have been.

Now without a choice, I find myself with a dental appointment for later today. What is kind of funny is that I am relieved. I had been putting off going to the dentist which then led to fear of going after not having been for so long and that turned into feeling bad about myself for not going…etc., etc.

Now is my time to get back on track with this particular thing that I have been procrastinating about doing. I will no longer have this looming over my head as one more piece of unfinished business. Once I get this initial visit out of the way (still dreading this) I can start back on a normal routine of going to the dentist for cleanings and stuff. Even though I have some fears about this appointment I am feeling good about myself for getting to the dentist and getting this one thing in my life back on track.

I have caught myself a couple of times this morning worrying about my appointment. I was worrying about what the dentist will say to me because I haven’t been there for a cleaning or check-up in so long. I was worrying about what the pain will be like when they start digging around my broken tooth and I was worrying about cost. Then I realized that this stuff is all in the future (even if that future is just 1 hour away) and there is no way of me knowing exactly what is going to happen so why worry about the what if’s?

Instead of the normal one day at a time way of living which I have found so helpful. Today I am going to have to make it one minute at a time.

3 responses to Addictive Behavior: Procrastination

  1. I Procrastinate. And what seems odd, I seem to procrastinate more on lesser issues than I do on grave issues. This is a great subject Erin, and one that we discuss often in the recovery meetings I hold at the methadone clinic.

    I think everyone procrastinates, but just like everything else, those of us with addictions just seem to take things like this to the unpleasant extreme.

    The Discovering Alcoholic

  2. Procrastination was a big one for me and I got myself in trouble with it while using and in early sobriety. I have gotten so much better with it and I am proud of myself for that. AND, I can relate on the dentist thing. It had been 5+ years since I had seen a dentist and the first time I went sober. But, we created a plan and I followed it and I managed to get all the work done on my teeth that I needed to.

  3. Perhaps you can recall this adage, “Tomorrow is promised to no one.” However, nearly nine years ago on 9-11, we learned that later today isn’t promised either. All we have is the NOW, moments of right now one after another after another. Best of luck to you.

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