The Relationship Between Self-sabotage, Productivity, and Procrastination

You’re getting things done, going to the gym eating somewhat healthy, making important phone calls, waking up on time and feeling good about it. Then your brain kicks in, the guilt/shame kicks in, and like some terrible form of homeostasis you start to feel bad. You start to put off dishes, tell yourself you’ll go to the gym later, just eat this one thing now and slowly life goes back to constant procrastination.

I struggle with this self-sabotaging phenomena regularly, especially if I am starting to feel good. One reason for this is self-hate. I don’t feel like I deserve to feel good, deep down. Another could be the resistance to change. This inclination to self-sabotage diminishes my productivity almost completely. All of this combined usually lead to an increase of depressive symptoms from lack of accomplishment and self-care.

In order to fight back, I have to think and act deliberately and often against my gut feelings. I am also working on cultivating self-love. There is this invisible force inside of me that is so anti-self love it makes for a huge challenge. Self-love feels wrong. Yet, I know consciously I just have to make this change or my life will remain a constant struggle and my depression will remain.

-D

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Can’t change my situation…this year I’ll try to change my mind #mindsetreset

2018 was a bad year for me in all aspects of my life including relationships, health, career-wise, and accomplishing what I want.

Despite hating myself and feeling like shit, I started to work on myself mentally and emotionally. I keep track of my progress in my agenda and using an app called Daylio.

I have seen hundreds of self-help videos and one of my favorite speakers I came across was Mel Robbins. Her most popular TED talk is self-sabotage something that I struggle with daily. It’s what is holding me back from achieving my goals and living the life I truly desire.

Here is her video:

How to stop screwing yourself over

Part of what is preventing me from accomplishing goals, is making the decision on what to focus on. There’s so much I want to change about my life that I can’t even start or focus on a task long enough to complete it. But I also know that I have an underlying belief that I don’t deserve anything I desire…

Robbins states, “Motivation is never there when we need it.” People, including myself, wait for motivation and “feeling like doing something” before we start.

I have convinced myself that I need to feel good all the time. I base my actions on how I feel in the moment and most of the time I feel pretty shitty. And when I feel bad, I don’t feel good. I have this belief that I should only do things when I feel good because otherwise, what is the point? Why suffer?

I realize now that to get going accomplishing a goal I have to “suffer” a bit even though I absolutely hate unnecessary suffering. I also understand that I might not actually be suffering and my interpretation might be wrong. But that’s a whole ‘nother story.

She reiterates you have to force yourself to change. Forcing myself to do anything feels uncomfortable and when I am uncomfortable I tend to get annoyed and I get mad. I have a belief that being mad is “bad”. Once I am in a bad mood it’s even more challenging to focus and be productive so I have to break this cycle. It feels like there is this giant force trying to stop me but at the same time I don’t even know what it is.

To break away from a routine is going to require force. I hate this. When I already feel like shit trying to accomplish something seems as easy as “pulling myself up by my boot straps”. I struggle and pull as hard as I can but nothing happens. Yet I can’t help myself and keep wasting energy pulling because I have to feel like I am trying or else anxiety sets in.

Our brain loves autopilot because our brain wants to take the path of least resistance. Why? My guess is to conserve energy.

Getting back to mindset. I have a poor mindset and since I have tried to improve my life and failed over and over I am going to try a different approach. I’m going to follow a program instead of just “wishing” things would change on their own. I chose to do Mel Robbins’ guide to goal setting because I like her, I like her ideas and it’s free.

I research concepts that are hard to understand like visualization of goals so that I can fully comprehend and put them to use.

This year I will change my life around or at least figure out what I even mean by that.

Why is self-care so hard?


Self-care is really hot right now.

It’s almost as popular as mindfulness!

But why does it seems so foreign and hard to do? We can’t we just be kind to ourselves? Why aren’t we just doing this already? It seems like a “no brainer”. If you feel bad, try treating yourself good and you will feel better.

Most people eat when they are hungry, rest when we are tired, speak up when we aren’t heard…or do we? I for one, can never just do anything beneficial or good for me. There’s always an internal struggle against doing the right thing.

Half the time we can’t even nurse ourselves when sick and taking a sick day feels like a crime against humanity. People tell addicts they are going to die if they continue to live the way they do to try to scare them. Well, what happens if the person doesn’t care if they life? What if a person doesn’t love who they are and hates themselves? They might not try to help themselves and even self-sabotage.

A person tends to treat what they don’t like poorly. We can be taught as kids to constantly put others first, making ourselves come last. Especially if you are a girl. Serving others is rewarded and selfishness is punished. So how can I be expected to suddenly put myself first for even a micro second without feeling guilty?

-D

Minsetreset…Anxiety week!


It’s January 16th and I am still continuing with Mel Robbin’s free course, Mindset Reset! I study YouTube videos these days mostly because it’s free and accessible….and my library card may or may not have a ton of fees. Mel Robbins is pretty good as she is realistic, says what she means and I can relate to her even though we have had very different lives. She, unlike a ton of speakers I’ve listened to, doesn’t emphasize how she got out of her poor childhood pulling herself up by her bootstraps, and that’s refreshing.

Robbin’s has had me analyze my life and most importantly my thoughts because well she claims, “If you change how you think, you can change your life.” Obviously, this can bring about anxiety and depression from just seeing how poorly I treat myself and think. Also, negative self talk gets louder when I try to resist it.

I am gonna put this to the test because my anxiety/depression constantly returns and it “feels worse” (hard to know if it actually is worse) each time. Yet my only actions are taking more meds, exercise, and talking to a therapist. It looks like a cure but I am not doing well after the effects of these supports wear off. I need to change my thinking (and diet…and social life…and phone usage…)

Writing down my worries was a huge eye opener I recommend. After I wrote them down I found a few questions to ask about each one like what is the frequency, patterns etc. Now I am in the process of choosing an “anchor thought” basically a positive thought that combats the worry/negative thought. An issue my brain has with this and I’ve heard other therapists talk about is that our brain might be like haha no, you don’t think you’re awesome, you really DO suck. That’s a problem with affirmations. If you don’t wholeheartedly believe them, they probably aren’t gonna make you feel any better, and might even point out how bad you feel. Which can make you feel worse off. One trick that sorta helps with this is instead of saying things like I love, you can try to pick something small about the thing. The thing could be life/self/goals etc. It’s easier to say I love my dog for me then to start saying I love my life. It’s easier to say I love my eyes then to say I love myself (because I am not there yet anyway).

I still have a ton of work to do on my thoughts since they have taken a lifetime to program to be negative but I have a small sliver hope this might be the work I need to make myself feel more resilient against stress.

Back on CBD oil for anxiety/depression….

My crippling anxiety/depression is back and it’s stopping me from functioning. I know I need to feel my feelings a bit more and stop resisting them but they just don’t end when I want them to.
So far I seem to have come across many articles that say they don’t know how CBD works. However, Wikipedia has several mechanisms mentioned including CBD acting as a serotonin receptor agonist potentially indicating an antidepressant effect…

CBD doesn’t get you high like THC does. Though I have had many people tell me they felt high from it, I think maybe they just felt the relaxing effects.

For me it can mellow me out and prevent excessive rumination much like a mood stabilizer. With less rumination I no longer think myself into a pit of despair where I can’t do the simplest of tasks. Unlike a mood stabilizer, I find that the results last longer (for example might last 4-5 hours after a dose where as some mood stabilizers might only stop rumination for 1 hour). I can’t tell yet if CBD, like the mood stabilizers, makes me forgetful. Memory problems are the main reason I stopped with mood stabilizers. The main reason I stop taking CBD is because of the cost.

For a now, I will continue with CBD and my other meds as well as try to keep on incorporating anxiety reducing habits.

Anxiety-the paralyzing hell within

I used to be zen. I could get through some of the most stressful situations calm and centered. In my teen years I suffered more from depression than anxiety. I could stand stress because I had that invincible “I can do anything/I know everything” mentality and always felt I had more time. Now I focus on my faults, my problems, lack of time and death. My own personal hell I can’t escape. Gee I wonder why I feel like shit….

In the past I took some strong anti anxiety meds but as soon as they wore off I got major rebound anxiety. Cutting down on drinking has helped tremendously. Taking a combination of medication is helping me as well. Exercise does help (but is no cure) especially swimming. Taking a hot shower or bath does help for about 30 minutes after. Smoking weed can pull me out of the pit of despair but only for about 10 minutes. Haven’t had any success with supplements though I am always willing to try a new one. I used to take CBD oil but it makes me too tired.

Today I forced myself I write down what I was thinking and write some poetry which helped in the moment but didn’t stop the tears.

The most effective cure for anxiety for me seems to be time. Unfortunately, life doesn’t give you a couple of hours to calm the fuck down. My panic attacks last 2-3 hours and occasionally can last an entire fucking day. I wish I could just snap out of it. Anxiety robs me of any life I have left in me and I don’t have much left. I never smile anymore and my jaw is permanently clenched. I just hope I can learn to reduce the frequency and intensity of panic attacks in a safe and healthy way.

Addicted to Sleep? Is it even possible?

I always hear in the back of my head “sleep is for the weak”. Sleeping gets a bad rep and I find I praise and admire people that can function with very little sleep. But I just can’t get enough.

Sleep is my best friend. Sleep is money, it’s an escape, it’s safety and it’s fucking up my life.

I looooooooooove to sleep. And I mean spend 48 hours in bed, not eating, not talking, not doing anything but laying there until I can fall asleep. My dreams are hardcore. They scare the hell out of me at times but I still lay back down after my alarms, resisting life.

It’s not healthy and I’ve missed out on many important opportunities. But I realize now that I am so tired, incredibly tired that nothing compares to dropping off of reality for a few more minutes. I hate I love sleep so much. It’s ruining my life. I thought maybe it was just a stage when I was young but I want to sleep more and more.

I need to break my unhealthy relationship with sleep. I need to like life more.

Losing motivation But at Least This Time I’m Aware


Admitting you have a problem is the first step to change…right? So I am told by therapists, society (shit I read online and in books) and most literature on addiction. It’s only been 5 days and I have already stopped going to the gym on a regular basis (3 times a week or at least once a week), drank (want to have a sober year), and been eating tons of sugar (been keeping track of how sugar makes a difference in my life….consuming ten cookies at night ruins my mood/skin the next day), stop missing appointments (missed two so far and didn’t even call), do the dishes everyday…the list is long.

I am pissed off about “failing” yet I have to start giving myself credit for recognizing my mistakes. In the past, I would subconsciously notice my mistakes but never stop and think about them until I have bad PMS. Then all I can do is think about all the mistakes I’ve made until I have to curl into a ball, scream/cry, usually drink and cannot drive/leave the house. Now I mourn a bit but I am trying to move on and just “do things.” It’s paralyzing anxiety.

I get mad at myself and end up demotivating myself. Part of me still believes that shaming myself and living in a constant state of guilt makes me a better person when I know consciously that it makes me make poor decisions or worse yet no decisions. Still I feel this powerful invisible force inside of me that wants me to stick to old habits. I am trying to figure why it is sticking around when I so desperately want to be free. Perhaps because I am worried about burning myself out as I struggle with fatigue and depression. Maybe it’s because of lack of self worth. Or maybe it’s those damn shitty neural pathways I made that I can so easily slide along when my brain gets lazy. It’s probably a combination of many factors including a resistance to change.

I have to get back to fighting against this resistance to change so I can finally grow in life instead of feeling stuck.

-D