Alcoholism, Procrastination And Denial
Whether they are drinking or not, most alcoholics have a tendency to procrastinate and use other avoidance behaviours. These behaviours are a form of denial. They often “forget” to keep their promises and they “will get around to” them eventually. Then, exasperatingly, they get impatient with others! They seem oblivious to the irony of this situation.
Bill Wilson, the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, once wrote that procrastination was “sloth in five syllables”. This is a clue to the main reason alcoholics tend to avoid important things, they are emotionally lazy and don’t want other people interrupting their tendency for self-gratification. This is a mental disorder and only one element in the many-faceted disease called alcoholism. They are not at fault.
Other reasons alcoholics procrastinate are fear of failure (I’m afraid I won’t do it right), arrogance (don’t tell me what I have to do) and childish fantasy (someone else will do it for me if I stall long enough). Where emotionally healthy people will avoid unpleasant tasks once in a while, alcoholics get compulsive with their need to escape the present moment.
Procrastination is an automatic, negative, problem habit of needlessly postponing and delaying a timely and relevant activity until another day or time. It always involves a negative emotion that ranges from feeling overwhelmed to fear of failure.
The process always includes a diversionary activity that is less taxing for the individual. It practically always involves procrastination thinking such as “I’ll do it tomorrow” or “I’m too tired” or “I’ll fix it next week.”
This complex, automatic, problem habit typically coexists with other negative emotional states, such as alcoholism, anxiety, depression, , distractibility, substance abuse, self-doubts, perfectionism and indecisiveness.
Because procrastination is normally a habit, when this process coexists with conditions, such as a negative mood or alcoholism, you may frustratingly repeat procrastination patterns despite every effort to conquer this debilitating disorder.
Procrastination is one reason why people repeat self-defeating patterns. Another is in not recognising the procrastination habit and its complexities.
Time management is repeatedly offered as a solution for procrastination. Although time- management can be part of a process for addressing deadline forms of procrastination, procrastination is rarely an exclusive time management issue. However, non-psychologically trained management consultants have made fortunes selling organisations on the idea that time management corrects procrastination. Would time-management correct for a substance abuse-procrastination connection? Definitely not!
How do you resolve a recurring procrastination-anxiety mood-linked substance-abuse process through time management? Can you address procrastination “later is better” procrastination thinking through creating schedules that you probably won’t follow?
Although time management solutions, such as setting priorities and scheduling is sometimes part of the solution for addressing deadline forms of simple procrastination, procrastination typically has more to do with addressing unpleasant feelings associated with certain tasks. It’s easier to distract ourselves with simple jobs that side-track us from productive tasks.
Curbing procrastination is a by-product of doing something else first. Preliminary steps include taking emotional and behavioural steps to interfere with the course of the habit.
Both procrastination and alcoholism involve some level of low tension tolerance and discomfort dodging activities, such as following a path of least resistance. Procrastination is easy and you can slide into an illusion trap by telling yourself you’ll build tolerance later, but you NEED to drink right now because you had a bad day, or you can’t stand the tension of not drinking ever again.
This vicious procrastination of total sobriety includes a reward in the form of an immediate relief from tension by taking that first drink. The drunk takes the drink and the drink takes the drunk. That drink rewards the problem of procrastination and increases their chances for permanent relapse. There is life after alcohol and it is a good life.
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Dr. Cabot has a great juice book that’s easy to follow and has recipes to help rejuvenate your liver. Raw Juicing Can Save Your Life by Dr. Sandra Cabot.
Dr. Cabot’s book, Help for Depression and Anxiety is an excellent read for recovering alcoholics.
The above statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease.