How can I stop dwelling on the past and live in the present instead? I'd like to know of any coping strategies you've had which allowed you to move on from mistakes you've made and live life more fully in the present, while dealing with self-destructive tendencies and poor discipline.
I began my university education in a prestigious, expensive UK university in the mid 2000s, but half a year from the final exams, I took a year off as I wasn't prepared, mentally or academically, for them. When I returned, I had to take a re-enrolment exam, which I failed by 2 points.
That was in December 2009. Since then, I've returned to my home country, enrolled in a local university, and am about to begin my second year as an undergraduate in said university. I'm doing okay, but not as well as I can.
At this point I'm in my late 20s and living with my parents (who have been remarkably supportive). However, since December 2009 - when I got the news I'd failed the re-enrolment exam - I've been obsessing about my failure to complete my first go at an undergraduate degree. There hasn't been a single day where I haven't thought about it, and it always saddens me. Mentions of the UK or graduations or even just sitting in a classroom at school sends my train of thought careening back towards my dropping out of college. It's gotten to the point where I'm avoiding my high school friends simply because they've all graduated, started their careers and our conversations invariably turn to their jobs, which sends me off the deep end (again). I turn sullen and morose - so I've taken to avoiding them altogether instead.
I do enjoy a few things - I'm involved in my college's theatre group, teaching certain drama skills to members, and I really like videogames, except that I suspect I'm addicted. I have no financial or health worries at this point, even if I'm living off my parents and am chronically overweight. All too often, though, I start projects and never ever finish them for lack of willpower or discipline - when things start to get hard, I just stop doing them.
If I had to give an answer, I'd like to graduate with a decent degree, pick up a couple of languages (I've got basic French and German, but I've not gotten further) and write for a living. (Blogging for a living would be my dream job, actually.) I don't know if that's pertinent to my questions, but they may be.
I have three questions, which are interrelated.
The first is: how can I stop myself from thinking constantly about my dropping out? It's been almost 2 years and I'm still obsessing about it. It's definitely unhealthy and I want to stop so I can think more about what I'm doing now instead of living and reliving the past.
The second is: I have some self-destructive habits which likely contributed to my failure back in 2009, which stem from a fear of failure - e.g. procrastinating for all my schoolwork to the point where I give myself only one day to study for the end-of-term exams, not studying properly for tests, and so on. This is despite me knowing that procrastination is bad for my grades. How can I avoid this sort of behaviour and maybe actually get some of those projects completed?
The third is: I'm addicted to videogames as well - are there any solutions that I can implement, aside from going cold turkey? If I have to, I will completely cut myself off from videogaming, but preferably not.
Throwaway email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks.