How do you stop a self-sabotage spiral?
November 18, 2012 3:36 AM Subscribe
My life is spiraling out of control due to constant self-sabotage. How do I start battling this problem?
posted by tammi209 to human relations (26 answers total) 64 users marked this as a favorite
I'm a college senior, female, 21-years-old. Currently, I have a major issue trying to complete ANYTHING on a regular basis. Most days I complete the bare minimum (or even less than that) to get by, and any ounce of free time I have gets devoted to pleasure. I’ll read fan-fictions, spend hours on Tumblr, watch TV—I'll do just about anything that will give me the most amount of pleasure in the shortest amount of time. I will neglect anything and everything in order to satisfy these short-lived, meager impulses. I will spend hours reading a 20 page fan-fiction, while balking at the idea of reading 10-15 page assignments for class.
Doing these things makes me very guilty. I know I’m doing something I’m not supposed to. I watch the hours pass by, knowing that I’m supposed to be doing important work all the while. Somedays, I wake up and have the perfect plan--the one where I get a majority of my work done, the one that will solve the majority of my current problems. Yet, almost always, these plans fall through. I have hours upon hours of free time to devote to these superficial activities, but I can’t even bring myself to do things that will actually benefit me in the long-term. It’s pure, senseless self-sabotage in the most mind-numbingly obvious sense. It’s absolutely deplorable—I feel disgusting and lazy, helplessly bound by my impulses and indulgent behavior. But that’s not even the worst part.
Right now, my GPA is in jeopardy because I'm way behind on work, and I'm once again considering withdrawing from several classes in order to stay afloat. I'm at a good school, and I've managed to do very well so far (I'm actually aiming for a pretty prestigious graduate program), but it has come at the cost of dozens of all-nighters, pleading for extensions, and lot's of procrastination. As a matter of fact, the last sentence pretty much characterizes my entire college experience: Doing well but barely staying afloat, all the while being under a strenuous mountain of stress. This behavior is also starting to affect my internship as well--I've been warned of coming in late numerous times, and I had another sit down with my mentor just last week. I'm putting everything in jeopardy, for what?
Just for some extra detail, here's a list of just some of my self-sabotaging behaviors:
-Not taking my medication (for depression and anxiety)
-Not engaging in self-care (showering, brushing my teeth, washing my clothes for school, sleeping)
-Spending too much money on food/useless things (when I could easily buy cheaper lunches/pack food)
-Constant lying (to friends, therapist, etc.)
-Burning bridges at work
-Ruining any potential relationships
-Masturbating (as a form of escapism, I guess)
-Constantly going late to school/work
-Failing to complete assignments
-Spending hours watching tv/using the computer
-Pretty much doing anything that (a) I'm not supposed to do; (b) is not a priority; or (c) helps me avoid doing work
TL;DR: After lots of self-inspection, I've come to the point where I feel like all my suffering at this point is directly related to self-sabotage/self-destructive behavior that I've engrained in myself. I would just like advice...if I'm going to take a serious first step in changing how I act, what is the first thing I should do? How can I stop making myself miserable? How do I force myself to do things that will start helping me in the long-term? I legitimately want help, because I truly hate how I am...