Procrastination is the act of delaying or postponing something excessively and voluntarily, although knowing that it might have bad consequences. The name comes from Latin meaning "ahead," and "of tomorrow." It is frequently a habitual human behavior. It's a frequent human experience to put off mundane duties or even important tasks. Although it is commonly related with sadness, low self-esteem, shame, and feelings of inadequacy, it can also be a prudent response to some demands that may provide risky or undesirable results or necessitate waiting for fresh information.
I want to do stuff, why aren't I doing them?
Usually, procrastination is something people tend to do themselves. I mean, we all do this at some point. Not wanting to do the dishes, I'll do them tomorrow. Not feeling like cleaning up, I'll do it later. Often these thoughts lead to others doing the chores you procrastinated on. Which I assure you does no benefit to your relationships. But what happens if your procrastination is not something you do. But something you just can't help? In my case, I have a ton of ideas going around in my head. I don't really mind them being there, as it keeps other thoughts away. And it even lets me focus on some of those ideas to stay in control. And the motivation to do stuff is there as well. And I do really want to write some of my ideas down and get started on some of them.
Before being troubled by all of this bad stuff, I never would have imagined that having a ton of ideas and not having the energy to do anything with them would be one of my problems. I don't think any of you know how much effort it takes me every single time just to sit down and write this stuff. It takes so much to just start. Once I've finally started writing, I usually don't stop until I'm done with my story. That's when that ton of ideas really helps. But just the starting is a pain. The same goes for my other creative outlets. Starting on Youtube video's usually takes forever. Then, once I finally start, it's finished in no time at all. So it's really not the effort of doing it. It actually brings me some joy once I finish my stories or a music video. It's the effort of getting over the feelings of inadequacy, of thinking no-one will read or watch this anyways. And over the feelings of just not giving a damn. Coupled with the lack of any energy to start with anything. I can be sitting on the couch staring in to nothing for quite some time. Usually at one point I think to myself: Now I have to get off this couch. If I keep staring in space, I'll be stuck doing nothing all day. Then it takes me quite a while to actually start to do something.
Understanding someone with PTSD
I've often mentioned the symptoms of PTSD. One of those is loss of interest, either in things you used to do or in things in general. In my case, I used to play video games a lot! Now I barely touch them. They used to relax me, give me a feeling of enjoyment. Now I just have to much anxiety to relax. And instead of saying I have no energy to do stuff, maybe it's better described as a lack of interest. Even though I'm highly motivated to do them, I just can't quite get myself to start. One of the reasons I made this blog was to help people. Helping people with PTSD understand they are not alone in the things they experience or feel. But also to help others understand. Understand what it does to me. And also to those around me. How I've tried to cope and what works for me. Of course, this is no guarantee for others, but even if I just manage to help one other person, I'll be happy.
Through my stories, I've tried to explain how I handle difficult situations. How I handle the anxiety and stress. And what happens if I just can't. The understanding part is so hard. When I think back, before all this started, I too didn't know what it was like. What it did to people and how it affected them every single second of the day. I used to think, what could they have experienced that broke them? Then I started marginalizing their experiences and thinking, well I was there too, why haven't I gone crazy? Is it just them?
But what can I do?
Remember that everyone's PTSD experience is unique. Some persons with PTSD claim that no one understands them, but the more time they spend alone, the less likely they are to believe that others understand. It's important to remember that no one has to go through a mental illness alone, so if you suspect someone you know is suffering from PTSD, it's a good idea to gently reach out to them and let them know you're available to chat if they need to. Try to listen with an open mind. Someone's experience can be highly traumatic even if you think differently. When someone has PTSD I'd steer clear of asking what they see when they have flashbacks, or what they experienced. That could even trigger some of the flashbacks. So unless someone explicitly starts about it, I'd avoid it. But talking about how they are coping, what it does to them after it happens, or what it is they're feeling at that moment should be quite alright. I'm no therapist, but I found talking about the effects and struggles really does help. It's not like it makes it any less painful but it helps people understand.
Also, keep in mind that you are not alone in experiencing the effects of PTSD. Talking to others who have had similar situations might make you feel more noticed and understood. It shouldn't be used in place of professional counselling, but it can be a useful supplement because it can help you work through feelings like shame, guilt, and fear. The same goes for the loved ones of someone with PTSD. You are not alone. Talking to others may help you as well.
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