Using Your Personal Life to Procrastinate: Pt. 3

Do you feel like addiction or disorder are impacting your creative work?

A lot of people use addictions and disorders to procrastinate.

“You could be an online shopping addict. Here’s how to tell,”a CNBC headline says.

The article proceeds to unravel the signs, identify the triggers and reveal the causes. Of course, there’s also some professional advice tossed in, which is going to be required more and more. According to the article, psychologists and financial experts both say there is an uptick in people struggling with this addiction.

The next public health crisis in the making–excessive Internet shopping. How many lives will it claim?

Sure, you could have online shopping addiction, if such a thing exists. Or you could just waste a lot of time buying shit you don’t need because it’s more fun and easier than doing your damn work.

Back in the day, we would have called it goofing off, lolly-gagging, procrastinating or something of the sort. Now, it’s an addiction and mental health professionals are involved.

Who would have ever thought there would be a time when people were so keen to be damaged? It’s as if people are in a race to find a flaw and embrace it.

Why Addictions & Disorders Are Common

There are two major reasons why addictions and disorders are becoming increasingly popular.

One: disorders and addictions create major, open-ended problems that become the priority by default.

Two: disorders and addictions are safe excuses because outsiders rarely dig into them and push back against the claim.

If I tell someone my freelance business isn’t doing so well right now because I’m an alcoholic, what are the chances she’s going to ask if I had a professional confirm that?

What are the chances she’s going to tell me that sounds like an excuse to procrastinate ?

More than likely, she’s going to encourage me to get help and focus on what’s most important–overcoming my alcohol addiction.

It’s uncouth to bring personal responsibility into conversations about addiction or to advise determination and fortitude when people claim they have disorders.

We’re all supposed to accept that there’s more disease and more need for help and sympathy. So, if you claim a handicap, you have more leeway to hide and procrastinate.

Calling the Bluff

People are quick to play the disorder card but everyone who claims to have these problems don’t. Some people just want a way to evade responsibility for getting things done.

Being sad over a breakup doesn’t mean you’re depressed. Drinking too much doesn’t make you an alcoholic. Constantly buying stuff isn’t necessarily retail addiction.

Those things are often just indulgence, bad behavior and excuses.

Working With Addiction

Even if you do have a disorder or addiction that doesn’t automatically deem you incapable of working. Plenty of people with physical and mental challenges, including addiction, have proved to be highly productive people.

Steven King was an alcoholic and cocaine addict, yet he wrote.

Wendy Williams described herself as a “functioning [cocaine] addict, yet she maintained her radio show.

Writer and artist Erika Sauter, identifies herself as a manic depressive and she says “depression is what provides me the ability to be open, honest and raw. The words are endless, the thoughts, ideas, clanking away at my keyboard morning, noon and night.”

Granted all cases aren’t the same, but all cases aren’t an excuse to be unproductive either.

The bottom line is anyone can dig into their personal lives and come out with something to impede progress. That’s a procrastination, not a mental health disorder.

If you missed Part 1 and Part 2, get caught up.