Hoo boy, here I am having all kinds of personal revelations. Funny how that happens when I really, truly need to be focusing on something else...
As a kind of addendum to my Day 8 post, which was about my procrastination problems stemming from my need for chaos ~slash~ fear of the remotest disapproval, I just had the thought that I get a perverse kind of energy from putting myself through an ordeal (such as, for instance, staying up all night telling myself I will spend the night working on my project, and then actually spending the night compulsively devouring ACOA blogs, taking career quizzes, and googling "what's wrong with me," not sleeping, nor eating, nor moving from my spot even though I've had to pee since like 11pm--in other words, creating a stress response in my body). But lo and behold, the next day, like a phoenix rising from the ashes (or something), I find a weird kind of pride in forcing myself to power through the stress and pain, a pride that minimizes the fear response I have to the work and lets me move forward to a minimal degree with the project (which I now have woefully few hours to complete).
I think the root of this is in ninth grade as my mom was dying of alcohol-induced liver disease -- that's when I really started royally procrastinating on my work. At least before then, I could more or less accurately gauge how long it would take me to complete a project and do it the day or night before. In ninth grade, I so desperately wanted someone to care about me, to hold me and love me and accept me for who I was and all the pain I was feeling, and yet I wasn't even allowing myself to completely feel it. So I was as stoic as I could be. But!! I also wanted to somehow signal to the people around me that things were very wrong; because my stoicism would be all the more impressive as the intensity of my hidden turmoil increased. Whenever someone during that time, like a teacher or other trusted adult, would acknowledge how hard things must be for me, I would get a boost of self-esteem for being so strong through something so hard. Or at least, that's how I imagined they saw me, which I realize now was a projection of my own pride, that is, my own over-valuing of stoicism. And here I am, reproducing that dynamic within myself every time I have to write a damn thing.
It's been this way throughout so many parts of my life--the choices I made in college, the sport I worked so hard at (such an uphill battle), the decision to even go to grad school at all, all the activism/organizing/service-type work I've pushed myself to do despite not being very good at it... all along I've been the one making things difficult for myself. What if I just let go of that?