View Full Version : HELP I can't control my self-sabotaging behavior anymore and I'm feeling hopeless

10-11-17, 04:00 PM
I'm new to this forum, but I'm really excited to be a part of the community. I joined because today I really, finally have just had enough of myself sabotaging my success. It's become so much worse recently, I don't know why.
I don't go to class often and I can't figure out why, its almost like I am being coerced by my own brain. I do so many little creative personal projects and some based upon concepts from school, and I spend the time planning and working on those things when I should be doing work. If anyone else is going/has gone through something similar to this, I would appreciate some sort of guidance.
It's my last year of university, I'm in my second to last semester, and I'm set up to fail unless I make some serious personal changes. I'm at the point where I'm desperate. My mom and others that I try to explain this to just tell me to notice when I'm being this way and change how I handle it. And the thing is that I do notice, but when I try to handle it, it just doesn't work because I guess I just don't know how. I'm really struggling with this. Tips, suggestions, helpful comments are greatly appreciated:)

10-12-17, 05:32 AM
I remember this from when I was approaching my finals and it got pretty serious for me. (I passed).

Looking back I realise my ADHD majorly affected my studies, however now I know that "reframing" how I looked at things would have helped considerably. I had the brains to do well but similarly to you I self-sabotaged. If you've reached your final year you've already gone through many exams and done well enough to pass and continue in the course.

Finals are a different ball game but not for the reasons you probably think.... the issue isn't around the final exams themselves.... a significant part of the problem is often around finishing education itself.... you've probably been in education all your remembered life.

Final exams mean leaving education.....a MASSIVE life change, some people feel ready for this and have confidence in their next steps.... to the point of having jobs etc. Others don't, and for these it can be terrifying.... and that fear is then attached to other events (like the exams) and trigger or exacerbate all sorts of underlying avoidant or maladaptive soothing behaviours.

My advice would be to trust that you've got this far..... and Finals aren't actually that much different from previous exams... but they mark the "end" of formal education.... which is probably what's freaking out your subconscious and triggering increased avoidance behaviour

Understanding that your behaviour is a symptom of deeper stuff and that the approaching finals are a situation that has brought this into your awareness can help. This means you can split the issue into 2 parts...
1) Finals..... I've got this far, Finals are important, but little different from things I've done before, which I was good enough at.

2) My life as I've known it is coming to an end. I don't know what comes next. Anxiety and stress around this is normal. When I notice I'm avoiding working, I know that it's not the exams themselves that are the trigger for this but my fear about what comes after the exams..... and I'll deal with that after the exams.

Self-sabotaging is a deep seated process. Dealing with it is like dealing with an addiction.... the roots often lie in our past and how we learned to frame our place in the world. Meds don't really help long term, though they can buy time if things are at crisis point. It takes time to get to grips with, and like an addiction it's something that has to be wrestled with on a daily basis. A good therapist can help, as can really good well grounded friends. Unfortunately since the roots often lie in the relational past close family often aren't that helpful, as they're commonly implicated in the development of the issue in the first place!

10-12-17, 10:59 PM
Seems like you are spending time on your hobbies instead of studying, which is totally understandable because studying is a boring, lonely business.

So I suggest:

1) Inject more study into your day. Maybe do 30 minutes of study followed by 30 minutes of hobby.

2) Make study more fun. Listen to music (at a volume that is not totally distracting) while you study.

Good luck!