“ DROWNING ” - A short Story by Sarah Joy Smith.
I kept falling into a hole - more of a downward spiral I would say.
Like being pulled underwater by a cinder block. The pressure rising as it pulls you deeper into darkness, starting in your ears, you can feel it spread to your entire body. It becomes tighter and tighter, lungs tightening as it strengthens its grip your body, your mind. My senior year in high school consisted of a lot of drowning. Every single time it was the same.
Like an endless cycle...
I’d get an assignment, probably feel a spurt of enthusiasm in the start, planning in my head the success of the project, how I would start early, go home today and start brainstorming so I could start working and not have to worry about finishing things last minute.
However, this phase was over soon after a small brainstorming session, the drowning begins: distractions roll in and I’m not working anymore. I convince myself “I’ll do it later”, “I’m just taking a break, I deserve it”. It’s the same, every single time. Once I’m distracted, it’s so hard to start.
Things come up, time passes and then it's late, the world outside has grown dark and now I’m making excuses. “I’m too tired now”, “I work better when it’s not so late”, “I should get some rest, sleep is important”, “I’ll do it tomorrow when I’m well rested”.
On one hand, I’m right, but is it really too late? Is this just an excuse? Sleep is important however, if I would have started earlier, this wouldn’t be a problem.
At this point I’ve already been pulled deep into darkness and from here it only gets deeper. More excuses means more time passes without work getting done and the more time passes the more the pressure rises. I would start losing sleep just thinking about all the things I had to do, whenever my mind wasn’t occupied and was wandering, the thoughts would start rolling in, crash into me and cover me like a wave.
“There is so much I have to do”, “When am I going to finish this?” I would start lists in my head of all the things I had to do and how the time was running out and every day that went by it would get worse. So I tried to keep my mind occupied, so these thoughts wouldn’t come rolling in. I had to keep my mind at peace. This way I could sleep, and this way I wouldn’t constantly be so anxious.
This only makes the cycle continue...
In the end, there was only one choice it came down to: doing almost everything at the latest possible moment. I would beat myself up because I know it wouldn’t be my best work and that I could have done so much better if I would have only done things step by step and taken my time. Sometimes I wouldn’t even be able to finish the work on time and than I had to come up with even more excuses that wouldn’t only have to convince me, but my teacher as well.
In the end I managed to survive senior year, my grades were okay and I was actually satisfied with some of the work I handed in, I managed to use writing to dissect my cycle and learn about myself and why I do these things and this helped me find solutions.
I started consciously analyze my thoughts why they were happening in attempt to overrule my excuses and not give into them. I tried to organize my life, I wrote lists, planned my days and most importantly I started using a planner to combine all of these things and keep my mind organized.
I’m still not immune to procrastination, in fact I still struggle with it, I slip in and out of my good and bad habits. The important thing is that I keep trying and my system improves every time.
I learn more about myself and I never stop trying to improve myself.
* I strongly advise everyone reading this to work on themselves in some way. *
To have a never ending thirst for self improvement but to do this in a healthy way.
Don’t be too hard on yourself and don’t compare yourself to other people.
Work on yourself for you, and don’t give up even if you fall back.
Read more by Sarah Joy on her blog @_constantlyevolving_ on Instagram
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