Over the past semester I’ve come to a realization that I harbor much more anxiety than I care to admit. Through therapy I’ve learned to cope through creative means, such as writing, drawing, and painting. Another way which I try to cope is through procrastination.
Procrastination is an interesting phenomena, it allows the temporary relief of your anxiety at the cost of experiencing more anxiety down the road. One procrastinates in order to avoid anxiety and in doing so causes more anxiety, so, one must procrastinate to push the anxiety off into the future which causes more anxiety—ad infinitum. This would be an unhealthy coping mechanism.
A healthy coping mechanism would be any sort of creative expression be it writing, drawing, music, or anything else. I’ve been drawing a lot recently. I’ve noticed that my creativity has skyrocketed, I’ve been drawing at any chance I can get, my skill has increased and because of that I’m enjoying it even more. I’ve also really enjoyed writing poetry for my Creative Writing class, oftentimes getting the work done in a timely manner. I work on my poems for quite a bit, I spend time editing them, fine-tuning them, and trying my best to express an emotional truth. I’ve found much fulfillment in both writing and drawing. I’ve also tainted these coping mechanisms with procrastination.
After a while I noticed my other homework has piled up. My readings for my theory class are now waiting until the last minute. My essays are “due later” and I can’t be bothered to work on them now, there isn’t time for this sort of work… but there’s time for drawing and writing poetry? My healthy coping mechanisms have now become unhealthy.
My original blog post was going to be a comic adaptation of The Tempest. That’s not going to happen. The amount of time and effort to create a comic strip is staggering. I love comics, but I have homework. I love practicing drawing and writing, but I have homework. I can create the best comic adaptation of The Tempest that the whole world has ever seen—but that isn’t a priority.
I would say working a job is perhaps one of the toughest things to do while in school. I’ve been at the same job as a deli clerk at a supermarket for 3.5 years. When I wake up in the morning I feel very motivated to do my schoolwork. By the time I get home I have spent all of my working energy on… well, work. Working a low-wage, backbreaking job is draining and it has the potential to discourage even the most motivated from continuing their education and their pursuit of happiness. Just spend time on the priority. The priority is to do what you have to do to the best of your ability. Do not avoid your work, do not avoid your responsibilities, and know that when you rise to the call of action you will find an immense satisfaction which is a million times sweeter than anxiety is bitter.