Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Art Blog: Anxiety Addiction

I remember during my childhood adults telling me to
“Stop crying or I will give you something to cry about!”
Well, that’s happened to me yesterday. I woke up whining and ended up getting a spanking! I had started writing this post about anxiety. Yesterday morning I felt that old familiar friend ANXIETY in the room with me. I tried to ignore the fact I was experiencing the pulse racing feeling of impending doom. (Maybe I am psychic?)

Whenever this feeling comes my way, I get an image of Chicken Little frantically running around looking up at the sky. I hear the squawk, squawk, squawk! (The sky is falling! The sky is falling!) I lay there a few minutes and analyzed the situation. I attributed this haunting feeling to the fact I have too much art to create, too many deadlines, and too many projects going on right now. I told myself to calm down and relax. Everything will get done.

(Chicken) Little did I know within hours my world as I know it would start to crash down around me. Later in the day, I wrote a completely different post about the “gloom and doom” that actually happened and posted it yesterday afternoon.

“I don't have big anxieties. I wish I did. I'd be much more interesting.”
Roy Lichtenstein

I found this Lichtenstein quote and just had to laugh. If this is true, my life must be very interesting!! LOL But I am very ready to let all this anxiety go. I am done with it. Today, I had a grand revelation. I had an epiphany!

My mother was a loon. I know. I know. If you read this blog you are probably thinking “The apple doesn’t fall from the tree!” However, I am looney in different ways. I have few selected memories of my mother. One thing I remember very clearly are the times she would clean the house in a state of panic. I remember her pushing a vacuum cleaner around like a deadly weapon. We knew not to bother her when she was in this state of mind.

This morning I felt numb. Seriously, I felt like the blood was draining from my body. All I could think about is cleaning the house. I began frantically washing the dishes. I gathered up every stitch of dirty clothes in my house and pushed them in the washer. I even pulled the sheets off my bed! As I looked down at the floors and prepared to get the mop, I remembered my mother. This is the epiphany part: NOW I GET IT! I never understood this until now. Her cleaning ritual was a way to put things in order and to control life’s uncontrollable moments. It took me this long to understand her behavior.

I am so over this thriving on crisis baloney. They say old habits die hard. Shoot! I have been trying to kill this booger off for decades! The difference now is I know how to handle it. I become my own therapist. I ask myself what I am thinking and then respond with RATIONAL answers. Life is full of ups and downs. We just need a really great pair of hiking shoes to get through it. This too shall pass.

So (rational self speaking), “Sheree, if the sky was really going to fall, you would have been smothered by a cloud a LONG time ago!”


NaughtyMutt.com said...

Sheree, your mother and you are not alone. When I am worried or annoyed I clean like a mad woman, the rest of the time my house could be piling on top of me and I WOULD NOT CARE.

Your image of your mum with vacuum made me shiver is that what my kids see? Probably sometimes but we as a family laugh about this maniacal behaviour. My husband jokes if the house is a mess all he has to do is irritate me and I will clean and do his washing!

Happy clean house...

John said...

Well said, Sheree; I am so with you on this -- been there and done that! My latest version is an intense urge to throw stuff away. Hang in there.

NaughtyMutt.com said...

Is this an artist thing? I throw things out too!
For me it's a need to have everything in order so I can move on.
I've got rid of all sorts including men in my life before, then I realised what I was doing!

deb said...

OK so generally it seems we all clean and throw stuff out when we are stressed, I am cleaning my studio again... I already cleaned the rest of the house!!