Thursday, February 18, 2016

Hoarding, Coloring, and solving problems

Ok, so I'm not REALLY a hoarder, but I do have some similar properties.

Chances are, if you're a member of my family or inner circle of friends, I care deeply about you, and you've given me something, even if it's "consumable" I may still have it, because I didn't have "permission" to use it, AND because I love you, and if I use it, after you took the time and trouble to get me something you thought I'd like, then it will be gone and I won't have it anymore to use it.  Sounds like an awful circle doesn't it LOL.....well, it is.  I'm typically a logical person, so much so, that I've been blamed in the past as being SO logical that I verge on coldness.  It's not that I don't feel, I simply try not to allow myself to react based solely on those feelings.  Truth be told I'm actually VERY deep feeling, and I don't often let others see that side of me.  Given that knowledge, this kind of behavior doesn't sound or seem logical, and yet, I've mentally argued myself into being convinced that it's purely logical LOL.....Yeah yeah, I know it's weird.......but don't worry, you're just as weird as me, if not in the same aspects, you may have your very own unique weirdness, and that's ok, we can celebrate that side of you.

Part of my therapy a few years ago was addressing the part of me that didn't give myself permission to use things that people had given me, and acknowledging that they'd given them to me for the purpose of being used, and thus I would give myself permission to use them.  Now, this issue may have become a bit more pronounced with the onset of the more serious effects of the PTSD I suffer from, but it's been something I've dealt with even longer than that.  I'll be sharing some of that with you today, and if you have issues with the same type of thing, maybe you can finally give yourself permission to use the things people gave you with your enjoyment of those things in mind, just like me.

Granted I'm not perfect at it, but the best example of this I can share and the length of which will astound you, is this, recently I gave my sister BACK a coloring book she'd been given for Christmas around 1983, as my sister, she sometimes gave me her stuff because I was her baby sister, and I thought it was cool, or pretty etc, and for some reason she felt obligated to give her things to me.  I'm not sure why, maybe I was just an insufferable brat.  Whatever the reason, I don't believe myself to be an "entitled" person, but who knows, maybe I am or have been to some degree.  Either way, she'd given me this coloring book, and I never could find it in me to color in it because it was never mine, it was her present and she should have kept it, not given it to me.  The same year, I had a present from my mother of a different coloring book,  An elaborate one with dolls through the ages that told about dolls, where they came from, who made them etc.  I never colored in that one either, save for the introduction page.  Why?  Well duh!!! Cause mommy gave it to me and if I used it it would be gone!  For heaven's sake, I thought you'd have seen that one coming :P.

Now here's the truly absurd part.  For years I'd been encouraging people to color.  It's therapeutic in varying ways, not the least of which is, that when we broach problem solving we can at times get stuck in the logical part of our brains.  Which means we'll be chasing "solutions" round in circles if we can't find the key to making a problem better.  Drawing, or other art takes concentration, because you need to come up with the whole project, BUT coloring doesn't take complete concentration because the picture is made for you, you can still use the creative side of your brain to make it lovely, but you can also go "brain dead" to a certain degree because it doesn't take the same brain power to come up with an original piece of art as starting with a blank canvas.  What ends up happening is your mind may wander, without your guidance or prompting, and it may even occur without your fully comprehending that it IS in fact thinking.  The result ends up being a "eureka" moment, because that issue you've stressed over or thought through may end up with a completely original and creative solution that you'd never have come up with other than allowing your creative side in on the problem solving process.

All of this is amazing because we, as people may use either side of our brain at any given time, however we are more strongly tied to one or the other typically, and they don't typically work in collusion with one another, but allowing what some may deem a "brainless" activity, allows you to use both sides at the same time in a fashion that may be somewhat unconscious and seemingly separate from you until you realize you've reached that moment of holy crap, I never thought of that!

Now you'd think that since I've always held this as a truth, that I'd have colored in a book that my mother gave me, but you'd be wrong LOL.  I didn't give myself permission to use that gift from a beloved person, so I simply didn't use it, I'd get others for myself and use those.

Now for the truly amazing thing..........

Since I've been working on giving myself permission to use things from loved ones, I've used the bumpy massage soaps, lotions etc......and I even came to be able to color that book my mom gave me so long ago.  Not only did I color in it, I colored in it until it was completed!  This might seem like a trivial thing for some that don't grasp the concept of what I've been talking about, but to those of you that share my need to open these doors, you will fully understand, and hopefully see your way through those same doors and over those hurdles.

In celebration of this, I'll share with you the very lovely pages of that book, and I do hope that if you've never tried coloring as an adult, you may try it.  It's apparently a HUGE thing right now, so chances are many of you may have already tried it.

Either way, enjoy the pictures I know I did, and each page was a reminder how much I love my mom and how much she's always loved me!

Since I'm not sure what the copyright laws concerning sharing something of this nature I will tell what I can of the book.  As you can see it's called Dolls through the ages, and illustrates dolls from various eras and locales.  The book was written and illustrated by Nancie Swanberg, and printed by Troubador press in San Francisco in 1983.