Anxiety and perfectionism go together like peanut butter and jelly. It’s kind of a chicken/egg thing. Also, I’m hungry right now but if I eat a snack this soon after lunch I’ll be starving before dinner and then I’ll have to eat another snack, which means I can only have one beer tonight without blowing my calorie budget. If I exceed my daily allotment, then that beautiful aubergine Calvin Klein dress I just bought will be too snug and then I’ll die homeless and alone.
Every thought flowing through my brain is just like that. This is why I’m always exhausted. That dress is fire, though.
My therapist and I were talking yesterday about guilt, perfectionism, and anxiety. I told her one of my dogs had slipped on the tile chasing a ball and his paw went through the drywall near my laundry room…a WHILE ago. I know exactly how to fix the hole. I have the tools and materials to do the job. And yet it sits.
I know how to cut around the hole and remove the existing drywall. I know how to cut the new piece and put it in place. I know how to tape and mud the seams. I sure as hell know how to sand and mud and sand and mud and sand and mud some more…into infinity. The problem is my house has textured walls and the texture has to match. It doesn’t matter that this is a spot people rarely see and even if they do, it’s not particularly well-lit. It. Has. To. Match.
So because I am not particularly confident in my spackling camouflage skills, it sits. Because I can’t deal with asking a coworker who is a journeyman painter or even the professional handyman neighbor a block over to stop by and work his magic, it sits. Having people in my house is more traumatic than looking at Sherman’s paw hole.
I do this with everything. Grocery shopping? Check. Hair cuts? Check. Ordering new lenses for my glasses? Check. I Clark W. Griswold myself into paralyzing reclusiveness. I’m already dreading going to the Post Office next week to sign for an envelope being sent certified today.
I have too much anxiety to live in an urban zip code that would offer one-hour grocery delivery. Problem-solve your way around that one! When I get home today, I will open a beer and an internet browser tab to order everything I need that is non-perishable. I have enough frozen lunches to get me through next week and I can begin working up the mental strength to stop by Safeway on my way home next Friday. By that time, I will have carefully scrutinized all of the digital coupons and rebates for all of the things I need to avoid returning to the store for at least the next three weeks.
I didn’t forget about the guilt; I’m just too tired from thinking about all of this to tie it all together with a nice little bow. You can work it out for yourself.