Saturday, June 21, 2008

When King Kong Sits on your House,Invite Him In

So, I have this comic strip image in my head where a woman is inside of her house. The sun is shining through the open windows and as she gazes out, she sees anxiety (personified as a little chimpanzee) lurking outside by the back fence, climbing in the trees. She’s gripped by fear and begins locking the windows, sweat beads form on her brow. Over and over again, she peers out the window from behind the now closed curtains, while the chimp (anxiety) opens the front door and taps her on the shoulder.

The woman, already hypervigilant and on guard for any sight of the beast, tackles the chimp to the ground, puts it in a head lock and kicks it back outside. She throws all the locks, as she trembles and shakes, and puts a chair beneath the doorknob to keep it from coming back in.

The more frightened she gets, the bigger the chimp becomes until it’s as big as King Kong and sitting on her house, it’s eye filling up the entire window as it peers inside.

Finally, after trying everything she can think of to force him to leave (think of something else, call a safe person to help ground her, turn the music up loud, thumb through her anxiety workbook, get down on her knees and pray), she gives up and opens up the door. “Come on in”, she gestures with exhaustion. As soon as the door is open, King Kong shrinks back down to the size of a baby chimp, and jumps into her lap. The woman strokes his soft fur, but offers nothing for him to sink his teeth into. Realizing that tonight he won’t be getting fed, he slips out the back door, swings over the fence and moves onto the next guarded house.

Anyone who is an illustrator and wants to draw this, I’d love to see it!


patience said...

Oh my gosh....this might be the best post I've ever read! You need a line drawing of the chimp on your lap for your blog banner. I think I have some other chimps at my door too...looking forward to learning and reading more.

Sarah said...

I think this is such an apt analogy for things other than anxiety--depression, fear, etc. Great post.

Anonymous said...

I needed this today! Thank you for your sweet comment on my blog, btw. I too am looking forward to hanging out on your site and getting familiar. First I need to invite my chimp in and chill out with him for a bit! ;)

Anxiety Girl said...

Hi Messymama,

My pleasure - how's it going hanging out with your chimp this week? Take care & look forward to hearing from you again. :)

- Camilla said...

Wow, that's a great way of thinking about it. :)

I do this technique, (if I'm not too panicky to think straight already,) and it definitely works. Instead of fighting it, I just embrace it. I imagine myself hugging the anxiety, and telling it how much I love it and how it is my friend. How it is a part of who I am. Then I invite it to my mind and body, and I sit back and try to enjoy the sensation of the panic attack. ... Or, I try to enjoy whatever is left of it.

Anxiety Girl said...

Hi Camilla,

That's awesome - being able to invite and welcome the panic sensations can be hard to remember in the moment, but certainly helps. Welcome and hope you to see you again soon!