Explorations of mind, paths, and life

Art of Crazymaking

Posted on March 7, 2009 - Filed Under self reflect

I sat in awe of what I was reading, my jaw slowly dropping as the words spilled from the page into my mind, and then a slow grind of my teeth as memories filled the gaps. I, like an addict, was finally admitting, “I am involved with a Crazy-maker.”

According to Julia Cameron, “A related thing creatives do to avoid being creative is to involve themselves with crazymakers. Crazymakers are those personalities that create storm centers. They are often charismatic, frequently charming, highly inventive, and powerfully persuasive. AND, for the creative person in their vicinity, they are enormously destructive… ” (Cameron, 44) A spike of denial, and yet truth just beamed from the page.

I have been in recovery for several months now, making distance as needed to be able to claim my time and healthier boundaries. And, for months before this, I had been struggling to put my finger on just what was happening. Cycles of exasperation and defeat were gifted and stroked so that I would again return to the center of the storm. Encouraging words to “take care of myself” and yet conflicted demands that I was not helpful enough, offering enough time, not attending to needs adequately, and the infamous and countless prologue to messages, “I know you are really busy, but I really need help with just this one thing” or ” I know you asked me not to call you on teaching days, but when you get a chance can you (reorganize the world!)” And when I finally could not hold my mental space together any longer and protested, I would get a plethora of blame tossed at me faster than I could sort through it, pointing out all the ways that “this all wouldn’t have happened like this if I had not….” Then the guilt (at failing to “be of service” – NOT GOOD ENOUGH) and pure anger at the slivers of reasoning I thought I had and gave up because…. I’m just not good enough. Ahhhh… the realization … that if I put my finger on the hot stove I will get burned.

My MHA (Metal Head Adonis) has pleaded with me for months, to make distance, give it up! He even accused me of being an addict – and I scoffed at him as denial drew its curtain on reality. “You want to torture yourself, go right ahead!” he would say with complete exasperation. So I did (minus the conscious effort to torture myself) and my energy slowly began to dry up. I dreaded appointments, not only with the crazymaker, but with appointments I had the few days after. I wondered what held me there. My blog was ignored for weeks and weeks and I barely remember what felt fun those last few months.

Granted, I have to say that part of the crazymaker’s appeal are all the things the crazymaker stands for. All the things I value. It was hidden behind the guise of being grounded in such good healing concepts. And, the charm and tenderness. Quite the individual in so many ways! Wonderful qualities except for the crazymaking.

The rules of Crazymaking, or at least the rules I identified with are as follows (and if you want the descriptions – check the book out at the library)

  1. Crazymakers break deals and destroy schedules
  2. Crazymakers expect special treatment
  3. Crazymakers discount your reality
  4. Crazymakers are expert blamers
  5. Crazymakers create dramas – but seldom where they belong
  6. Crazymakers hate schedules – except their own
  7. Crazymakers DENY that they are Crazymakers (Cameron, 46-49)

Interestingly, once I imposed a break for myself and made space, and SET BOUNDARIES (although some of that is still a practice but not a fully learned skill) I quickly set out to make 3 new websites over the course of three weekends. I started the workshop, set up artist space, began writing, drawing, watercoloring. I was full of energy for my own creativity that I had smothered with my addiction. I was using my Crazymaker as a block for my own creative energy and growth. If I keep busy, I don’t have to grow and learn and create… Interesting piece of self sabotage! Ah, the art of Crazymaking!

Cameron, Julia. The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity. Penguin Putnam. New York, 1992.


One Response to “Art of Crazymaking”

  1. Anonymous on March 7th, 2009 9:06 am

    I love you 😉