My whole life I’ve struggled with finding my identity. (Who hasn’t). As a child it was by having the right toys. In middle school it was the latest style and a cute boyfriend (or any boyfriend). Highschool was more guys, more fashion, and just being someone who people wanted to hang around (as well as experimenting to fit in with older crowds). College brought a completely new world to try and fit in or find who I was. Around year 4 I thought I had nailed it. I was finally confident in who I was, and I was pretty amazing. (Oh how we deceive ourselves) I had sacrificed who I was on the inside; traded all my needs, desires, and time to please others; and put many people down to make myself feel good. (It doesn’t sound so glorious now).
After I was married, like many women, I believed the myth that my identity would be secure. It wasn’t that I didn’t go into marriage with realistic knowledge and expectations. I definitely did. It wasn’t that I was previously insecure. Like I stated, I thought I’d found myself. I went into marriage secure in my identity, but that quickly changed. Soon I realised that my previous world that I’d been so secure in had changed and I had no idea how to navigate this new world (nothermind how to be secure in it). I had been secure in my habitat. My surroundings. My job. The things I did. The people I was around. Not in myself. I had lied to myself and believed it with all my heart.
Soon I found myself trying to control my surroundings and find new things to identify myself with. Being the perfect wife, having a spotless house, getting pregnant, juggling career and family. It didn’t work very well. Making my life look like the perfect blog, documenting things through the filter of Instagtam, striving to appear as the perfect wife; it all left me empty. My identity was nowhere when those things fell through the cracks or were revealed as they were. It was time to face myself. It was time to find my identity in something unchanging and not in my controlled surroundings. It was time to look inside instead of painting another layer of what I thought I needed to be on the outside.
Now, as I walked through the Celebrate Recovery 12 steps, I am reaching deep into the heart of the identity crisis. Stripping away the surface and dealing with myself, raw and unfiltered. Realising that I need to stop trying to control my surroundings and instead deal with my inner self.
Dishes will be dirty. Hair will be out of place. Meal plans will not get followed. Workouts will get postponed. Character does not come from those things. And character, that alone, will withstand the change of surroundings and ciecumstances. That alone is what matters in the end.