Who am I? Why did I ever give me up?

Why don’t I know who I am anymore? Why can’t I relate to people like I once could? Is it because I’m married? Is it because I’m old? What is it? Why do I have the hardest time making friends? I didn’t used to be like this. I used to be the life of the party. I used to have opinions I used to feel like I matter. I know WHAT I am…I’m a wife, a mother, a sister, a daughter, a granddaughter, a blogger, a photographer, a mad genius, a reader, a thinker, a plotter, a mastermind of ideas…but WHO am I? When I was in the hospital we were given the assignment to discover who we are. We were told to start by defining our core values and morals, likes and dislikes, etc., etc., etc. I did that. But I still feel the same. The me I am now is not the me I was 7 years ago, and I miss parts of that me. The parts that had the confidence to get whatever she wanted, the intelligence to put plans together, the social butterfly effect, all of that. I could do away with…have done away with the unmedicated me, the me who partied until 6 AM, slept a few hours, went to school, work, and then partied all night again. But that’s when I felt the happiest.

And now, I don’t. I don’t think I can make a difference, I don’t feel like my small contribution to society does anything, I’ll never do anything bigger than being a housewife and raising my kids. Those are important things, in the long run, but I’ll never be remembered for much. And doesn’t everyone? Doesn’t everyone somewhere deep down in them want to write the next Great American Novel, or be the next Beethoven, or the next Picasso, Van Gogh, or Michelangelo?

Maybe I’m not meant to be a mother. I wasn’t tied down back then by so many stresses and responsibilities, and I loved living that way. Maybe I didn’t get it all out of my system before settling down and having more kids and a husband and all that jazz. I say that only halfheartedly though, I look at my oldest standing here talking to me and realize I wouldn’t trade my children for all the adventures in the world. I love my husband and the life we have together. Things are hard at times, but I wouldn’t give it up for anything.

But is it wrong to want greatness? I used to think I had greatness in me. That there was nothing I couldn’t achieve, if only I put my mind to it. And I achieved miraculous things. I overcame insurmountable odds that even Ludo Bagman wouldn’t have bet on (who get’s that reference?) Now, that’s gone. I have no faith in my abilities, no thoughts that I can achieve great things, no hope that my plans will work out. And so I doom myself to failure. Back when I thought I could achieve anything, I did, even when it didn’t seem like it at the time, and now when I feel like I can achieve nothing, I do it in spades. So maybe I can do whatever I set my mind to, whether it be greatness or defeat. Now the tricky part is this…how do I convince my mind to think great thoughts again? How can I appreciate the madness in me, the genius that is truly there? How can I reach my amazingly creative heights again?

Where did I give up at?

Deep down in me I’d love to write the next book to be featured by Oprah or something, but that might never happen. So I’d settle for the ability to socialize and have a good circle of friends. Hell, I’d settle for the ability to be able to keep my house clean on a consistent basis. To write a book, you have to know how to start it…and I can’t figure out the start of my story for the life of me.

A million fragmented thoughts, they all come at me at once. I hear this thought, think it’s good, then lose it. I hear another, mean to copy it down, but it escapes me. I should be working on my therapy assignment, but instead I’m blogging. Maybe in a way I am working on my assignment though. Maybe, in a way, I’m working on my book as well. I write knowing I intend to use this in my book one day, but I also write as an outlet for my thoughts.

So back to my question…where did I give up? I sometimes think it was way back when I first met my husband. I remember one of the very first times I met him, he had me so intimidated, that I let him be in control of a situation that I should have controlled. I wonder if that subconsciously set the tone for the rest of our relationship. I think I sometimes blame my husband for beating it out of me. I was so confident in my abilities until I met him. He was so confident as well that he overshadowed me. And I let him overshadow me so long that I began to forget who I really was. He would be cruel and say hurtful things, and I allowed it to happen, I never stood up for myself, and that’s the person I became. It got even harder when he became the breadwinner and we decided I would stay home. I felt even more diminished as a contributing member of society because I was no longer in the workforce. This is harsh stuff to admit, but it’s true. I can see that now.

So now that I can see where I gave up and let the me I loved slip away, how do I get her back? It’s not by divorcing my hubby, for any of you reading and thinking that, no that’s not where I’m headed. Yes I made mistakes when we were first together, and so did he, but here we are 6 years later and I love the man he is now. You’re right, I should never have lost me in the first place, but it’s no good pointing fingers and blaming now, it’s time to pick up the pieces and glue me back together. Or maybe there is no gluing me back together. I’ve never imagined myself as a Humpty Dumpty, I’ve always seen myself more as the Cheshire Cat, able to disappear and reappear at will, and the one to ask the important questions, the ones that seem to be nonsense but aren’t. I also see myself as fragments, a tortured soul who is only wisps of pale purple smoke. When I’m at my worst, that’s all I am. At my best, I’m the Chessy Cat, mischievous grin and all.

I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I feel like progress has been made. I’ve discovered something about me tonight, and it makes me feel really good. Now to start becoming the me I love again. I’ll  keep you posted on how it goes!

As always, the best parts of blogs are reader comments, so tell me your thoughts below. What have you done in the past that you’d like to change, if anything? How do you stay true to yourself?

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2 thoughts on “Who am I? Why did I ever give me up?

  1. I loved this blog; so searching and within that, surprisingly hopeful. I understand what you’ve said so well. Keep writing.

    I regret having lost 12 years to my Bipolar diagnosis. It shocked and paralyzed me. Those were wasted years where I should have kept up with my songwritng and performing. It all went by the wayside. I have gotten back on the horse now and have a lot of rehabilitation to do to recover my skills and creativity. Every chance I get, I strongly recommend that those with difficulties not put their creativity aside. Hang on to it in whatever way you can – write a word, a line, a chord, a doodle. Just hang on to that part of yourself so that you can hang on to you.

    • Thank you for those encouraging words. I’ve really been struggling to write these last few days, and I’ve been beating myself up over it. But you reminding me that I do’t need to be writing a novel out every night, I just need to be making progress, that was a strong note that struck a chord with me. Thank you.

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