Blog, Depression

Who Are You Really?

Children need to be brought up in a home where self-expression is encouraged and there is room for them to build their self-identity. What that exactly looks like, I’m not sure. But I imagine there is a lot of love, a lot of understanding and forgiveness.

I can’t help but sometimes feel cheated due to my upbringing. I try not to blame my past for my downfalls in my present, but it’s been scientifically proven that a person’s upbringing has a huge impact on adulthood. Instead of being in an environment where I could learn who I was, I was in an environment trying to survive. So now, being an adult, I feel like I’m behind. Like everyone else has some kind of knowledge and self-awareness that I missed out on.

Only recently have I started taking the time to get to know myself. Who am I really? What hobbies do I like? What do I truly enjoy? What do I dislike? What do I want my future to look like? What do I need in relationships/friendships? What are my flaws? What am I good at?

Coming into my relationship with my boyfriend of almost 7 years. Since I was pretty much like a chameleon since I had no true self and adapted to my surroundings, I made him my whole life. Hung out with his friends, did what he wanted, and put his needs above mine. I did all this while I was also figuring out my Bipolar Disorder. A few years in, I remember looking in the mirror and feeling empty. I had no idea who I was, who I had turned into, I was fucking miserable. I started to resent my boyfriend and wanted to scream every time he needed me and whenever I was putting him above me. I had no voice. My friends were his friends. My family was his family. I was the doting girlfriend. My life was his life. My whole world revolved around him. I was nothing without him. The truth was, I had created this situation. I went into the relationship wanting to put him first no matter what the sacrifice would be… In the end, the sacrifice was me.

I left and all hell broke loose… but it helped see what I needed. I needed to find myself. Had I been raised to be aware of myself, strong, sure of what I wanted in life, and confident in my own voice, I think my life would have been very different. So once the chaos settled in my relationship, I was then presented, for the first time in my life, with a space where I could start learning who I was. I was hesitant at first because I was always having feelings of guilt or embarrassment when I wanted to try something new, or wanted to go hang out with my friends, or whenever I wanted to branch out on my own. I’m still getting used to it. Still trying to figure myself out.

But I still feel so… broken. And it’s frustrating. I’m constantly thinking if I’m a good friend, if I’m a good girlfriend, am I making the right decisions? Am I a good person? Because I feel so unsure of myself. So fucking unsure. I’m constantly critiquing my thoughts and reactions. When do I shut the fuck up and when is it appropriate to speak up? When I do finally speak up, I worry if I was too aggressive or too passive. When do I put my foot down? When do I let things go? Am I the only one who is paranoid? When does that go away? When do I start settling into myself? When do I feel whole? When will I feel confident, strong and so fucking sure of every step I take going forward? When do all these fucking questions and concerns stop??!!?!?!?

After being diagnosed with Bipolar, and once I got over being upset I had it, I became obsessed with getting to know my disorder. I always talk about getting to know yourself and how crucial it is to helping become stable. The ‘self’ I worked on the most in the last 6 years was my disorder, my moods. I’ve learned what a lot of my triggers are, I’ve learned to identify my moods and when I’m having mood swings, when I’m being reasonable and unreasonable. I focused so much on that part of me that I forgot about the rest of who I am. Most people with Bipolar struggle with this. We can’t figure out what part of us is the real us because we have these constant changing moods. The truth is,I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… my disorder isn’t me, it’s a part of me.

So here I am, feeling frustrated and broken. Here I am going through what I should have done as a child, I feel childish and annoyed… Mostly annoyed because I obsess about the fact I shouldn’t have to be doing this right now. I should be focusing on building my life around me based on whats within myself. Not building whats inside myself so late in the game while juggling having a normal stable life around me. This is not how it was supposed to fucking go.

I know I should’t think about how I think life should have been. How I could have been. How society has shaped us to think life should be a certain way, a certain path, a certain layout of life events. If you don’t do certain things in life, you’re not considered successful.

I beat myself up. But I think now I need to take the gloves off and look at what I know. I know how I’m comfortable with my disorder now, comfortable enough to focus on what I feel is missing.

Who I really am.

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