Stressing out the past few days. :/ Had a bad panic attack or emotional break Monday morning. I’d been away from work for nine days. Going back felt like hell.
Objectively, I knew it wasn’t that bad. But my emotions exploded.
When I was able to calm down, I revisited the question that haunts these mental breaks.
Who am I?
Not an easy question.
I’ve watched YouTube vlogs of others saying your craft isn’t your identity. I’ve read articles saying that your beliefs are not your identity. Your job isn’t your identity. Your name isn’t your identity. Your gender, your race, your hometown, your favorite foods…
These are not who you are.
But how can you gauge identity? Who are you if not all these things?
The only answer I’ve found so far is… you are your choices.
Whether that means something good or bad for me, I’m not sure. Have I made good choices? Are my bad choices actually bad in the whole of my story?
Am I just a story?
This is one spiral of thoughts I catch myself in so often. Wondering if I’m real. If my choices were predetermined or actual. If the world reacts like a story world does or if there is no meaning.
And wondering which answer is worse.
I think my struggle with figuring out my identity is part of the core reason I have trouble creating at times, or at all.
And even worse, my creativity is linked to my self worth. I only feel like I’m worthy of love, trust, attention, happiness if I’m creating something worthy of love, trust, attention, happiness.
Not a good mental link to have.
Then, when I look at my choices, where they’ve led me (under piles of debt, working a job I hate, barely creating anything) I have to wonder if I’m a terrible person at heart, willing to do these things to myself. To make myself suffer.
So, I usually end up hating myself, blaming myself, wondering what would happen if I died. Would anyone actually care? Or would I just disappear off the page, erased from a notebook of a young aspiring author?
It doesn’t really make sense. And I’m not sure if I’m communicating what I mean properly.
All I know is I’m trying to figure out who I am so that I can find the path in the forest. Some semblance of direction. A compass, a guiding light, anything.
If my identity isn’t my creations… then what is it?
Who am I if I’m not writing?
This is the disconnect I need to mend.
I am a creative, but I am not the embodiment of creativity itself.
There’s more to me than this vague idea of art.
Or so I can easily say. I want to believe it, feel it.
Which leads me to my final point. That I’m not going to pursue publishing stories any longer. I was so wrapped up in being “an author” that I’ve lost myself along the way. At least, that’s what seems to have happened. I’m not a therapist, but I’m looking into seeing one.
It’s a big change. A big choice.
But we are our choices.
Good, bad, ugly.
We’ll see where this choice leads.
Have a good morning, afternoon, evening, and/or night,