There are times in my life when I’m super focused on appearing normal. It’s like there’s this character or persona I take on. It’s not something I’ve ever really been aware of. I think I thought, ironically, that this was normal. It may very well be common.
When I feel worried or anxious, I take on this super cool character.
When I’m sad or upset, I pretend to be OK and happy.
When I’m angry, I pretend to be OK and happy.
Sometimes, if I’m very worried/anxious/sad/upset/angry, I’ll play a character who is just a little bit worried/anxious/sad/upset/angry. I’ll be just (insert negative emotion here) to tell myself that I’m being honest, but not so much that I might push someone away or scare them off.
All these characters suck. They all fool me into thinking I’m content. I expect, I want, the the things that pacify these characters to somehow actually pacify me. But when I’m playing a character, I obviously am not acknowledging what’s upsetting me, I’m not working on figuring it out, sharing it with the people I care about, working through it.
I’m aware of this now. That doesn’t mean I’ve stopped doing it. It doesn’t even mean I catch myself doing it all the time. It does mean that I can eventually recognize it. Maybe even after the fact. As my sister said, the goal is to break patterns. So when I recognize a character, I go back, I figure out what I was acting over, and then I talk about it.
I hate it.
It’s so so so so so much easier to just keep playing the character. I don’t have to face anything difficult. I don’t have to do anything scary. I don’t have to face the possibility of losing people that I love.
But the characters haven’t gotten me very far. I always manage to break through them eventually, and since I’ve often not dealt with myself, I don’t actually know how to deal with whoever breaks through.
But now I’m working on it.
And I’m grateful for the people in my life that are helping me work on it. The people in my life that tell me the things that I don’t want to hear. The people in my life who want me to talk through shit. I’m grateful for them. But I’m also grateful for myself, for this life, for this year that has gotten me so so far.
I feel myself growing into myself. And it’s scary but it’s also so very rewarding.