The Characters We Play

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 sucks.

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.



2 thoughts on “The Characters We Play”

  1. Good that you have the feeling you are breaking through! The most difficult thing is being positive. Being positive asks way more energy than being negative because everyone has negative thoughts. Positive people, however, make it into something good. Sometimes you need ‘characters’ to deal with things. It’s also part of who you are. The only thing is you have to stay true to who you are. When you are angry you can acknowledge you are angry and try to find a solution. People around you should know how you feel, but they should also know you are dealing with it, by yourself or even with their help. You’re doing great! Even writing about it, is a step in the right direction 😀

    1. Thank you happyisselfmade! I agree positivity is a great goal, but I found that for me I was often so focused on positivity I pushed down all negative feelings. I’ve learned, as you said, the importance of acknowleding those and then working from there. I appreciate your support!

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