My “sense of self” changes frequently. There are some days where I feel like I’m on top of the world. And there other days when I don’t feel so great about me. Today I felt like a failure. And there is no logical reason for it. I felt like I wasn’t doing anything right and there was nothing that could salvage that life experience for me. I think we all have those days, and they are called “the human experience” but they are still not pleasant.
Fluctuating Sense of Self
As women, we can be critical of ourselves to the point where we destroy our bodies through eating disorders or other harmful measures that we do ourselves. Those are physical manifestations of how we are unkind to ourselves. But I realize that the language we use when talking to ourselves important. If you’re telling yourself that you’re a loser you’re going to feel like a loser. If you’re telling yourself that you can’t do anything then you probably can’t do anything. If you’re telling yourself that you’re lazy you’re going to feel like you were actually lazy. I just think that our sense of self is not something that is fixed and can fluidly change depending on how you’re feeling during the day or week or hour or minute.
But maybe that’s just me? Maybe nobody else thinks that they have a fluidity when it comes to their identity. Who we are when we’re born isn’t who we are when we become adults. We change and grow as human beings and that’s a good thing. If we stayed the way we were when we entered the world, we would just be a bunch of infants crawling around the world putting random things in our mouths.
I remember the famous quote from Popeye I am what I am. I don’t think I identify with that. I think there are times when I feel extremely strongly about who I am and then there are times when I’m entirely lost and don’t have a sense of self. Some might say that that is a symptom of a personality disorder. But I was in my psychiatrist office today and she suggested that I might have symptoms of ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder) and I said: “no I am just diagnosed with asshole disorder.” I am tired of people being told we have these disorders when actually we are just human beings that sometimes have good days and sometimes have bad days. We don’t need to succumb to societal pressure to have a strong sense of self every single day because that is unrealistic and sometimes we need to break down in order to build ourselves back up again. So what about you? Do you have a strong sense of self or do you struggle with personal identity?