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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Identity

There has been something that has continually been nagging at me for at least the past few weeks. In my post, Anxiously Hopeful, continued, I discussed how getting the permanent stimulator is an anxiety-provoking and somewhat scary change. But, I still wasn't satisfied with why I felt so anxious about such a positive change in my life...

Today, it hit me...

When I was in the car accident that started this journey of chronic pain and debilitating migraines, I started out in complete denial that who I was would have to change. I held on so tightly to who I was because I couldn't even face the thought or the possibility that I had been changed by a split moment in time.

It took me almost 2 years to really accept that things had changed... I had changed. The beginning of that revelation was around the time I began this blog (about 3 months ago). So, I had gone from having my identity pretty well understood before the accident to feeling like I didn't know myself at all. I had changed so much with the chronic migraines and everything that I barely recognized myself. I have been able to finally work through some things and start to build a new identity for myself, with the recognition of the limitations that the migraines have placed on me. Which leads me to my latest "ah-ha" moment...

Getting the permanent stimulator will put me back in the place of having an unknown (or at least unclear) identity. I will not be the person I was before the accident because 1) I have changed, and 2) I will still have limitations (the stimulator lowers my pain, but it doesn't completely get rid of it). I will not be the person I have been with the chronic, debilitating migraines because the migraine intensity, frequency, and duration will decrease. So, I won't know my identity, for the me with a stimulator. And, this is scary to me.

So, I started wondering... is the identity issue more an issue for me or for others? And, I think it's some of both. If I don't feel comfortable in who I am (or at least that I know who I am), then it is difficult to interact and communicate who I am to other people. And, others already don't know how to deal with me because they don't know what it's like to live in chronic pain. They don't know what I live with day-in and day-out, so they assume I haven't changed from what they think I've always been (which is already a distorted view of who I am or was).

The more I think about it, the more I realize that I need to remember what's most important is not WHO I am, but WHOSE I am. I am a child of God. The only identity that matters is my identity in Christ. I know this to be true, and yet everything else I have written also seems so real...

4 comments:

  1. Real is a matter of perception. Perhaps there are two realities. One, we are humans who are limited by what little we can know about reality - In that, our reality is shaped in such a way that we can understand it. Two, when we move past our physical bodies we will understand actual reality.

    Maybe our present understanding of reality isn't informed by the whole picture, but it still has significance in our lives.

    I struggle with who I am now too. It seems most of what I knew about myself has had to change. Great post!

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  2. Great post! Those of us who have had pain for a long time realizes it changes us, sometimes in ways we just would never have anticipated! I know I have drawn back from friends and their activities and found that they thought I was mad at them while I thought that I just didn't want to bum them out....

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  3. I am at aaaahhh with this post. This is what I feel all the time. I feel like no one gets me and never will, only my hubby. We have to stay true to ourselves and God.

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  4. Dear Jamie here listening dear one. As you know I am on my journey to being real. We all are, that is if what are truly dedicated to being just that. Great post thank you for sharing.

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