What to Do When You’re Having an Identity Crisis – Part 1

What to Do When You're Having an Identity Crisis

I remember the day fairly clearly despite the fact that I had been living in a continual state of fog for months.

“I don’t even know who I am anymore,” I said as I moved a stack of posters and made myself comfortable in the chair across from my coworker’s desk.

I had gone to her office for a quick work-related question, but then lingered. I was standing there chatting before deciding that if I was going to be there awhile, I had better take a seat before my legs gave out. I was at a breaking point and longed for someone to understand what I was going through.

My sweet coworker listened and responded in all the right places as I shared pieces of what had been transpiring in my life in the months prior.

I went on to share that I couldn’t figure myself out. No longer was I interested in the things I had liked. While I thought I was extroverted, I was experiencing strange social anxiety to the point where striking up a conversation at a public event where I knew most of the people was too intimidating.

I didn’t want to go anywhere. When I wasn’t at work, I preferred to be at home on my couch. But, I needed – absolutely needed – Jonathan by my side.

This wasn’t like me. I didn’t understand it. Why was I always in pain? Why was I cold and tired all the time? Why did I feel like a zombie? When did I become so clingy? These questions stirred in my mind as I became sadder about my current life situation.

The changes didn’t happen overnight, which is why I initially had a hard time pinpointing the source of the problem. The insecure feelings and personality changes were gradual as the disease I am now fighting was beginning to take over my life one step at time.

What To Do When You're Having an Identity Crisis

Living with undiagnosed Lyme Disease and co-infections felt like everything I had ever known was being ripped to shreds. If this was the way my life would have continued, I’m not so sure I would have chosen to continue my life.

But, there’s hope in the story…so stay with me…

God was working in my heart even when I was having a hard time going to Him in prayer.

One of the next times I spoke with my coworker, I remember sharing how I was still struggling with understanding my preferences and why my feelings often contradicted everything I thought I knew about myself. Only, this time, I was able to recall the truth about who I actually was – and still am today.

Even though I wasn’t as familiar with my preferences and personality quirks, I still knew who I was. The “who” about me is something that is never going to change. That’s because my identity lies not in what I do or what I like, but in who I am.

Who I am is a daughter of God. My identity lies in Christ because he chose me and redeemed me (John 1:12, Ephesians 1:5).

The same is true for every Christ follower.

It’s easy to get discouraged and be confused when the world around us is throwing out ideas about who we should be our could be. Stopping to re-evaluate and remember what it means to find your identity in Christ will not only halt the anxiety surrounding your identity, but it will give you a renewed sense of purpose. Knowing who you are – who you truly are – is a game-changer.

{Continued in Part 2 – We’ll dive into what it means to be a follower of Christ and how placing our hope in Christ will spur us on to be who we were created to be!} 

6 thoughts on “What to Do When You’re Having an Identity Crisis – Part 1

  1. Hi again Emily,

    I’ve written to you before. this article came through my feed today in 2019, and I could barely read it out loud to my loving husband because it hit home so painfully close. I kept reading your words though despite my tears because truly they were my words as well. Fortunately my husband, like yours, has been my strongest supporter throughout both my Lyme disease and Toxic Mold Exposure. Together these two nearly took my life and almost destroyed us financially. Yet today I am breathing completely on my own (all the oxygen equipment was returned last month!) and my inflammatory levels are down from over 11,000 in December 2017 to 3,300 December 2018. I still have a ways to go with my Lyme protocol to get them under the healthy 2,200 mark, but the recovery so far is miraculous.

    Yet I am left with EXACTLY the same spirit-wounding symptoms you described here! I look back on the all the creative projects I used to be able to do on a regular basis and just cry. We headed a small group at our church which I can’t imagine even attending today despite the loving notes from our friends how they miss us. The list goes on. I am recovering physically, but I feel like an empty shell inside from the inner confusion of who I am today. I feel like a war survivor.

    I’ve begun reading Psalms and Proverbs again. I am a weakened warrior looking for spiritual answers. Thanks for a timely article (read almost 3 years after you wrote it!) which helped me today.

    God bless,
    Beverly Cook

  2. Emily , you literally just spoke to my soul..like as if i wrote it myself.. the feeling of the roller coaster of emotions twisting and turning .. each day can be so different and though occasionally you realize , after you cancel on your loved one.. of course. , again… possibly, today could have actually happened ..just to wake up and realize , it just wasn’t the right moment. This is the time in which heroes are born.bc For us, we feel , life is truly moment to moment, and all the while, “we”(meaning our true self) still inhibit the cart(roller coaster cart that is). never giving up , perhaps a slowing wind slows the cart a bit, but that isn’t where the pain is , the pain lies in when it stops. So even when you are having a good day , sometimes they can seem not so worth it.and like you said hopefully if your loved ones truly are your loved ones they will understand the ledge you are marinating on every minute of every day)….i try to find the the places inbetween that others dont notice, places just for me (or so they seem)i like to notice the beauty in the convos at the grocery store or with the random smiles at the gas station. the colors in the summer, the feeling of the sun on my body , the way my daughter never makes me feel bad for having to stay in bed for hours almost every morning.she just gets out something for us to do aka drawing pretending are one a boat, or my faverite just chatting about the best way to do the evil queen make-up.. thank you for your story.. it just feels like you get it……..keeponkeepinon..cause , girl , you got this…hugs

    1. Hey Christine!! Looooove what you’ve shared… the way you notice the places in between that others don’t notice. I think sometimes it takes losing the life we thought we’d live to start to appreciate the beauty of what we do have.

      Also, super thankful that you get me!

      Lots of love to you! Hugs. :)

Leave a comment! You know you want to... :)