Let Go of Your Identity

Written by: Kristin Jekielek

As I began to put my health and my needs first, I began feeling a sense of loss.

When my health was declining, I had to give up my late nights out with friends, my CrossFit workouts, and eventually even my job. 

As if that didn't suck hard enough, recovery showed me I also had to give up my “I can handle anything, and the more stressful the better” attitude, my personal goals, and my lifestyle.

I even had to let go of my pride. I used to define myself as an independent person who needed no one, but my plummeting health and dire situation required me to rely on the freely given support of those who care about me.

I’m still a work in progress.

 

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Sacrifice and A New Realization

I gave these things up because they were all in the way of my recovery. I had made my health my top priority.

If I hadn’t, I wouldn’t have the health I have today. For that, I am grateful.

But I was left wondering…….who am I? If I’m not an ambitious, driven, goal-reaching, CrossFitting, independent, up for anything friend/coworker/girlfriend/entrepreneur/human being, then who am I?

This is when I learned these are all artificial identifies.

Without these “identities”, I still continued to exist.

What was this thing that persisted? It was me. The actual me. Not my idea of who I am in relation to the world and people around me.

I learned that I am not what I do, because I can change what I do anytime I choose.

I learned that I am not what I accomplish, because I can choose what to pursue.

I learned that I am not my physique, because that can rapidly change with the exercise I choose to do (or don’t do).

I learned that I am not what I think or feel, because these things are always changing.

I learned that “I” persist without any of these.

Don’t Seek to Define

I can’t define who or what I “am”. All I can say is that “I” continue to witness the world and people around me.

I feel the most “me” when I follow the compulsions this inner existence inspires, without thinking about things much, if at all.

I don’t understand it, but following this inner “me” has lead me on a road to recovery in all areas of my life.

Accessing “Me”

This self discovery process became accelerated when I began to meditate.

Meditation is the fastest path to experiencing the real “me” that I’ve found, but I still search for other methods to deepen this experience of presence. Perhaps I’ll talk about those in another post.

My favorite meditation tool is something that wasn't even designed for meditation, but it gets me into a peaceful, open state of mind better than anything else I've tried. It's a set of audio recordings that you can find here.

 

 

I want to hear about your recovery story. What has been the most important lesson you’ve learned so far? What are you struggling with most? Tell your story below.

 

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