I have had more than my share in my short lifetime, so I believe that this is something I am qualified to write about. *insert infomercial music and cheesy host voice here*This will serve as a step by step guide as to what to expect, and what to do when YOU have an identity crisis. *insert big white sparkely smile*
1. Doubt. This is the onset, at this point you won’t know exactly what is happening, but you will feel like asking everyone around you “Who am I? What am I doing? Where am I going? What is the meaning of it aaaaaalllll??! ” This can last anywhere from a couple days to a number of months. If you can, try to avoid asking other people all of your profound self doubt questions… because no one will have anything useful to tell you, and you just have to wait until you make it to the next step.
2. A Confusing Epiphany. At this stage you will either discover something new about yourself, or begin to reveal something that you have long hidden from yourself out of fear or denial. (examples: I think I might be gay! I think I might be a Masochist! I think I made a huge mistake and hate the career path I chose! I think I might be a vampire!…etc)
3. Head Rush. At this point you will feel a sense of relief because you found a reason why you were feeling so weird and off back there at stage 1. Ooooh! That must be why I was suddenly doubting every aspect of my life! I get it now! You will feel happy, elated and you might want to go and tell all the people that you whined to in stage 1 (even though I told you not to) but please, for your sake, DO NOT DO THIS. Though you may feel suddenly complete, you are NOT through with your identity crisis, and you will most definitely regret telling anyone that you think you are a gay masochistic vampire who made bad career choices. Personally, I regretted it about 30 seconds after the words left my mouth… because I had entered stage 4.
4. I take it back! This is also known as denial. The high you felt from your discovery fades and leaves you thinking about the harsh reality of what this new aspect of your identity really means, if it is in fact true. *panic* It suddenly feels overwhelming and confusing in a different way, with a whole new set of “who am I and what am I going to do?” type questions. At this point it seems much easier to disregard the discovery you made about yourself and return to your former state of being. Thus, you deny that it ever happened. I mean, you don’t WANT to be overly different, you don’t want to shift your life completely or become something socially unacceptable. It was just a mistake, you were confused or drunk or just kidding! Shhh… Never happened! We now return you to your regularly scheduled program! This stage can last for an extended period of time as well, depending on how good you are at lying to yourself.
5. Can’t getchoo out of my head. Guess what? Denial doesn’t work. You will still feel incomplete, lost, perhaps depressed. No matter how much you try and push it away, your knowledge that you might just be something else, someone else than what you are allowing yourself to be will eat at your brain parts and tap dance across your nerves. This will continue until… until… UNTIL!!ii!! you realize that facing the fear of the unknown is better than endlessly wondering about yourself, and what it would be like if you let your inner gay masochist vampire run free! So…
6. Well… it could be worse. (Acceptance). You have taken a lot of time, you have considered deeply, and the panic has resided. It is better to be what you are, even if it isn’t exactly what you always thought you were, or what your mommy wanted you to be than to pretend to be something you are not. You will still be scared, you will still feel nervous, but a bit of the excitement you thought you had left in stage 3 comes creeping back too. You see new possibilities, things that could make you happier than you imagined. You are ready for
7. Changes. Now you are ready to tell the people that you care about. Start with someone you know will be accepting, and with their support it will be easier to move on to people in your life who might be more difficult. Now you can start making plans, you can start rearranging the pieces of your life that don’t fit, that never fit. It is far from easy, but it can be done, and you will be better off afterward. Here is where you will realize just how right about yourself you were. Random incidents from the past that you didn’t understand your reaction to, or little aspects of your personality that didn’t seem to fit will suddenly fall into place. You will have tons and tons of “Oh! that makes sense now!” moments. I am still having these. They feel awesome.
*fast talking fine print reading guy* Everyone is different and no results are typical. Some of these stages may lead some of you to tangent stages not mentioned in this program. However, this is the correct order of events, and I would know! I mean hey! What’s life without a few identity crisi? It makes things more interesting, it makes YOU more interesting, and who are we kidding… it’s FUN!
Posted 12/27/2008 at 5:56 PM