Wednesday 30 May 2018

Who Are You, Really?

By Charlotte Underwood

What is our identity? Isn’t it just a compilation of every moment between our first breath and our last? It’s our name, our background – our story. Our identity has to be who we are, surely?

“You are the author of your life” is a quote that really changed my thinking. Our life, our time on this earth creates our own novel, where we are the main character. Each event, each heartbreak and tear of joy creates a story that tells others who we are. We have the ability to shape our lives, to make a novel, the book of our life, as simple or as extravagant as we desire.

However, I do have this problem, this little tick that sticks like a thorn in my mind. Who am I, really?

I struggle a lot with understanding my identity. It’s not a split personality thing, more of an uncertainty of my true self. Years of abuse and bullying have left me confused with my own self. It seems that as soon as I think I am being true to myself, I get uncomfortable in my own skin.

This is where my story seems to become a muddle, where the plot does not thicken but seems to go around in circles. It becomes especially hard as I suffer with mental illness. How can I know who I am, when I have always been ill? Surely my true self is the one before these feelings that plagued my mind? But when was that, what version of me was that?

I know it is typical to go through many relationships and jobs and change your life goals but for me this seems to be an annual thing – I can’t seem to commit with complete confidence. I’ll start a new course and learn a new subject in certainty of my future career but months in I’ll get bored and move onto something new. It explains why it took me so many relationships before I could settle down and get married. Although I am certain that my husband and I will last forever I worry that in twenty years, will I change my mind and get bored like history tells?

I have a huge level of envy for all those who seem to have a life plan, who know what they want, go after it and become successful for it. I mean, I am twenty-two and can’t drive, haven’t finished college and have no idea what I will be doing in three months’ time. Shouldn’t I have it figured out by now?

I am hoping that by working hard on my mental health this year and trying to put myself first, with the addition of a load of self-care, that I can start to find out who I am. It can be so hard when you live with constant self-doubt, but even more so when you feel like you are in a race against your peers and your car won’t even start.

All I know, for now at least, is that life is short and can end suddenly; that’s just fact. However, that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Maybe it just proves as a reminder that we need to reprioritise our lives, focus on really living instead of living for others. So what if I am ‘falling behind,’ maybe my life just holds other things? Right?

As my father always said, “The only thing that really matters is your own happiness”.


About the Author

Charlotte Underwood is a twenty-two year old from Norfolk, UK. She is a growing mental health advocate and writer who aims to inform and education on mental health. The goal is to be a friend to those in need. She believes no one should feel alone. Charlotte blogs at You can also find her on Twitter and on Facebook.


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