I Think My Identity Crisis is Coming to an End

For the last few years or so I have felt like I was going through a bit of an identity crisis. I was not sure how or where I fit into this world and because I could not see my purpose in life? Nothing I did really felt fulfilling. My depression was already destroying my motivation to really do anything so this was just making it that much more difficult to get anything done. Although, now that I think about it, you could argue that the whole “identity crisis” thing was just the result of my depression but I really do feel like it was a separate issue for me. You see, I have never known “what I wanted to be” when I “grew up”. Nothing ever really caught my interest, I never saw something and thought, “THAT, that is what I am meant to do”. But as if that was not bad enough, in comes MS. Any time somone is diagnosed with a chronic disease like MS they are sure to reach a point where they begin to wonder where they fit in. They may stop being able to do some of the things they have always been able to do or eventually realize that they will no longer be capable of doing something they always wanted to. So you can see why I have felt the way I have…

But I have been working on trying to figure out what I am going to in life for a while now. Yes, MS sucks, I am nowhere near as independent as I used to be. Simple tasks have become more and more difficult over the years. It was really starting to seem like I would not be able to do anything with my life! Every suggestion I heard I would shoot down… “no, I can’t do that”. It was getting old, really old. So instead of thinking about all the things I could not do I have been trying to think about what I can do. What opportunities has this disease given me? There is always an opportunity to do something in any given situation. I can’t just throw my arms up and say that I can’t do anything right? That would be like me giving up and letting MS win and I am not just talking about a career here, I am also talking about hobbies. What can I do that will make me “ME“?

I finally feel like I have enough ideas to work with and come 2017 I really want to turn my life around. 2016 sucked for so many reasons but at the same time it is the year that I slowly came to realize where I fit in in this world, what my role is in life and what I need to do to be happy and not just content (not that I have been content, just that I have a better goal than mediocracy). I am developing new goals that I want to strive for. It’s definitely not going to be easy but nothing worth fighting for ever is right? For the first time I am actually looking forward to the future. I am really disappointed in myself that it took me the loss of so much to realize what I want but I suppose it all made me who I am. Maybe who I WAS was incapable of wanting the thing I want today? I don’t know but what does it matter? I can’t change the past.

Granted, even though I am starting to realize what my role in this life may be and what it is that I want, I know I will still have those days… Depression is part of MS (for so many people that is) and something I have almost always lived with but it is definitely much better. I am actually almost off my antidepressants because for a while now I have felt like I didn’t need them. I can’t remember the last time I woke up feeling horribly depressed for no reason. I do get depressed over my life situation but that is normal; these pills are not meant to make you happy or keep you from ever feeling sad, they are meant to balance you out so you feel more “normal” and part of being “normal” is feeling a little sad from time to time. I obviously talked to my doctor(s) about this because many people with things like depression or bipolar disorder stop their meds because they “feel” fine even though they feel fine because of the medication. So getting off my meds has been a slow and meticulous process as it should be.

My point is this; I have new health goals in my life. I know what I want to achieve to feel “healthy” and because I have made sure that my expectations in life are more realistic now, I really feel that with hard work I can achieve them and I want to help other people achieve theirs. I am finally starting to see (for example) what my role in the MS community is and what it can be. What it should be. Because of this newfound “clarity”, I can also see where I was not succeeding before. They say hindsight is 20/20 – well I feel like my hindsight recently saw an optometrist and got glasses. I feel… “motivated” to succeed and that is not something I am used to feeling. So it might take me a while to get off the ground but I am hoping that by the new year I can get my life “off the ground”.

11 Responses to I Think My Identity Crisis is Coming to an End

  1. Anonymous says:

    New year new you Happy New Year!

  2. Julie says:

    Amen!! Congratulations on moving through the anger and depression. What you do here on this blog affects and helps SO many of us!

    My best wishes for a joyful holiday season and a fulfilled New Year!

  3. Pam says:

    I respect you & your testimony. You have a gifted style in your writing & I hope to read more of it. Congratulations on making your way out of your identity crisis. I pray for Godspeed in discovering your new identity! You have a purpose with work to do!

  4. LENA THOMPSON says:

    Matt i read what’s happening to you and I think it’s what I’m going thorough and I’m don’t feel alone any more this thing ms is so different every day it tells me what to do I worked whent out with friends now that seems somebody elses life and it was everybody gone now and now I have to find me again the new me the girl who falls over in the street or the road and picked up by a Romanian family and carried like a bag of potatoes oh what joy and then the man who came up to me and said I like you can we go to your place and have sex I said no he said you should be lucky walking with those things I went home and laughed and then the guy who said hurry up and pack that bag when I finished I turned round and said thank you for waiting and you your day will comere really I dont want his day to come but thank you for the help you give us to me you have found palace it the people who were told today will go looking and I hope they find you as I did thank you bye

  5. Tome says:

    I am so happy for you ^__^ and I wish you all the best.I hope one day I will be like you and find my identity

  6. Joan A. says:

    Hi Matt,

    Thank you for sharing your stories. You’re such an inspiration not just to the MS community but to others as well. I love your positive outlook on life. Though I can’t imagine how it is like to have MS and how hard it is at times, your drive to keep going and never giving up is very admirable. After reading some of your blogs, I could feel your passion and motivation to succeed is so empowering. I could feel your maturity from your 2010 posts until now. It is so nice of you to think of other people who are also struggling with their chronic conditions and offer your help to achieve their end goals. They will be as lost as you before, but having somebody to guide them will be a blessing. All the best!

    • Matt Allen G says:

      We all have our own struggles, doesn’t matter what they are, but we all need each other and in the era of the internet it’s much easier to seek help and give help than it is to not

  7. Fel says:

    Hi Matt!
    I really enjoyed reading this post. I just had to stop and comment and appreciate how relevant this was to me and I’m sure many others as well. 2016 was an interesting year for me. I always thought I had myself figured out and I was confident of that but you mentioned, “at the same time it is the year that I slowly came to realize where I fit in in this world, what my role is in life and what I need to do to be happy…” Towards the end of 2016, I spent more time self-reflecting and getting into the right mentality and I felt 2017 was the year it was set and ready to be put into action. Life is always changing and we are constantly learning as we age which could definitely be a factor, but I appreciate your post as it is absolutely inspiring. It is real and relatable. I hope your goals are going well! I read your post about your new diet/juicing and it sounds awesome. I also hope the rest of your 2017 is just as your hoped and more.

  8. Amy Manning says:

    Matt! I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post, and I am so happy that you have new-found motivation and drive for your future. Your opening sentence, “for the last few years or so I have felt like I was going through a bit of an identity crisis,” is so relatable to me, because I too have gone through an identity crisis before. I had just turned 26, and, as society told me, I was supposed to have my entire life figured out…this was definitely not my reality. This pressure from my family, friends and society as a whole made me want to crawl into a hole and never come out. I had just ended an unhealthy relationship that I wasted waaaay too much time pursuing (4.5 years to be exact–yikes!!), I decided that I no longer wanted to continue going to school to be a physician’s assistant, I quit my job as an er tech, and I was completely lost. Such a terrifying feeling.

    Well, I finally found my way after much soul searching, and I am much happier now, but I wish that I would have read your blog during this time of strife because it most definitely would have motivated me. You are an inspiration, and I appreciate your honesty with the struggles you face. Many people face similar situations, but they are not brave enough to put it out there for the world to see the way you are.

    You rock!! Keep pursuing your dreams!!!!!

  9. Missy Murdoch says:

    Thank you for your post! And thank you for writing about the topic of identity. That is a tough one. As you try to figure out what you want you want to be, one thing is for sure: you are a writer. As I read through your blog posts, it seems as though your life is a bit like a rollercoaster, complete with ups and downs, thrilling and nauseating transitions one after the other. I am so happy to hear that 2016 ended with an “up,” but I also find equal value in the posts where you talk about the “downs.” I feel privileged to be allowed this brief glimpse into your life and I find myself celebrating and mourning and fuming with you. I know that I need to take a page out of “The Book of Matt” and start living my life with more transparency. Being open and honest about the ups and downs is a gift, and I think it is this honesty that makes the world a more empathetic and gentle place. Best of luck to you.

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