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When You Don’t Know Which Version of You Is the Real You

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Imagine having this thought on a daily basis: Who am I?

I don’t mean it in some round-about philosophical way. I mean literally. Imagine not knowing who you really are. There’s a point in each day of my life that this strange question intrudes my thoughts.

I am so many different things. I shift so many times in a day to keep up with the different people who surround me I don’t know which “version” is the real me.

See, this is one aspect of borderline personality disorder which is often missed. Like most things, not every one with the condition will experience this. Yet, for me, it is one of my biggest (and often, most unbearable) symptoms.

If my best friends are drinking, then I’ll be a binge drinker. I’ll live for the weekends, dance nights away and spend the following week recovering from a hangover.

If I’m with my musician friends, then I’ll be a musician too. I can ramble on about practice, technique and gigs for hours.

If I spend the day with my work colleagues, then I’ll listen to them talk about their grown children and grandchildren. I’ll try to find a way to join in the conversation, talking about my goddaughter or young cousins.

The list goes on.

Everyone thinks I am someone who I’m not. It is utterly exhausting sometimes trying to keep up with who each person/group thinks I am.

The worst part, though? It has to be the fact that I’ve created so many different “versions” of me that I can no longer identify what I’m actually like as a person. I don’t know my own personality. I struggle to find my own interests. Sometimes, I don’t even know what I dislike because everything changes depending on who I’m with.

Does that make me fake?

No, because it’s OK to take some time to find yourself. When you eventually do, it’s OK if not everyone likes you. I’m still trying to get the hang of that concept myself, but one day, I hope I will confidently be able to say, “I am me,” and that will be just enough.

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Originally published: November 3, 2016
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