Who are you? No, really, who are you? Are you a mother, sister, nephew, wife, uncle, girlfriend… The problem with answering that question is that most people don’t know the honest answer. We change who we are depending on the circumstances. Some days I’m a sister and a friend. Some days I’m your worst nightmare. Just kidding, sort of. If we are working we tend to categorize ourselves by job titles: doctors, teachers, clerks, soldier… Once again were using outside information to determine who and what we are.
When you are alone sitting in front of your computer what does the core of your being tell you about yourself? We put on masks every day to greet the outside world. We protect ourselves through our actions. People judge actions. If they knew that deep down in your core you were afraid would they judge you accordingly? And that is why we hide. We hide in plain sight.
One has to love the friends that you can be the ‘Authentic You’ with. True friends will not judge you. Or rather they will judge you but not negatively. A good friend will tell you that lipstick looks bloody awful with your skin. You will laugh about it and recognize the fact that she was right and move on to a different colour. You can appreciate a friend who will tell you the truth. And the friend can appreciate the fact that she can tell you the truth and you won’t judge her. I have friends like that. I have friends that I refer to as my nonblood relatives. It’s comforting to know that they love you because of and despite your flaws. Actually they don’t see the flaws they see you, all of you, the authentic you.
I have MS. To those of you who follow my blog regularly this is not news. I state this for those of you who are not regulars and to make a point. Hopefully you do not follow me only because I have MS. I hope that you follow me because you like what I have to say and what I share. When I was diagnosed with MS my life was full and I had a great many friends or rather people I called friends. What an eye-opener I had when I came clean about my diagnosis! Not one single friend stood by my side. Not one.
I’ve always considered myself to be a good friend to those I care about. I held one friend’s hair back as she worshiped at the great porcelain god. I cleaned up messes after a friend had a fight with her ex-boyfriend. I was there through thick and thin because I thought that’s what friends did. I guess I was the only one who read that memo. I’m not telling you this story to get sympathy. I’m telling you this story because it highlights what I believe to be a great truth: not everyone can handle the ‘authentic you’.
How does one get in touch with the real you? I don’t know. I like to think I know who I am at the core of my being, but I don’t really know. I recognize the fact that I have fears that I refuse own up to. I know I like to be liked and that frightens me. Perhaps a psychologist could work out all the inner workings of my psyche, but I’m afraid to let a professional in. What if they got lost?