?Who are you? It’s such a simple question, yet powerful enough to make you second guess yourself and trigger a breakdown.
I ask you this because for many years I felt so utterly inadequate as a person that I was quick to grab hold of any identity other than me. I couldn’t have cared less whether or not it was healthy. I wanted to have something other than myself to take front and center of my life so that I could hide behind it.
I tried on many different identities. And I tried to be everything to everyone. And I could not. Every time I came up short. I could never be enough to anyone because I was nothing to myself. I turned my self-hate inward. I believed there was fault in who I was. And so, I beat myself up. I tried to punish myself into perfection. I surrendered myself to my struggle. Eventually I became my struggle. I could not separate myself from the identity of a messed-up individual I didn’t want to be.
It’s common for everyone to identify themselves with something. Whether it be a school, a job, a social group, a relationship, or a sport. None of this is wrong. None of this is necessarily bad! But if you identify yourself with your pain, it can lead you to become lost in a shadow —a distant stranger to yourself.
We are a product of our choices, mistakes, failures, and successes. Struggles often hold the most potential for growth. It can be easy to believe that hardships you face are a direct result of a flaw in who you are. This is not the whole story though. Struggles provide tremendous opportunity to learn and develop strength. Struggles are a part of life. They are a part of us all, and impact each of our own unique journeys. A struggle represents a personal challenge, but it does not represent who you are as a person. 
So, can you tell me… who are you? ~Britt?
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