I’m sharing this to see if anyone who lives with psychosis can relate to the struggles with identity that I have. I’ve explained this to my therapist, although I feel there may be others out there who could more closely relate through their own experiences. General Identity: It’s hard to explain the wrestling I have over who I am, who I have been, and who I want to be, and so these three states of being often challenge each other and cloud my understanding. In another sense, I find my identity and esteem overlap when comparing my current self to that of my past self or my ideal “future” self, in the same way when comparing to others in the same regard (although this to me does not seem healthy). Mental Illness and Identity: The difference of identity through bipolar from my experience has been the ins and outs of psychosis. To be repeatedly removed and replaced in reality, I’ve found myself extremely bothered by the fact that most of the time I ever show myself in public is when I’m manic. It’s like the tree that nobody is around to hear when it has fallen, except when it’s uprooted, and running off into the streets. What’s hard is that despite how I see myself, others become increasingly apprehensive and avoidant. They don’t know what to expect. What hurts the most is that many will only remember me for who I showed them I was at that time. Or the glimpse of insanity overwrites a lifetime within a veneer of happiness, molded over the hollowness of emotional neglect. Psychotic Distortions of Identity: I spend little time feeling sane in comparison to my episodes, but many times it’s hard to determine if I’m reading myself properly. More often than not I’m more sad than I will admit. The longest I’ve felt clarity was when I was on probation for six months and I was sober the entire time. This past three weeks of sobriety has helped me feel the same clarity, although carrying the experiences of completely losing my mind has added weight to this journey. Thanks for your time and listening to my thoughts on this topic, and I appreciate any of your own.