Feeling Like an Imposter
I feel as if I am feeling around the dark. I think that is what the pandemic is doing to me.
Not too long ago, I went through a serious bout of depression which landed me in a mental health facility and with a new diagnosis: bipolar disorder — depressive. And there is even uncertainty with that diagnosis. Hardly anything seems concrete these days.
Now, I’ve talked to my therapist, and she’s made it out to seem as though a good portion of the world will look at me completely differently because of the diagnosis, and at this moment that scares me. I was doing alright with how I was treated before. What would I do if people saw me in a new light?
I feel like parents sometimes talk to me like I’m a child when I mention something new to them. The only friend I told about the diagnosis was texting me like I was a ticking time bomb. But maybe I’m just not used to people checking up on me. I just want things to be normal again.
Forgive me if I treat this post like a journal entry. I’m not really much of a journaler so this is my space to air out what I’m feeling. I need another pair of eyes to know that I do not feel like myself. At the moment, I think I’m sad. But at the same time, I know that’s ok. It’s ok to be sad sometimes. And I’ve learned that letting yourself cry is a coping skill.
So if you are reading this, and you by any chance need to cry. Just do it. Who cares who’s watching. Do it for you. You’ll probably feel better afterward.
I’ve heard about this thing called Imposter’s Syndrome. It’s like when you don’t feel like yourself. I don’t feel like myself and it is an odd feeling, one that I’ve never felt before. It’s like being detached from everything you thought made you you.
The feeling was there before the bipolar diagnosis.
This pandemic has given me a lot of time for self-reflection. I’ve changed so much that I don’t know who I am. I don’t know what I like to do. The things that I used to like to do, I haven’t been able to do.
For so long, I had this goal I wanted to achieve. I had this idea that I would go to college and then attend veterinary school and then be a veterinarian. But now that’s not something I want to do.
I release that into the atmosphere. I don’t want to be a veterinarian!
And I’m stuck. I’ve molded my life around that. I stressed in high school and I picked up a major to get me there. And when I look back at past decisions, I haven’t always been honest. Everything has put me here where I am now. And I hate that.
Some of you are probably reading this going, “But you're so young, you have time to change.” And that is true, but aren’t things always easier said than done?
Maybe this is just a transition period and I need to brave this moment until I can make it to the other side of this. I think it may be time to try on a new identity. I’ve found myself loathing parts of the old one. And the good parts seemed to have dwindled away. Now here I am, more hollow than I am full.
I don’t know what I want. And I think that is what is so daunting: not knowing. Not knowing makes the next moves I make all the more challenging. Should I change my major? Should I drop out? I don’t know yet. When will I know? Not sure about that either. There seems to be a lot of uncertainty during these times. But I’m learning to accept that that is ok. We must finish one day before the next one can come. So I’ll live for today, and I encourage you to do the same.
From this moment forward, I’m choosing to look at this as a chance to try out new things, see what I like, and see what I become. Idling gets you nowhere. So I’ll keep pushing forward. I’ll make bold moves. I will try not to fear embarrassment because who am I anyway? Who knows? But I am sure going to find out.
During this pandemic, we have had so much ripped away from us, our jobs, our hobbies, our loved ones. If you are like me and you're not feeling like your old self, embrace that. Treat this time of your life as an experimental period. Find new hobbies. Fall in love with a different craft. As for me, I’ll keep feeling around in the dark and see what I find. Maybe eventually, when all this is over, I’ll be able to find the light switch.