It is impossible to believe that who we are is the result of a series of first-effort successes. We slip, we fall, we get up again. It is certainly in our best interest to get back up, but some do not. They lay where they have fallen until the end of time. Fortunately, most rise again and rebuild. And those who have somehow become lost along the way work to find a road out. This pathway can be found in just about all areas of life, including weight loss.
Lost Sense of Self
The benefits of weight loss are well-documented. In most cases, health is improved, self-esteem rises, and a new lifestyle begins. There is much satisfaction to be had. But many people may look in a mirror and wonder who the stranger staring back at them is. That person no longer seems like the "me" they once knew.
Change has its challenges. And even positive change requires adjustment. Familiarity is gone and the new and improved is foreign. Negative familiarity can be an odd comfort simply because it is familiar and predictable.
While our new and improved selves are surely the better version, some still grapple with how unfamiliar they may feel.
Identity and Identity CrisisSimply defined, achieving identity is making a commitment to an identity after exploring possibilities. Those who have a strong commitment to an identity are usually happier and healthier than those who have not. ** Identity crisis occurs** when we are not able to commit.
Sometimes people avoid both identity crisis and commitment and experience identity diffusion. Those with identity diffusion feel out of place and do not even have the urge to strive for a sense of identity.
We all pass through a series of psycho-social changes where conflicts must be successfully addressed to attain a healthy personality and basic virtues. But failure to successfully complete a stage of exploration or committment can result in an inability to complete further stages, and promote a less healthy personality or sense of who we are. However, it is possible to resolve these stages at a later point in time.
Questions about self-identity and our role in life, espeically following dramatic weight loss, could be the experience of a crisis of identity.
Weathering the Storm
When in need, seek help. If you find that your confusion has become a burden that you are having difficulty addressing, get professional guidance.
Identity crisis can stem from expectations that have not been realized. Were your expectations unrealistic, or were you trying to live up to some other person's expectations for you?
Ask friends for their perspectives. Sometimes we get caught up in our own vision. Getting some help assessing what we are seeing can be useful. Don't beat yourself up, and don't give up on yourself.
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