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Who am I?

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

My father died when i was 10, and so was raised with 2 other sibblings by mum. We grew up in some form of poverty, so didnt have the same oportunities as my fellow classmates.

Very quick background, i know. It wasnt until i was in my 20s where i realised a lot and despised as much about my childhood.

All seemed to be going well until the panic atacks started when i went to uni in my mid 20s. These subsided after a short while, then flared ip when i had both my children and reflecting on not having a father growing up, which pains me imensely to this day. After having a very difficult and demanding period at work i fell in a hole, and was diagnosed with anxiety and depression, and quickly got put onto medication (which has helped with the Anx&dep)

Reflecting on my past, and my present, i have come to the conclusion that i have no idea who i am. How do i put my past behind me, how i settle my nerves,

How do i find me?

so many questions.

48 Replies 48

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi Robin, I think Robin is a good name as any, particularly since Robin is not_batman.

First I'd like to take this opportunity to welcome you to the BB forums. Probably the safest place for you to openly and anonymously write and explore who you are. Perhaps herein, you can embark upon the journey of discovery.

I think the "who am I?" question is difficult for the best of us to answer. I mean, I struggle to define "what I am," at the best of times. So defining who is a question I rarely consider. For me, most days come and go without notice. But then there are those two or three days a month that I go volunteer at a charitable organization. This helps me realize that I am what I do, aren't I?

I am the guy that helps out others when they need it, but I am not the guy that they ask to go to the _____ with. I am the one they turn to when during times of difficulty, but I am not the one that they think about during times of ease.

I once heard that who is the embodiment of our identity. I identify as a father, a provider, a carer, a volunteer and a helper. But all of those say what not who.

Tough question. I wish I had an answer for you (and me).


Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi Not_Batman,

Welcome to the forums.

Who am I? This is something I think we could talk about all day everyday. It's a big question, and there's no way that I could answer that in a post like this.

When people say Who Am I, their response varies so much. It might be just their name, or their personality traits (friendly, kind, funny), or their roles (mother, daughter, friend). What if instead of helping you answer that question I flip it - who do you want to be?

I think putting the past behind us is easier said than done. I know for me I had to go back there (metaphorically and in therapy) which was painful but helpful - in order to see it from another perspective and to allow myself to grieve for that childhood I couldn't have. That was the only way for me to work through it. Do you think that this would be helpful for you too? That maybe the panic attacks won't stop until you process that head on?

If not, that's okay too. Maybe it could be about being more mindful in your day to day life. What qualities do you have now? What kind of mother are you?

Other times people like to approach it from an art-y angle. You may find it helpful to draw or colour; some people use vision boards of things that appeal to them; just ripping up pictures from a magazine of what sticks out at them. You may find weird meaning in some of the pictures that you enjoy; like a lion because it's fierce, or the ocean because it's calm - people can find meaning and identity in pictures, even if it doesn't make sense at the time.

The great thing about this forum is that you can get a lot of different perspectives - so hopefully mine wasn't too weird! Even though some of the questions might seem odd I know that they have been helpful for others, but if it's not your jam that's okay too. It's also okay to not have the answers just yet.

Hi SubduedBlues & romantic_thi3f

Thanks for the posts.

As far as knowing what I am, that is simple..im a father, a husband, a son, a brother, a boss etc. knowing who I am is the very difficult question, which had me having an existential crisis some time ago, and possibly leading to my (put nicely) unexpected debilitating depressive episode.

I think my lack of identity leads to my depression. The question of 'who', I guess, is to put some substance and meaning to who I am. romantic_thi3f asked, "who do you want to be", well the answer is...me. provider, father, husband, successful. other than that I really don't know where to start, and what questions to ask myself, or my wife.

Not_Batman...or Robin...maybe Edward Nigma?!?!

Hi Not_Batman or Robin maybe Edward Nigma

Thanks for your post.

You're right, it is a difficult question; and I don't think there's any straight answer because everyone interprets the question in different ways.

It always makes me think of that scene in Anger Management (movie) - the who are you scene. After all these years it's stayed with me because it's still something I'm trying to figure out myself.

I wonder if it might be helpful to see a psychologist? Sometimes getting that deeper insight can help relieve things and see it in a different perspective.

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi all.

Well im back after some time away.

Since my first post, I have had a couple of relapses into my anxiety, panic attacks and depression, which seem to build up over a year then hits me at the same time every year.

Last year there was a lot going on for me at work, at university, and at home. I couldnt take all of the pressures coming at once, so fell into a hole. I recognised that i was not doing so well, so I went back to my MH professional for some CBT, which lasted a couple of months...then I was on my merry way.

Well this year has been ridiculously busy, with even more work and university pressures placed upon me, without much support. Work is often of a finger point and 'geterdone' kind of situation, and then I put massive amounts of pressure on my self to acheve the best at uni. so this year I fell into a much bigger deeper darker hole than i have ever experienced, to the point of acting on some 'permanent solution', which scared the bejeesus out of me. The attacks are getting worse.

I left work, headed straight for the doctor, and cried uncontrollably for 2 hours. I was almost unconsolable. I saw a new doctor, spoke to psych services, and had a few days off work. then spoke to a psychiatrist, returned to work, then panic! I had to go back to my MH nurse. The next day at work...you guessed it PANIC!!! back to the doctor, to get a mental health plan in place. unfortunately I have to wait a couple of weeks to get into a psychologist.

This state of mind is affecting my livelihood, my work, my study, my family. I find it hard to get out of bed, and then cant get really truly motivated until early afternoon.

What is the short and longterm outlook for me?!?


Hi Not_Batman,

Welcome back! Sorry to read you are doing it so tough right now. It is wonderful you have been able to access so much help, that is very impressive! Is it possible for you to see your Dr weekly maybe until you get in to a psychologist?

Are there any self help strategies you can use? I certainly know it can be very difficult to try and do things you know will be helpful when you feel so lousy!

It is tough when you feel there is little support there for you either. It can be tough trying to find the strength to push through and to keep going.

Having thoughts about "escaping life" can be frightening can't they! The thing is to try and tell yourself they are just thoughts and you don't have to act on them.

Life can be really dark and horrid. Is it possible to look for something good in each day, something to be thankful for. Even just one thing.

Sharing how I am feeling here helps me, hope it provides you with a little comfort knowing that people understand, we acknowledge yo are doing it tough right now and really hope you can implement some ways to make each day a little easier.

Sometimes we need to float before we can begin to swim again.

All the best from Dools

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi Dools.

thanks for your words of wisdom. I’m trying the best i can

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi Dools.

thanks for your words of wisdom. Im trying very hard.

today is a good day, i feel a little more energised, and thinking a bit clearer. Im still down in the dumps but pushing through.

i had a bit of a rough day yesterday, so i hopped onto the web chat which gave me some reassurance.

i have extended the group of people who know of my condition to my sibblings, and they have given me some engouragement and support to get back on track.

the biggest thing is fear of the future, and fear of not knowing, or having an answer.


Hi NB,

Hi to you. Congratulations on being able to chat with your siblings about how you are feeling, it sounds like they have been understanding. I have one sibling who "gets" it so that is helpful.

Those rough moments can be a little tricky to get through at times can't they! Do yo have any distractions that help you? I also realise that distractions don't seem to work so well some days! That is when we just have to accept we feel yuck and try to move on when we can.

I understand the fears you have mentioned! They are issues I need to deal with as well. Monday I am going to start seriously looking for some volunteer work in positions that will help me increase my skill levels and may lead to employment. At least if I do more volunteer work I will be out of the house and my mind will be busy!

Do you have any plans for the weekend? Can you think of something different you would like to do?

I am going to attend an Open Garden today with a friend so that will fill in part of my morning.

Cheers to you from Dools