Are you part of a cookie cutter mold or do you stand out? Do you follow the norm or do you have an individualistic flair that defines you? Are you transparent or do you follow the crowd? Do you have an image that you project or are you real and sometimes vulnerable?
When I got sober I had to define who I was. For so long I was what everyone wanted me to be. I saught approval, from my parents, from ministry, from everyone that I looked up to. I had hard times making decisions on my own, not that counsel is wrong but I would ask for counsel to make the decision based upon what they wanted. I was a people pleaser, I couldn't say no, and I had a performance mentality, that was how I got my attention. For those that don't know, much of that is the classical symptoms of codependency. I was a chameleon. I was a shell and you could make me who you wanted me to be. Instead of letting God mold the clay, I let everyone else. Seether sings an edgy song called "Fake It". That was me.
So who am I? I am an artist with an eye for detail. I find solace in the process of drawing in pencil and making a blank piece of paper come alive. Every drawing I do I leave a piece of me with it. I'm an avid photographer which I got into to be able to take pictures to draw. I'm an introvert and I deal with self confidence issues. I have trouble not trying to seek reassurance, but I'm getting better. I am a child of God. I love God and my faith is a huge part of my life. I tend to let my life do the talking for me because, wrong or not, I've found words are alot of times cheap in the places I've been. The only words that I find absolutely true are the Word of God, which is infallible. I still love a good heavy metal song now and then and if Ginger is out with her friends you'll find me in my studio with my air guitar (or with my headphones right now listening to Seether's Remedy). Ginger will tell you I'm a wonderful counselor and that I need to pursue the profession. I'm a very hard worker and love working outdoors. Even though it get's to be 110, I find myself enjoying what I do. I have a beautiful, wonderful wife and she is my other half, my missing rib, and I thank God every day that I've got her for my wife. If you were to offer me a million dollars or her, I'd pick her everytime. She is worth much more than that. I am codependent in recovery, but it is a daily process for me. Every time I think I've made it past it, I find something else I need to work on related to it. I take solace in knowing that someone very dear to me who is also codependent struggles too (but she is getting better!). She knows who she is.... I love science fiction books, and I love Warhammer and Warhammer 40000 novels, especially about Witch Hunters, the Inquistior's, and vampires. My fascination with vampires has changed, I don't want to be one now, but that is another story. I can read about them now and not change, though I know my limit. And there is so much more. 8 years ago I had trouble making one sentence about who I was (I have my journal from then).
So why do I say these things? Because everyone that knows me, knows these things. I don't need to live with an image, like I did in my addiction and even in the ministry I was at before Celebrate Recovery. I am defined now by who God sees me, a child of God. I'm not perfect, I have imperfections, and I'm not afraid now to tell people those things in the hope that God is glorified by my life. It certainly isn't me. God made me this way. Believe me, I tried to change how God made me, I wanted to be something else, but thankfully He is the potter and I'm the clay. If He'd let me be the potter, well, I'd be a pretty ugly pot right now.
I like to think I stand out now. I'm me. Like it or not, this is who I am. Maybe I do things that other Christians don't, and that's okay, I'm not a cookie cutter Christian either. I've known too many of those. I tend not to judge now, I try to go beyond the behavior and learn the pain, the hurt, the habit, the hangup. We all struggle, even I, but thankfully God isn't done with me yet.
"Clip the wings that get you high,
Just leave them where they lie,
And tell yourself "you'll be the death of me."
"Remedy"-Seether (song about beating addiction)