Who Do You Say That I Am?

butterflyThe longer I’m sober the more aware I am of everything I used to avoid.

I remember once back in 2011 a counselor suggested we try to discover “who I am.”  Holy crap I wanted a drink right then and there.

Who I am?

How the heck am I supposed to know?

I was just sort of along for the ride in my life.  I thought I was deep and intuitive; but when it came to the serious deep down internal workings of my brain/soul stuff I always checked out, glossed over, read a bunch of books about it, escaped, laughed, made a joke or pretended it wasn’t really that important.

So, I told the counselor, “I’ll get back to you on that.”

And I immediately emailed all my sisters and close friends and asked them to please tell me who I am.  They could tell I really wanted to know, so fortunately they were kind to email me back their perspectives of me.

Some of it was really flattering and some of it not so much.  I appreciated the honesty but mostly I appreciated the compliments.

When Jesus’ asked his disciples who people say that he is in Luke 9:18-21, He wasn’t asking because he didn’t know, he was asking perhaps to get a read on how well his message was getting out there.

“And it happened that while He was praying alone, the disciples were with Him, and He questioned them, saying, “Who do the people say that I am?” They answered and said, “John the Baptist, and others say Elijah; but others, that one of the prophets of old has risen again.” “But who do you say that I am?” And Peter answered and said, “The Christ of God.

All that matters is I’m a good person, I treat people nicely, I don’t drink and am a faithful Catholic.  Right?  Wrong.

As I age, (BTW, I suddenly started to age when I turned 40) it is harder to avoid facing the bigger, heavier stuff–important things like marriage and trust and finances and children…  When I was younger, escaping from feelings of inadequacy in my work or insecurity in my relationships didn’t break me.  But today, neglecting to face these bigger things, and having them pile up around me started to become a problem.

Sober, facing life on life’s terms now, I am working through another 4th Step with my sponsor.  And darn it all these things I tried to run from are suddenly coming to the surface, bubbling over.

And that question from my counselor is haunting me, “Who am I?”

This is going to be messy—but I’m going to trudge through it.  I’m not going to escape this time or dream about moving to the beach instead of facing facts about myself.

So, this morning in my prayer chair, I asked God to reveal to me who I am so that I can better do His will.

Dear God, who do you say that I am?

This should be interesting.

5 thoughts on “Who Do You Say That I Am?

  1. Wonderful post. I am in the exact same place. I just did my second fourth the other day with my sponsor (quite a difference from this one and the first – the first one took about 8 hours spread out over 3 sessions. This one was 20 minutes!) Anyway, this question of “who am I?” presses on so many levels. So very many. I struggle with this idea of me being the person God created me to be. But what parts of me are NOT me and what parts are? I am learning to die the death of ego through the steps and in my practice of meditation and prayer and working with others, but how do I know what to let go of? Well, that’s what 6 & 7 are for – I don’t have those answers. He does. So I guess what I am learning is that when I follow that conscious contact voice in me, THAT is who I am and what I am supposed to be doing. I guess I thought that this whole new Paul would *explode* out of me in a mass of white light. Nope. It’s been a slow process of opening up and processing, of gentle persuasion and progress, of trial and error, of following my inner voice and listening, rather than talking over. These are the things that I take into consideration when I ponder the question…who am I?

    I love the post – opens up so many questions, other than the central one.

    Cheers 🙂


  2. Thank you so much for your comments. There is so much to think about and respond to. I really appreciate you reading my blog…I am at chick filet on my way to Florida for sisters weekend so I can’t respond to everything right now. Sobriety gives us so many opportunities to live full lives.

  3. In Akron from 1935 to 1939 Bob Smith ministered in his home medically to alcoholics, his wife Ann ministered to them spiritually from the Bible. What God do you think they were talking about in those first 164 pages? Christ is mentioned only one time on page 11 in the Big Book because the organization of Alcoholics Anonymous is “seeker sensitive”.

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