The Roles We Play and the Sober Identity Crisis

Welcome to our discussion based on Joe C.’s Beyond Belief: Agnostic Musings for 12 Step Life. We post choice quotes from the daily reading, as well as the discussion questions, and encourage you to think on it and respond in the comments. Please keep our community guidelines in mind while commenting.

“Because I’m not perfect looking, I get to play better roles.”

-Juliette Lewis

For seekers, the following three questions have philosophical and psychological relevance: Who am I? What am I doing here? Who are tehse others? In recovery, we reassess these three pivotal questions about our identities.

…We have life-scripts that we follow for cues. Some roles were crafted by directors we worked under in childhood. In adolescence, we began to craft our own identities, taking over the roles of writer, director and actor. We craft roles and scripts for those around us, too. We have an idea of how they should be fitting in. In finding or forging our roles in life we try to answer these three nagging questions about identity, purpose and how we interact within our setting.

Role models have a lasting impact on us too. We see ourselves as autonomous decision makers and that is partly true. Parents will consciously resist the scripts imposed by previous generations, but it is hard work not to react to what we lived. Some actions/reactions happen like muscular reflexes. We are slaves to some persistent life-scripts that prompt our reactions before free will is in play. It’s like we are in character even when we are off the set.

Discussion questions

  • Am I in the midst of an identity crisis, or do I know who I am, what my role is and where and how I fit in?

One thought on “The Roles We Play and the Sober Identity Crisis”

  1. I posted “all would be Utopia if the rest of the world would only behave” the other day and then I read this entry witch is about roles. I was thinking about the part in chapter five about the director not having the play go off his way. Interesting. A lot of things I’ve been thinking about this week are popping back up in other forms. I’m working on ceasing fighting people’s places, and things to keep my primary purpose and my part in the responsibility pledge in perspective. I seem to have veered off track and life is changing fast and I’m liking it. From a boxers point of view I have to take life punch for punch to stay up. Take one, give one.

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