I am a carer. I am a person with mental health problems. I am a person outside of these things. I am not just a carer or a person with mental health problems. I’m Sophie and it’s nice to meet you. I am a student, a daughter, a granddaughter, a sister, a cousin…a friend. I am a Northerner, I am so much more than my labels too. We all have labels, as this is how society puts us into groups. But our identity is who we are and who we think we are as people. The labels that people place on us do not have to define us, whether they are ‘good’ or ‘bad’. We all have an identity and we should be proud of it. We have the control and the power to choose our identity in most respects.
Other people are going to label people, for their characteristics, their quirks, their likes and dislikes and so on. But ultimately we can choose whether we let labels define who we are. I am proud of some of my labels. I am proud to call myself a carer. I am even proud to say I am a person with mental health problems. Those are labels that I choose to identify with. If at any time I don’t want to identify with those labels then I won’t. I don’t have to.
We are agents in our own right. Even though society is structured so that we have labels placed on us, we have choice. That is the greatest individual power we have. People can think of us as they will. If you don’t want it to impact who you are, then don’t listen or turn it into a positive thing.
You are the person that leads your identity, you choose what defines you as a person. This can change too. Just because many people identify you a certain way, does not mean that it is who you are, to you. What should matter to you, is what you think about yourself.
Your identity is personal to you. You decide what your labels are.