Twice a week I say my name to a group of guys. Twice a week I say who I am not. I say what I am not. I admit what I am recovering from.
I’ve looked at pornography before. I must be a sex addict.
I am a self-published blogger who hasn’t written a book yet. I must not be a real writer.
I am a weekend-dad and a step-dad. I guess I am not a real dad.
I’ve written about being a gentleman and loving father, a positive role model, but I’ve taken my anger out on my wife and children. I must be a selfish pig.
I have not fully sought to fulfill the gifts God has blessed me with. I am un-grateful and self-seeking.
I’ve broken many promises to my mother and wife that I would not take another drink. I am no longer a man of my word.
I’ve had days at work where I goofed off much of the time instead of earning my pay. So I am a thief.
I have followed the voices in my head and heeded to too many illogical thinking my bipolar throws at me. I am a crazy lunatic who needs to be locked up.
I have bipolar. Then I am a danger to others.
Food makes me anxious and I prefer to starve myself. I must be stupid and weak.
I say I have a heart for the homeless and lost, but I’ve ignored them as if giving a little a change or my time would inconvenience my day. This makes a hypocrite.
I put on a mask to wear during my deep dark depressions. I tell lies to explain my odd behaviors from mania. Then I am a fake.
I have not fulfilled the career goals I set for myself. I am a failure.
I have tattoos and have been jailed on numerous occasions. I am a hopeless cause.
I drank on a daily basis for many years. So I am a drunk.
I believe in the Gospel, but I rarely ever openly profess it. If so, only in the same kind of circle of friends. This makes me a lying hypocrite.
Christ says that if I have ever been unjustly angry at someone then I am a murderer.
He says that if I have ever looked at a woman with impure thoughts then I am an adulterer.
I have spent most of my life doing things my way. I am bigger than God.
I am alone.
I am the only one struggling.
Do you think you know me? Who I am? Would you want to know who I am? Would you still want anything to do with me now that you know? A hypocritical weak, crazy dangerous, adulterer?
I tend to wear my heart on my sleeve. I do my best to hide my emotions to the public. Many times not successfully. What I don’t wear are labels. Whether stamped or self-inflicted. We are labeled many things in this life starting from the moment we are born. It’s possible this is why we come into the world crying.
Deep down inside we know we are innocent and want to stay that way, while everyone has already begun assuming the worst about us. It all leaves us defenseless, believing we are products of our environments rather than the product of intelligent design and love.
One mistake and to everyone and we are hopeless.
Image a world where we walk around every day wearing shirts pronouncing labels: “Liar,” “Cheater,” “Backstabber,” “Whore,” “Alcoholic,” and any other evil we commit against ourselves and each other.
We would accept a life where we let those around us shape our reality with their opinions. Where everyone has embraced the labels given to them without question, and accept lies of what was said about us. A life where we let those around shape the perception of reality with their opinions of us. Where everyone embraces the labels given to them without question, and accept the lie of what was said about us. Or letting our identity lie in one past mistake.
But what of the most dangerous part of labels? How easily we CAN become what we’ve been labeled.
I blog, am self-published, and do not have a book deal, but I AM a writer.
I only get to see my kids every other weekend and on holidays. My wife’s kids are not my own, but I AM a dad. A good dad.
I have a mental illness, but I AM NOT dangerous.
I tend to hide the emotions I cannot control, but I AM NOT a fake.
I’ve abused alcohol for years, but I AM recovering. I’ve been sober for over four years.
Sometimes I am weak, so I AM NOT bigger than God.
I am not the only one struggling.
Who am I?
Twice a week I profess, “Hello, I’m Lupe, a faithful believer in Jesus Christ who struggles with alcohol and anorexia.”
I am Jose Guadalupe Picazo.
I am a sinner.
I am forgiven.
And those labels that do not lie, but they do not define me.