Saturday, 7 February 2009


The average, healthy, well-adjusted adult gets up at seven-thirty in the morning feeling just plain terrible.
Jean Kerr

normal  /ˈnɔrməl/ –adjective
1. conforming to the standard or the common type; usual; not abnormal; regular; natural.
2. serving to establish a standard.

I often express my desire to be normal. This mostly comes up when I'm having a bad day due to depression, anxiety, fatigue, migraines, or, in particularly fun days, any or all of the above.

What I probably mean is healthy. If at any other time you ask me if I'm normal, my standard response would be "hell no!". I am at least eccentric, and that's only because it sounds better than "bat-shit crazy" :) My personality is a bit weird in the non-main stream sense, and at least once a week my area of the office falls silent while my co-workers stare at me like I've sprouted a second head. Normally this is because of something I've said, quickly followed by "how do you know this things?". Because it's a thing, and I like knowing!
Anyway, I am not normal when it comes to my hobbies, personality and what I know, say, and do. Or at least some people's bewilderness would make me think so.

But I've not been healthy for most of my life either. I've spent most of it taking anti-allergy meds, including one of the longest injections courses my doctor had ever seen, but I still considered myself normal, even if I wasn't completely healthy. Having to rely on that medication didn't make me feel inadequate and broken, while having to rely on anti-depressants does. Similarly, my father has to take pills for his cholesterol and, while he is also mad, that doesn't make him not normal in that respect. So having an illness or having to rely on medication does not necessarily make us weird.

Once I was complaining to my doctor that I needed to plan things so hard, because I couldn't, say, both go shopping and spend time with Alex: it was one or the other and I didn't have enough energy to do both. And my doctor said that that was normal. That people, especially once they have kids, find themselves all the time in those situations, and have to plan and are exhausted a lot. However, if that is true, I really don't want to be normal.

I think what I mean by "normal" is that I want to be healthy at least to the point that my illnesses don't interfere most days with my life, and I want to be happy. But I don't think I want to be completely normal. I'm pretty sure normal people leave completely boring lives.


  1. I agree completely with your last paragraph. While I don't have depression, I don't often feel really "well". And normalcy sounds completely boring to me.
    I've been reading your blog for a while now. I read it because I can relate to a lot of what you write. I think I would like you if I knew you. You aren't alone out there - there are a lot of people who feel exactly like you do (and don't want to be "normal" either).

  2. my therapist used to say that 'normal' doesn't exist ;)
    and you're right about not wanting to be boringly normal but just finding your way of life!

  3. Well I certainly wouldn't want to the common form of "normal"! I'd much rather be unique or different, even if that appears eccentric by the standards of others. But the desire for health, and the energy to live a full, unrestricted life is reasonable and...normal!

  4. I totally understand what you mean. I take anti-depressant meds too, and I wonder why I feel that makes me less normal than the other meds I take for "physical" illnesses?

    I'm glad you wrote that paragraph about "normal" people having to plan and being tired all the time. That actually really helps me as that's how I am right now.

    I also agree that I'd rather not have "normal" hobbies and ideas - I'd much rather be unique and individual. And yeah, I'd rather know "unnormal" facts and stuff cos I like to know them! But it's unfortunate that it seems (for me at least) to go along with being unhealthy :(

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  6. I take anti-depressants too, for about a year now, and while I dont shout it from the rooftops I dont *really* care.

    The way I see it is I'd rather take medication and be a happy(er)-bunny and deal with the stigma (both my own and from others), than not take medication and play at being a 'normal' person and be a miserable git. Equally, I'm on meds for an underactive thyroid which I'll probably take for the rest of my life -- but who cares, as long I feel better?

    I've never met anyone who's normal -- everyone has *something*, be it depression (medicated or not), cholesterol, fatigue, joint pain.......... I honestly think it's like a giant cosmic lottery when we're born; what we end up with just depends on what numbers we pull :)

  7. And another thing (lol)

    If I didn't have CFS/Fatigue, I'd have been a right party animal and would have never discovered spinning, knitting, writing, keeping hens -- all the stuff that makes me *me*, and which I get so much enjoyment from.

    There's no way that being 'normal' would be worth the trade-off!