When Am I Normal?

The pursuit of Normal. Pressing on after depression and into…mania? Then into…depression?

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As I try to navigate the path of swinging moods versus normalcy, I long to identify ‘my’ normal. I realize it’s my normal I seek and not anyone else’s (since neither of us are exactly the same), still I feel the need to consult others for whom the search is similar.

I recognize also that we have differing personalities and therefore, trying to converge on a common normal might be idealistic and not at all realistic.  However, for those who share with me, a mental disorder, it might just be worth the time and effort.

We have had to learn to cope with and ultimately manage ourselves in light of an illness that more often than not has caused us to lose sight of our bearings- a great deal. Some of us remember ourselves before we started experiencing symptoms of mental disorder and as such, have somewhat of a frame of reference by which we understand normalcy to be. For others, it hasn’t been as ‘simple’, as we have always had symptoms which have merely evolved with each stage of life.

With treatment, therapy, exercise, dietary adjustments and other ‘normal’ everyday situations, have come: battles with being medicated, then rejecting them because of side effects and the need to try and adjust to new combinations of medications; harrowing hospitalization (for some); the juggling of damage control and success in the various spheres of personal, social and professional life, while all along experiencing, at times, overwhelming hopelessness and at others intoxicating exuberance.

Can you relate?

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