What’s it like to be normal?

I went to see my psychiatrist yesterday for my six month checkup.  I had made a list of things I wanted to tell him because I swear, every time I go to a doctor’s appointment all my symptoms disappear and I forget to tell them what I wanted to tell them!  He was pretty shocked when I told him that at the end of the summer I realized I had been in a fairly deep depression since before Christmas 2012.   Almost as shocked as I was when I figured it out.

I explained that because this time the symptoms were different, it wasn’t as readily apparent to me.  Rather than crying all the time and feeling like I was in a black hole, I was projecting my own feelings on others and deflecting blame to everyone else for my own mood.  (I know…even writing that seems insane…now.)  I was in a funk that eventually led to crying jags before eventually subsiding…somewhat.

Now I’m beginning to see it happening again.  I’m having anxiety and my “disaster thoughts” where I’m sure something awful is just around the corner and I start to visualize things like funerals in very specific detail.  With prayer I’m able to shut it down but really, why in the hell would I suffer through shit like that when I know it’s the chemicals and signals in my brain causing it?  Further, why would I suffer through shit like that when I know there are things that can be done namely, therapy and a change in my meds.

Fortunately, the doc agreed.  I love this guy.

As the hubs was driving me to work (Lord I will be happy when we’re able to get another car), I looked over at him and thought…I wonder what it’s like to be normal?  So I asked him, stopping short of adding, “…and what’s it like to be married to a woman who’s not?”

His first response was the standard, “What’s normal?  No one is really normal.  We all have our quirks.”

So I clarified, “I mean what is it like to have a brain that doesn’t lie to you?”

He really didn’t have an answer for that.

It’s not that I’m complaining because there are LOTS of things that could be wrong with me that are WAY worse than a brain that lies.  Especially since I think I’ve got a handle on the brain God gave me and, with the exception of a few loose wires, it works pretty darn well and I am very thankful for that.

But I do wonder sometimes…what would life be like with a brain that told the truth?  Hmmmm….just like getting to the center of a Tootsie Pop, the world may never know.


9 thoughts on “What’s it like to be normal?

  1. I think on many many things with regard to mental wellbeing we are all on a scale.

    A scale of depression
    A scale of addiction
    A scale of compulsive behaviour
    A scale of misrepresentation of real life in our mental processing…. etc. etc..

    (those are the ones that resonate with me but this list is not exhaustive at all)…

    At any one time we’re all at different points on those scales. Also for some people a 7 on the depression scale will be a minor funk for someone else that is torture, possibly as it’ll interact with other scales and push them out of balance… for that person! So normal for each person is the point when these scales are “in balance” for THEM and in a way that doesn’t mean their behaviour clashes with the society at large where they live. Take someone who when wearing clothes feels restricted massively – they can’t just be naked in many parts of society but join a nudist colony that they can frequently visit and problem is alleviated… (fallacious example btw)

    So what is normal… there is no normal just – ok for you… I hope you find an ok for you place

    1. Hmmm…maybe I should have said I wonder what it’s like to be someone who is not addicted or depressed. But then…I’d have something else cause we all have something right?

      Nah…I’ll just stick with the me that I know.


  2. the old joke is that “normal” is a setting on a washing machine. But as to what it means to us – that’s something that is individual, as Graham there wisely points out. My balanced or centeredness is different than yours. My sister-in-law’s normal is totally out of my realm – she does a million things a day, does it with a smile, and has boundless energy. Me – not so much. I need down time. lots. I don’t often get it, but when I get it…oh boy do I soak it up. I am slowly shifting from completing to do lists to just lounging about. My mental health is stronger that way. I have more energy when my own mind likes to play tricks on me.

    I think you are doing the right thing by seeing that you may have to switch things up. It’s your journey. Only you know more about you than anyone else. Go with your gut. It’s not messed you up in your recovery so far! This is the journey my friend. We are all doing this. what works for us? Keep praying, keep asking for clarity, keep at it. You’re worth it 🙂


  3. I’ve thought about this before and come to the conclusion that there is no normal, as others have said. But I still wonder what it’s like to not have to constantly assess your mental health. Or what it’s like to not be in pain (physical health problems). Or what it’s like to be fully independent. But everyone wonders about something, so you’re normal in that respect.

  4. Hi Sherry, so sorry to hear you’ve been struggling, but what a testament to your recovery progress… you are that in touch with yourself, and that you can communicate to your doctor what you need to improve. That, my friend, is a miracle!

    As far as wondering “how the other half lives,” I’ve actually done that as well, but I’m coming from a place of astonishment, not longing. I will say, “how in the hell does he walk around and function in that head of his?” and I’m actually quite grateful for mine 😉

    I’m praying that all the “tweaks” work quickly for you!

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