I wonder what normal is? What is it to be average? Do we all wonder? Or, is it just I that is so preoccupied with normal?
When I was young I just wanted to be like everyone else. I lived in poverty and abuse. I was so lonely.
I will be 52 this year, and I still wonder what it is like to be normal? At least now they have given me a name for what I am, at least now I know why I am not normal. Or do I?
All that wasted time wondering what normal is. But I still dream about what it is like to someone else. So, what is normal?
Is normal all the horrible mistakes I have made? I cannot accept that. People were not created to be so miserable.
Why did I not succeed and have a career, or open a business? Why was I not there as the wife and mother my family so needed? Why can I not sort so many things out?
I try to accept my life for what it is. I do enjoy planting pretty flowers and hoping they will grow.
But, it there more for me? Me...such a selfish word. I have tried to rid myself of me. Now I spend my time wondering who I am and what I might enjoy. So you see, I still think of me. Sick, sick, sick.
Is this normal? I wonder?
I'm 50 and I have spent the last 37 years analyzing every thing I do & say in order to appear "normal".
But I'm not either.
I don't have a college degree w/comparative pay, OR children as a direct result of my being bipolar.
I don't fit in to large groups or think the same way as most average folks. Until I was diagnosed I had awful relationships with men who were abusive and addicted to alcohol & drugs.
While my brain went right on dealing with it's own chemicals.
Will I ever be "normal"?
I don't think so and I honestly don't ever expect to be. If I stopped taking my mood stabilizer the nightmare of my youth would be back within months.
Does this ever totally tick me off? Sure! Like anyone with congenital birth defects, MS, or muscular dystrophy. It's the loss of HEALTH - why wouldn't we grieve it's loss?
Meanwhile, I found this place. And it made me feel less alone, helped me know that there are other's who have gone thru EXACTLY what I do, and by God I thnk I may have actually HELPED someone else out because I DO have bipolar disorder. Maybe they hung in there just a few hours more until the chemical disorder lifted... I'd like to think so.
Would I give it all up to be "normal"?
Up until two years ago I would have.
Now, given a choice between
Bipolar Disorder that is stabilized as mine is
Normal w/endless bouts of pneumonia, pleurisy etc where I can't breathe & have no energy
I'd pick my Biolar anyday.
Unfortunately I'm stuck with both <heavy sighs> and I still can't get myself to add the Lung Board to my repertoire here...
Our perception of the world resides in our own minds.
We can compare our views with "others", but we each experience the world individually and uniquely.
Throughout history, individuals and groups have striven to reduce the anxiety of such awareness. It's much simpler to just "believe".
It puts a ton of responsibility on each individual IF we all become aware of, and responsible for, our peaceful coexistence. Uncertainty can too easily breed fear. It's quite convenient to dissallow personal freedom and responsibility by using fear to suplicate individuals.
Thomas Hobbs (for instance) argued centuries ago that ALL human endeavor is essentially egocentric. We do what we feel WE want to. Even when it's altruistic, it serves our individual purpose.
There is nothing wrong with thinking about oneself. In fact, if one thinks only to please others, then major issues are apt to develop (and I DO speak from first hand experience on this one)...
Don't beat yourself up over considering your own wants, needs and desires.
Do try to respect others in your quest for personal fulfillment.
Gee, come to think of it, my dog tags did have Buddhist on them !!!
Last edited by maniasterisk; 02-20-2005 at 10:13 AM.
If you think struggling with being Bi-Polar and what is 'normal' is difficult...
I am currently in the position of struggling with the possability of having been misdiagnosed as type II Bi-P for the last 7 years.....AND.....STILL struggling to discover the possability of what is 'normal'...
I don't think there really is ONE answer. We are ALL unique. So OUR personal idea of what is 'normal' varies.
The trick is to find what is 'acceptible'.
Not just to ourselves, but ALSO to those around us.
Try prioritising a little, it did help me with a small piece of perspective...
In reading all of yalls responses, my heart goes out to you. I am a newbie on the site as my husband suffers from bp. But you know I love this man more than life itself because he knows what it is like to bp and wonder when and if the fog will ever lift. And because he has been to places in his mind that I will never go, it has made him appreciate life so much more. He is compassionate, loving and gentle. If ever there was a soul mate out in this world then he is mind. He has worked so hard to get where he is today and has to fight every step of the way in this world. He just got his masters degree and is starting to work in the mental health field as a counselor. And when a bp person talks to him......you know what???? He WILL know what it is like for that person.....cause he has been there himself. I think he got his ambition to succeed after he read the book "An Unquite Mind". I read it and was amazed to learn that a person with bp can and does achieve great things. You just have to keep on plugging.
"Normal" is such a relative term. Often inaccurately used as well.
Even my 10 year old sister said to me just a few days ago, "There's no such thing as normal because everyone's different. There are only standards." (She's really smart.)
There are only normalities relative to other things. For instance, I know someone who is constantly hyper. She has endless energy and is loud and gregarious. She laughs and yells and talks and jumps up and down and gets excitable at the drop of a hat. ALL THE TIME. This is her "normal" state. If she, for just a few minutes, acted like most other people on THEIR average, or "normal" days, one might call it ABNORMAL for her. It's all relative.
Conversely, if I started acting like the above person, people would consider me manic. It's relative to how I "normally" am.
But I do know what you mean about the wondering. I constantly wonder how I am relative to how I was before I got sick. I feel like I don't remember exactly what it felt like to not be like this all the time. I don't know if it's even possible to go back to how I used to be. Furthermore, I don't even know if it would be GOOD to go back to how I used to be... I was so much more ignorant about things. I wonder what aspects I want back and what has improved in me... that is, if I can remember them.
Just doing what's quintsessential...
What is normal? Well, thatís the main question that people have been wrestling with for years.
I seek normal and find naught. I go the extra mile to try to find normal and the abnormal happens. I guess normal is just what we make of it.
We may never know.
Sagebrush, I am 51 and have struggled with "normal" most of my life. I feel exactly the way you do, I struggle with it most days. I try not to live up to what I think is normal but try to live each day as normally as I can.
You are, who you are and that's Okay.