I believe in normal. I do believe that this word should exist, but not in the way we are used to. In a way, I now feel like it means the opposite to what we tend to think it means. The definition that we are so eagerly taught by society or school. This normal that we are used to being taught or treated like, is a fictional place. A fictional thing that doesn’t exist. And if it seemingly does, that is fictional too. The traditional norm has lost all solid sides of its box. These sides have become blurred to cater for all of us.
Because, we are ALL normal. We are all normal because we are all completely abnormal. Normal is not something that defines you and puts you into this old-fashioned box, where anyone with a toe, or (god-forbid) their head outside this box, gets a different title. Gets looked at with a different eye. Or treated like something is wrong. Normal is the complete opposite. Normal is being a human being with all this shit that comes with it. All the beauty and joy. All the darkness and depth. All the worry and stress. And all the weird and wackiness too.
If anyone is going to actually be abnormal, it is the ones that try to pretend they are the Old Fashioned kind of Normal and live with all their bits inside the box. But, in my eyes, even this counts as normal. Whatever we are going through and whatever is happening in our lives, it might be overwhelming, it might be fucking weird, it might seem never-ending, it might feel so different to anything anyone around us is going through, it might feel like there-is-no-way-I-can-feel-like-this-and-still-be-functioning, but it is normal.
This past year, particularly since the overdose, and actually for most of the ones before too, I have been convinced that I am not normal. I have always felt outside this box, and so afraid and ashamed of this. I spent my childhood and teenage years watching friends from afar, feeling like an inner weirdo with a fake shell of seemingly normality. No matter how many friends I had or how well I fitted in, which I always did, wherever I was, there was always this
little big niggle of doubt about what I was. Who I was. Whether what I was, was okay. And the conclusion always came out as: NO. No it wasn’t okay. I wasn’t normal. I was weird. In many ways, what was happening in my home-life running alongside this, definitely didn’t ever fit inside the sides of this old-fashioned normal box. Far from it. But I like the word, ‘unusual’. If we’re going to talk about abnormality, lets use the word unusual in relation to these things. There is something unusual about everybody’s life. Sure, some people’s (mine included) was on the extreme end of the unusual qualities, but this still feels normal to me.
I’m fed up with my inner critic (aren’t we ALL). I am fed up with this voice of predictability, future tripping, negativity and critical concluding of what being me, means. This is the voice that got good practice growing up in the bizarre situations it did. It got time to blossom and bloom in the years following. It then was ready to live as it has the last year: shouting as loud as is possible at any chance it gets…which is every few minutes of every day. There that niggling convincing voice of doubt is, judging and giving opinions as facts. During this year I have found myself within the most overwhelming and intense emotional states that I never previously experienced before. These just ask for contribution of judgement and critical concluding from this Critic. But they aren’t going to get them anymore, thank you.
We all have them, these inner critics. Some people are mighty good at watching them and not absorbing their word as truth. I am proud to say I am becoming one of these people, as time moves on. Until now, this critic has made me feel crazy. Made me feel convinced that something is wrong. Made me feel so sickeningly worried about my future ahead. Made me feel so outside this Normal box that it must mean I’m screwed. It’s sent me into
daily hourly, panic frenzies of hunting for the next tool that is going to make things better. The next person that I should go to, to sort me out. It has kept me inside the house out of fear of my sanity, when in actual fact I am completely bloody sane, just riddled with anxiety. It’s left me convinced I need to be treated differently, by myself and others, because I am too fragile or incapable. This critic has been so overpowering and so believable, because of what it believes me feel ‘normal’ should be. Or should look like. And none of my states of the last year fitted into that Normal Box. I would get glimpses of fitting a toe or a leg into that box, and this is when I realised, this is what I was aiming for. I have been aiming to feel normal. So no flippin’ wonder my inner critic has had such a say. Because I have been aiming for where the critic’s been headed to: Normality. And then it clicked. We are ALL normal. All this shit I have been experiencing and feeling is normal. I don’t need to go anywhere or change anything about who I am or what I’m doing, in the bigger picture sense. I don’t need to write off my future because I am too fucked up. Nothing is wrong. Sure, it hurts. Sure, it would be so much nicer and easier if things felt a little bit more emotionally settled. But, fundamentally, nothing is wrong. Everything is normal…I am normal.
So chill the fuck out, Critic.
I believe this old-fashioned box of Normal we are so easily and so subtly taught to follow, believe, or long to be able to fit into, adds so much power and strength to this inner critic and its voice. The fact is, whatever is going on for you right now or whatever has been, is normal. Being you is normal. Feeling confused is normal. Feeling overwhelmed or overburdened is normal. Feeling excited is normal. Feeling hyperactive and slightly off the wall (or completely off the wall) is normal. Feeling like you are losing the plot is normal. Feeling like you are a fuck up is normal. Feeling without direction. Feeling un-parented is normal. Feeling full of determination is normal. Feeling so set on your life’s goals is normal. Feeling alone is normal. Feeling normal is normal. Some of this is fun, some of this is so so painful, and some of this is so uncomfortable. But all of this is normal.
Everything and everyone is. Because, everything and anyone exists. There is no way we can put people or things into a box of society’s old fashioned normality that doesn’t exist. So lets take what we know, and dance with it.
And I think your normal rocks.