Thursday, August 29, 2013

Are you normal?

What is normal? Do you know normal people? Normal people work, have families, go grocery shopping, run errands, clean, cook, help their kids with homework and talk to other normal people right?
I do those things, but I don't feel normal.

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, some of the definitions for normal are:
conforming to a type, standard, or regular pattern
a : of, relating to, or characterized by average intelligence or development

b : free from mental disorder : sane.
How ironic. To be normal means to have average intelligence and not be crazy. Aren't most crazy people of higher intelligence? I am not sane, neither am I insane. Nor will I conform. So I guess that's my answer. I am not normal. I am better than normal. I'm unique. I'm eccentric. I'm extraordinary.

Definition of abnormal:

: deviating from the normal or average : unusual

 exceptional, exceeding, extraordinaire, extraordinary, phenomenal, rare, singular, uncommon, uncustomary, unique, unusual,

I will take exceptional, rare, unique and strange any day of the week.
I don't have to be normal to do normal things. I am me. I can be whatever I want. It's my life, and I only get one. You do you, and I'll do me.

I don't have to fit in. I don't have to be like you, talk like you, dress, shop, drive, walk like anyone else. That's what makes us so special. None of us are the same, even identical twins. They may have the same DNA, but that's all. They still have different thoughts, personalities, interests, and fingerprints. The fact that they came from the same egg and sperm does not make them the same.

I suddenly feel more empowered. I have always skipped to a different beat, and I think that's why some people have gravitated towards me, and some run. Fine, run away. Go to the other sheep. The ones that want to be near me want to know why I smile, and laugh, and not care about certain things. Because I don't. I don't care whether you like it or not. It's the mental illness that steps in and sometimes takes over with anxiety and self doubt. But that's not 'me', that's my disease.

Anything I do, is my normal. How I dress, talk or act is my normal. If I'm depressed and stay home all day, day after day, that's my normal. If I'm suddenly manic and want to go shopping and clean the house until 3 am, that's my normal. It doesn't mean that everything I do, when I do it is healthy, but it's my normal. It may not be your version of it, but then again, you don't walk in my shoes, and think my thoughts.

The next time someone says something to the effect of you not being or acting normal, you just tell them:

"Hell no, I'm fucking phenomenal."

Monday, August 26, 2013

Guest blog for Screw Depression

I've been blogging for almost 6 months now, and it seems so natural. I can't figure out why I didn't start this earlier. Oh yeah, my mom read my diary, and I was terrified anyone would know my inner most thoughts and feelings. Which all in of itself is ironic, since I had always planned on writing about just that.

I became disabled a few years back when, after a nervous breakdown, and complete loss of thinking capabilities led me to further destroy everything around me, that hadn't been destroyed already.

My Fibro got worse. My Endo required surgeries. I was getting garnished way to much money at work from my first ex husband (the one who has 50/50 custody of my older boys, that he won't let me see, because he is still obsessed with punishing me for leaving him.) All the stress was causing me to fail school, which I had started, again, in hopes of getting out of the rut of being a single mom and barely getting by.

After 18 months of being successful, and then failing (as I see it) I went back to him. The Abuser. The second ex-husband. I spent 10 years in a marriage where I wore the pants in the family, and he couldn't say boo unless I told him to. That's not my idea of a marriage. Some women like control. Some women don't like raising a husband.
So the next guy was the complete opposite. His evil slowly came out after I got pregnant (quickly).
It got even worse after I married him. That didn't last long, thank goodness.

There are so many painful memories from my childhood. I know for a fact that there are a lot of good ones too, but I can't remember too many of those. Those are the ones that fade away. The evil that was done, is what creeps up on me when I lay down, when I see something that reminds me of my past, when I hear something, and even when I smell something. There is that 'smack in the face' flashback that keeps ripping, little by little, the last fragment of hope and happiness that you carry around.

I'm on the road to recovery. It's a slow, painful process, but it's still a forward process. I have Bipolar 2 rapid cycling. That means I can change moods quickly, and without warning, and I am a prisoner to it. A prisoner. I'm a prisoner in my own body and am always arguing with the warden. Sometimes I get put in the hole. Sometimes I'm let out in general public, with a warning.

It's frustrating, having other moods, an almost unknown entity, make your decisions, carry out plans, and talk to people when it doesn't even feel like 'you'. The real you stays at home, cries, is miserable, depressed, bored, lonely, battling so much in your head. The other 'you' is the one that goes out in public, talks to people, goes grocery shopping, runs errands, pays bills, goes to meetings at the kid's school, talks to acquaintances, and acts 'normal'. When shit hits the fan, the real you comes out and no one recognizes. Now you seem different and fake. If they only knew you were out of your comfort zone and a stronger version of you stepped in until you can go back home and fall apart. It's so much work.

Anxiety, agoraphobia, depression, mania, chronic pain, surgeries, relationships, bills, all seems to come crashing down on me at once. I have to fight to dig thru each one, one at a time before more comes down. PTSD, the wonderful life of having flashbacks, not just memories, but full on visual and mental experiences, like you're right there. Someone may raise their hand to give you a high five, and you're ducking because you think you're going to get hit. People don't like that, now you're weird, and omg how could you think I was going to hit you? calm down jeez. If I had control of my memories, I would have done wiped out the bad ones long ago.

No, I don't like the bad thoughts, and I try to re-group and focus on the now as soon as I can. I don't go around telling people everything that's wrong with me, but I am opening up a lot more now. People are interested, they ask questions, they're curious. Hmm, you don't seem super crazy, maybe you're a cool person after all. Educate. De-stigma.

Have you ever had an open conversation with someone who came right out and said, 'I am bipolar. I am OCD, I'm on anti-psychotic medication and there is nothing I can do about it for the rest of my life'? Probably not. But that cool chick you were talking to at the park, the lady in front of you at the register, the kid's mom next to you at the school parking lot, the guy playing ball with his kids, the teenager who dresses wierd, the neighbor you sometimes wave to? I bet they have some mental issues, and you'd never know.

So the next time you see someone who seems a little strange, give them a smile, say hi, you might just brighten up their whole week, because you noticed them. You acknowledged their presense.