Am I normal or different? Am I sick or healthy? I have no fricking idea…
I feel normal. I’ve always been like this.
This IS my normal – I don’t know any different.
Normal for me is having no capacity to identify emotions. Obsessing with food and body image all day – and all night – long. Normal for me is binging, purging and restricting – or white knuckling to stop binging, purging and restricting. Normal is worrying about stuff. Having random bursts of racing heart and catastrophising about little things. Feeling positive and optimistic for a while, and having energy and being productive, then wanting to harm myself and dreaming of never having to wake up again and believing my life is pointless. Then reminding myself I’m just having a bit of downer and picking myself up again. That’s all normal for me.
I don’t feel sick – mentally or physically. I’ve been sick in the past – both mentally and physically – and right now I feel good. My immune system is basically excellent (usually). Mentally I am managing really well (I think). I am not currently noticing issues with depression or anxiety. I don’t have a cold or a bug or any identifiable physical issues – aside from pain in my back and legs related to my hypermobility. And that pain is both manageable and reversible. So I feel like I’m healthy and well.
And if I’m normal and healthy – what the hell am I doing obsessing about mental health? Writing blog posts and searching through websites about ways to recover. What am I recovering from, if I’m normal and healthy?
Which leads me to believe, I am neither normal nor healthy.
The word normal is problematic. Whatever we grow up with, is normal. How we behave every day, is normal. It is OUR individual normal. That doesn’t make it okay. And normal can change. Once upon a time it was normal for me to buy three mars bars every time I bought petrol – now I pay for the fuel and leave without purchasing anything else. My new normal. Recovery for me, will be a big long list of new normals.
Intellectually I understand that while my physical health remains very good, my mental health is still problematic. Sure my issues with depression are vastly improved – I am functioning and participating in life again. My issues with anxiety are no longer at the forefront – I have once again buried and renamed them. My eating disorder issues have risen to the top of my list of things to worry about and need to be healed. Because if it continues, my physical health will definitely suffer.
So am I normal? Yes. Normal for me.
Am I different? Yes. Different to you. And that is neither good nor bad. We are all different.
Am I sick? Physically, no. Mentally, I don’t know. I find this so problematic. I don’t feel sick enough to belong to the mental health community. I don’t feel well enough to accept my life as it is. I don’t know where I belong.