Normal can be defined as conforming to the standard or the common type; usual; not abnormal; regular; natural (dictionary.com). In psychology terms, normal is approximately average in any psychological trait, as intelligence, personality, or emotional adjustment; free from any mental disorder (dictionary.com). If that is the case, than I am not normal. However, my therapist tells me it is possible to “feel” normal again. The problem is, I do not remember what “feeling” normal is like.
I have not felt my own kind of normal in quite some time. My depression started about four years ago, and I do not remember what I was like before then. I guess that means, in a way, I do not remember who I used to be. When my therapist tells me it is possible to feel normal again, I have to question this. Normal has become this depressive state, mixed full of emotional highs and lows in a constant roller coaster-like motion. How am I going to know when I feel “normal?”
I am on slightly higher dosage of Prozac, and then will start Ambilify at my next appointment. The doctor who prescribed it said that I will most likely tell her next time that nothing has changed, but that is supposed to be a good thing. She said that my friends and family will most likely notice a change in me before I do, and that not noticing anything means the drug is working. If I do not notice or feel anything different, then have I achieved normalcy? After all, my norm now is quite different from my norm from my past.
It’s a bit scary not knowing what I am supposed to feel, or who I am supposed to be. Depression changes people, and not just in the typical sadness, depressive way. Sure, I am a different person when I am in a depressive episode, but I am talking about as a whole in general. I am not as confident as I used to be, in my intellect or beauty. I am anxious about everything, and tend to keep to myself because of it. I do not know what makes me happy, what things I enjoy doing. The happiness feeling that I used to have has been so infrequent, and such a rarity, that I do not know if I remember how to feel it. I guess that leads to a different question: what is happiness?
That might be too deep a question for me to answer at this point. I need to remember what makes me happy, or find new things. I am older, and possibly wiser, so maybe what makes me normal and happy are different. Perhaps, this time in my life can be viewed as a fresh start. That sounds familiar, I believe I have talked about this before. I started therapy to create a new ending for myself, so my life would end in a slightly more harmonious, less depressive way. Finding things that make me feel happy, and finding a new normal for myself is a new beginning. Hopefully this new norm isn’t too far off of who I used to be. I would hate to turn off my friends and family, but I figure they have stuck by me through my recent norm that this new norm can only be better.
How do you define normal, or happiness for that matter? Is “normal” something society has placed on all of us, and impossible to achieve? Let me know what you think!