As I continue to combat depression and win more and more battles against it I’m starting to make some frightening observations about myself. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking and reflecting as I do often nowadays and I’ve come to some interesting conclusions.
A little less than three years ago my depression was at its peak. As depression slowly took complete control of my life I went out less and less, everything became less enjoyable, and I pushed all of my friends away, leaving me very lonely. I was sad, tired, and lost. Then I embarked on the journey of recovery as I’ve often written about. After years of therapy and many nights of battling with my own mind, I succeeded in ripping myself free of depression’s grasp. Now for the last two years I’ve lived a normal life. I have had some hiccups; some returns of depression, but they have been brief and overcome. But am I really “normal” yet?
I’ve often longed to be normal; to be an average person without all of the pains of depression…someone who is just happy with life. Now I have reached the point where I am happy with my life and I do enjoy it. Then I realized; that wasn’t normal at all. I’ve discovered that I clearly need to reevaluate my description of the word normal.
Yet, maybe this word doesn’t really need to be defined at all. It’s a very deceptive word; there is really no such thing as normal, only the illusion of what is normal. We go about our daily lives looking at different people, what they’re wearing, how they act, what they say, and then we either mimic those actions or we don’t. But overall, with everyone doing this at the same time subconsciously, we find that society sets criteria and creates an image of what we consider to be “normal.” What society deems “acceptable.” Yet, no one meets these criteria. First of all, how could we? As humans we are all unique individuals and to completely fit society’s standard for being “normal” is virtually impossible. Second, why would anyone want to? It leaves us merely shadows of ourselves if we change completely to fit into someone else’s standards, shadows that disappear as they are cast by a robot that does not think or feel for themselves.
Still, so many people pretend to meet the criteria. Desire to meet the criteria. Need to meet the criteria…but in reality they don’t, and they can’t. Normal is just not a good word. I don’t want to be normal anymore. I want to be me; and while I want to forget about my depression, it is a part of who I am and have become. At the same time it does not define me and though the battle will never be over; it is a battle that I know I can win.