Friday, 25 April 2014

It’s not easy being 'normal'

I really hate it when people say to me that I should try to be normal despite the fact that I am being normal every day of my life.  In fact, the daily struggle I have with being normal is very wearing on me.

The trouble is that people don’t understand that when they say “normal”, they are using the term incorrectly.  “Normal”, in the sense they mean it, doesn’t exist because they are trying to shoehorn people into a category of normality based on a fictional societal norm that can never exist.  There is no type of behaviour that can possibly be considered ‘normal’ because normality is a highly subjective word when applied to human behaviour.

People with mental health conditions have, in the equally incorrect but scientifically used designation, an abnormal psychology compared with societal norms.  However, people with such conditions are acting normally based on the restrictions of their illness.

A person with depression has a normal day filled with low self-esteem, a lack of enthusiasm and motivation and possibly even suicidal ideation so, for them, normal is a daily round of misery and hopelessness.  A psychopath can consider their normal behaviour as being unable to empathise with the humanity experienced by non-psychopaths meaning that, for them, normal is spending their days coming up with new ways to kill off more vulnerable members of society (and kudos to those of you who picked up the reference to the subject of one of my earlier blogs).

I am a depressive.  For me, the daily struggle I mentioned earlier is not, in fact, a struggle with being ‘normal’ because I act normally every day; it is a struggle to act abnormally to conform to the fictional societal norm everyone so cheerfully calls ‘being normal’.

Society would be a much better place if people accepted that, as long as people are not getting hurt by someone’s behaviour, everyone is just normal and to stop projecting an impossibly ridiculous societal norm on everyone rather than trying to force people to act in a way that brings further struggle into their lives.  Like I said, it’s not easy being ‘normal’.

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