One of the things that filled my mind for many years, and still does from time to time, is when I see normal. How can one see normal? First let’s define normal. Think about it right now. What is normal? Is it you? Myself? A neighbor? A group? Celebrities? (Ha!) The definition of normal is cloudy, at best, and therein lies the problem.
After my diagnosis I saw normal everywhere. It was the postman, the person driving by, the couple holding hands in the park, the clerk at Walgreens, bowlers at the bowling alley. In my eyes everyone was this seemingly unobtainable state known as normal and normal equaled happiness.
Yes, in my eyes every person whom I came across had it better than me. When I’d see two strangers meet and talk I’d have an almost unhealthy level of envy because that was something I’d never be able to do. When I’d see anyone at a job I’d be hideously envious because a job was something I’d never be able to do. And anytime I saw anyone in a relationship I’d die a little on the inside because that, above all else, would be something I’d truly never be able to do.
From my vantage point everyone was happy in this state of normal. From my vantage point everyone was living it up in Normalville having the time of their lives while I was chained to Asperger’s. This view of normal was about the worst thing for me because I counted myself out of any situation because of this mindset.
It’s a dangerous thing to perceive normal and chase it. Again, what is normal? I was blinded by the concept of normal that it took on a state that isn’t possible. Is everyone happy 100% of the time? No, but from the point of view I had they were because they were normal and I was not. This created a wedge that grew and grew week after week and month after month.
What was lost on me at the time is what I know now. It took a long time, but now I believe there is no such thing as normal and everyone, at some point in time, will see someone else and be a bit envious of who or what that person is. Most people don’t let that define them as I allowed my views of normal do to me and they will also not forget who they are when this happens. I would forget who I was as who I was seemed irrelevant to this fantasy known as normal.
It wasn’t until I realized that the normal I thought existed was a myth that I began to accept who I was. Everyone has his or her own challenges and normal is nothing more than the entity my mind created to show myself everything I’m not. And with that came expectations I could never live up to which guaranteed failure which, since I knew I would fail, made for a self-fulfilling prophecy.
That was then and this is now. So what now is my definition of normal? It’s changed drastically as now I firmly believe there is no such thing as normal. Normal is simply a boring myth that no one can live up to. But you know what? If we do find that one normal person that exists in this world all I can say is, “congratulations, we’ve found the most boring individual on the face of this great planet.”