By David Joel Miller
What is normal anyway?
How can you tell if you are normal? How could you know if someone else is normal or just faking?
What if “normal” is having a whole lot of problems just like the rest of us?
Some days I start thinking either everyone is “normal” or none of us is. If by normal we mean no problems, emotional, mental or behavioral. So far I haven’t found any such people.
Remember that I spend all day, most days, seeing people who need counseling and in that process, I need to assess them and give them a diagnosis. You might think that because I only see people who have issues, I don’t see the really “Normal” people.”
I am starting to doubt that.
Everywhere I go people seem to have one problem or another. Celebrities get drunk and do bizarre things, athletes do drugs and countless Facebook pages report mostly complaints about how rotten life is and how everyone they know is crazy.
The harder I look the fewer almost-normal people I can find.
This has started me thinking that we have set the bar for normal so high that no one can make it to almost normal let alone the full measure of normalcy.
If we expect normal people to be close to perfect then we are likely to be severely disappointed. Frankly, we all have our issues. Life happens, things happen and then we have to cope for better or worse.
Some people cope better than others, but so far no one seems to be able to go on being “normal” every day for extended periods of time.
Frankly, I have given up on being normal. I will take “not certifiably crazy” any day.
From time to time when asked about how normal people do things, I have threatened to capture one of them and put that “normal person” on display at a zoo. That way the rest of us could observe what it would be like to have finally achieved normalcy.
After thinking about that a while I have to conclude that normal, is a long way from what most of us expect normal to be. Normal is, after all, living life in spite of having a whole lot of problems, issues, and untamed emotions. It may even be perfectly normal to have wild and crazy thoughts every now and then.
Given that, go ahead and enjoy being normal, even if you need therapy and meds to cope with a normal life.
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For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings, and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books
- More on how to be happy (counselorssoapbox.com)
- Mental Health Monsters – Depression and Anxiety (counselorssoapbox.com)
- How to control your drinking (counselorssoapbox.com)
- Could you use some help? (counselorssoapbox.com)
- Are you a functional Alcoholic? Do you know someone with an Alcohol Use Disorder? (counselorssoapbox.com)
- The voices in your head – depression, anxiety, and fear – they lie (counselorssoapbox.com)