What Is Normal?

When you suffer from depression, there is really no such thing as “normal” anymore.  What you may consider to be normal, some people may not even be able to fathom.  You long for a sense of normalcy.   You wish you could get up in the morning and feel ready to take on the day, and feel as if each day has been lived to the fullest.  Most people get up, go to work, take care of their kids or family, come home and have dinner and spend weekends enjoying their lives.  Right?  At this point, I am not sure I am the one to ask.  It’s been a long time since I knew how any part of that felt. 

For me, one of the worst parts about dealing with the symptoms is that I am well aware that there are people out there who just feel like I am lazy.  Sometimes that thought even crosses my own mind.  On those days when merely taking a shower is all I can muster, I beat myself up.  I worry that more people will exit stage left out of my life.  I worry my husband will finally begin to consider me a burden.  Where would I go, what would I do if I didn’t have him? 

One of the hardest lessons I am having to teach myself is that it simply doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks or says.  They are not living my life or dealing with this disease.  I am constantly feeling as if I am being judged or mocked behind my back.  Perhaps I am.  I can’t let that thought live inside my head.  I just have to attempt to learn what normal is for me.  At the same time, I have to understand that living under a cloud of sadness and depression cannot become my normal. 

So, therein lies my struggle.  Do I continue to beat myself up for not taking on more, or do I respect what I have been able to accomplish despite myself.  Do I count my blessings for now?  After all, I have succeeded in starting my own business, I have a nice home, a wonderful husband.  Perhaps I just need to let that be enough.  Let ME be enough. 

There will always be an internal battle within me.  There will always be times such as this, where I can’t find the light at the end of the tunnel.  In the back of my head, I know I will come out of this but there is no telling when or how.  One day I will wake up and not feel a sense of doom.  I will have the energy and strength to begin my day, rather than roll over and cry myself back to sleep. 

As I become stronger and feel more capable of coping with life, I will look back on all of this pain and sadness.  I will be grateful to have learned from the experience.  To come out on the other side a better person.  That is my hope, and for now hope has to be enough. 
I am alive and that for me, is my normal. 

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