I find that the daily struggle to be functional and healthy has perhaps skewed my view of “normal”. I know everyone’s normal takes different forms but it’s discouraging for me when the abnormal becomes normal. It’s “abnormal” to be so detached that your voice sounds like a stranger’s, that the faces of loved ones don’t register as familiar, that one forgets what town or state one lives in. It’s “abnormal” to forget or neglect to eat even though you know blood sugar lows severely affect your mood. It’s “abnormal” to have to talk oneself through the day, out loud, almost every hour, because you forget multiple times throughout the day what day of the week it is and what is on the schedule (even with the help of a planner). It’s “abnormal” to have nightmares almost every night and not be bothered by it anymore because it’s become normal.
It’s hard not to accept the symptoms of anxiety and depression as an integral part of me that will never go away. Perhaps it is hopelessness, perhaps it is resignation, perhaps it is the sheer exhaustion of fighting battles every day just to keep my head above water. A scary thought came to mind, though: what if I don’t want to get better? What if I have befriended these struggles, grown accustomed to them, can’t imagine my life without them. What if the routine of struggle is so normal for me that I will always be treading these deep waters? What if my anxiety, depression, derealization, disassociation – whatever you call it – have become my identity? What if I have befriended my foes?
I am trying to tell myself that I have not accepted this as permanent, that I am trying to get healthier and that is all I can do. I am trying and that is enough. I can do no more than that.