More than Normal

I don’t love the many days of Recovery that aren’t exactly good, aren’t exactly bad, just… repetitive.

But on days where you don’t always expect it, you can learn things.

I find the harder my mental, emotional, and physical symptoms push at me, the harder I push back, like that one Skillet Song puts it (Not Gonna Die.)

Why shouldn’t I do what I want? Even if I have issues.

And you know, I’m finding there’s a lot of people like me out there.

Before starting Therpay and ending an abusive situation, I never heard people talk about struggling with mental health problems all that much, I knew one or two people maybe, but I didn’t talk to them at length about it.

Since coming out about all this, I keep discovering people who seem otherwise happy are secretly hiding tormenting anxiety, depression, and mood swings.

Then again, people might have thought my Dad seemed happy too.

See, I’m not like that. When I’m going through something, it’s pretty obvious I don’t smile or talk as much, I’ve always been frustrated with myself for this, but now I am wondering if it’s a good thing. I wear my heart on my sleeve in many ways. When I’m happy I show it, when I’m down I show it. But people notice and can help me.

I’m surprised by how many people who seem cheerful are covering up pain. It kind of makes sense, you have to overcompensate for how you feel. I’m noticing there is a fragility to it, and those people tend to make dark jokes. They joke about their negative feelings too.

I guess it’s a way to ask for help, but knowing that others may not really be able to help you, it’s hard.

Sometimes there’s a solace in knowing others are going through it, but for me, it’s actually discouraging to know they haven’t conquoered it either, I was hoping there was just something I’m missing.

That’s why I was blessed, quite literally, to talk to a lady at my church who’s actually been through the whole intrusive thoughts/depression ordeal, and been free for 10 years now. Which was very encouraging to hear.

My struggle isn’t over, but it is better. I got some good prayer.

It’s got to sound so weird, treating my issues with prayer and worship. Not the most accepted method.

Still, it’s Biblical.

Not that I’m saying professional help is bad, I did seek it out, but it just doesn’t work as well as the other things did.

There’s a song by Rachael Lampa “My Remedy” that I have a new apprecaition for since all this started.

I know where to go, to heal my heart to soothe my soul…

Every time I cry, and I want to hide, feeling like I’m damaged on the inside, I come running to You..

(You know what I need, you’re the Remedy, that’s why I’m keeping you close.

You know what’s bad for me, my only therapy, Jesus your love is my hope.)

On point, off track, one step forward, two steps back. Some days are gonna be just like that.

You’re my medicine, relieve my pain again and again, you always take me back no matter where I’ve been.

Every time I’m hurt, and it doesn’t work, feeling like it never could get any worse, you know just what to do.

It can feel like everyday is simply the struggle to feel normal again. Whatever normal is. I don’t even remember, what I am at now may actually have been my normal beofre, I just didn’t notice what was lacking from it.

If I were to have been really honest, even before the emotional backlash to my Dad moving out started to surface, my life didn’t feel complete.

I spent years in that abusive cycle, feeling afraid, rejected, used. All of which I was. Of course I didn’t feel normal.

Like those stupid pot commercials that played after it got legalized. “Helps me feel normal.” If being high is normal, all I can say is you need a new normal.

And so did I. If that situation was normal, normal is overrated.

Of course for many people, a bad situation is normal. It’s all they’ve ever been in, they’re used to it, they know how to “handle” it, so to speak. Some people are addicted to constantly being hurt, and riding on the Drama high.

One reason I was able to break the abuse was because I had slowly stopped needing the drama. There was a time I fought with my dad on purpose, but after awhile, God showed me how stupid it was to keep doing that when it never worked and only made us both upset. My dad himself had to have drama, if we had a good day, he’d start a fight or give me a verbally scarring lecture in order to restore balance. It was horrid. But he was addicted to the chaos.

My normal was still not perfect though, my normal was not a thriving family dynamic, but simply “coping” until I could get out of it. And I’ve come to see that’s how I treat every problem in my life. I try to cope until an escape presents itself.

It usualy works, gritting your teeth and clenching your hands, up till a certain point. Most painful events only last a few days at most.

But when it goes on for months, and you start to wonder if an end is in sight, then coping becomes a death trap. It leaves you feeling hopeless.

It’s okay to cope, if you have no choice, but in many cases what we are coping with may be something imaginary. Our real problem may be we can’t let go of our perception of ourselves as the victim, or the only one who’s suffering, or worse, we can’t stop seeing ourselves as a failure, a worthless piece of crap, lazy or difficult, or impossible to love.

You can cope with being told that over and over again, like Cinderella in that old story does… but what happens if that situation ends, and you still only see those things around you.

The fairy tales have it right, you do need to be rescued from it by someone else, no one can get out of that place themselves. If they thought they had, that would actually be a terrible sign.

My mom said this to me yesterday, that I don’t need to get back to “normal”. I want to get “better“, to move on into a better situation.

Normal is the status quo, but Jesus promised us an abundant life. Not a normal life.

Normal really is overrated.

Now, if better becomes the new normal, then that’s good. But my mom reminded me of something I already believed, that state of being that is permanent is not possible for a Christian, not a healthy one. The Word says we go from glory to glory.

Stagnation is death, in the Spiritual. God never changes because He is a complete entity, and needs no growth, He already has it all. But all created things, at least in this world, have to grow to be alive.

Anyway, so my new attitude needs to become that at the end of this, I will not have my old state of mind back, but a better one. I will not be as happy as I was, but happier. More joyful.

Until next time, stay honest–Natasha.

Not Gonna Die https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=njJ7NZMH70M

My Remedy https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PXgcwHvsqTc

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