In a meeting recently, I heard a very interesting statement. A gentleman was talking about the factors and rationalization behind his abuse, and said, ‘I drank to feel how everyone else looked.’ A simple statement on the surface, but to me, that simple statement rang so true and resonated so deeply. What was he really saying, that his drinking/using was in an effort to obtain a feeling that was purely based on his own perception of others.
So often, we hear of the motivation for drinking being based on the desire to ‘escape’ from something. Whether anxiety, worry, fear, anger, hurt, or numerous other motivators, we try so hard to feel ‘normal’. We don’t want to feel those feelings that are occupying our brains, so we numb them, and they go away, temporarily, and seem to rage back, exponentially worse, with the addition of shame, guilt and remorse.
So what is normal? Does it exist? Normal is defined as: conforming to a standard; usual, typical, or expected. So, yes there is an expectation of how we should act, or what is considered ‘standard’. But I think the perception of feeling ‘abnormal’ is normal. We all struggle with different emotions, we unfortunately compare ourselves to what we believe to be true in others. The fact of the matter is that we all struggle with these feelings, and what is normal is to accept them and work through them, rather than numbing them and hoping they go away.
So today, I will understand that sometimes I am not normal, and that is normal!