Have you ever wondered what it means to be “normal”? I’ve always idolized normalcy. I understand that there is no such thing as normal, and everyone is unique in their own amazing ways. And I do truly believe that. However, I look at “normal” as not walking around 24/7 wanting to cause severe harm to yourself or others. Normal is being able to sleep at night without waking up, clawing at your underwear because of a nightmare. Normal is being able to go through your day without being stuck in the past. It’s waking up and semi-liking yourself (or better); it’s being able to get through the day without wrist banging or cutting; it’s feeling ok with where you are right this moment.
It occurred to me on my way home from therapy tonight, that for the first time in months (or maybe ever), I feel like I’m mostly happy. I get that “mostly happy” is not the most positive phrase, but trust me when I tell you that “mostly happy” is pretty fucking incredible for me. Even my marriage counselor commented about my happiness at the end of our session this week, and being any degree of “happy” in marriage counseling is a big deal for me.
For the first time ever, or at least as long as I can remember, I don’t feel like I’m weighted down. I don’t know how else to describe it. It’s like the constant negativity and urges to harm myself are not there. Even my dissociation is at probably an all-time low. Yes, I do sometimes have suicidal thoughts, and I do sometimes get stressed out and anxious. However, those thoughts and feelings no longer consume my entire day. That, my friends, is nothing short of a miracle.
Tonight, as I left therapy for the second time in a row feeling “lighter” and “happier,” I realized that maybe this is what it feels like to be “normal.” I am not constantly consumed with flashbacks and fears and nightmares. Instead, I am living in the present, soaking up every ounce of positive energy that the world has to offer me. Again, I’m not always positive – I definitely still have occasional suicidal thoughts (like last night), and I can still get very stressed out very quickly. But overall, I am in a much better place than I have probably ever been.
I do think that my regular yoga practice helps tremendously with this. In addition to that though, all of the work I’ve done in the past 18 months in therapy has made a huge difference. I think giving over a piece of the blame and guilt that went along with my sexual abuse probably made the biggest impact in terms of single events during my years of therapy. I’ve noticed such a change in myself now that I’m not carrying all of that around.
Tonight, I am going to bed with so much gratitude for the work that I have done and the progress that I have made (and of course for my shrink, who helps keep me on the right track). For once, I feel relatively “normal,” and that is such an amazing feeling to have.