What is normal?

When I was younger I always wanted to be “normal” but the only way I could define “normal” was “something someone else has and I don’t.”  I stopped worrying about it for a few years and then one day I had an epiphany.  I realized “this IS normal for me.”  Then eventually I realized that what one person thinks of as the worst possible situation, someone else calls Tuesday.

Is it “normal” to have 2 kids with ASD?  It is for me.  You might think it’s horrible.  Or a vacation, depending on your own normal.  There are many situations that I don’t think I could handle but are completely and perfectly normal for people who live with them.

I can think back on several times where I’ve thought “I wish life would go back to normal” followed by “I guess this is normal now”.  Instead of a goal to strive toward normal now became a fluid concept that changed as my life circumstances changed.  It’s not just major events like births, deaths, marriages, divorces, deployments, etc, but minor events can all bring a change in definition.  The new car has different features, the oven doesn’t cook very well, the closet is too small.  These things may not mean much in the grand scheme but right here, right now, they define normal.

So what is “normal”?  “Normal” is the day-to-day of your life, whatever that is and regardless of anyone else’s perception, and it changes as your life changes.  “Normal” is also the day-to-day of that other person’s life even if you don’t like it.  And when someone hits a rough patch they may appreciate a little help in redefining “normal” for their new circumstances.  It’s not always easy but, guess what, that’s normal!

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Posted on October 14, 2011, in Asperger's, Autism, PDD-NOS. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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