Artisan – Post 27 – Needing Normalcy

Artisan by Dan Joyce


Post 27

Needing Normalcy


“Why do you act so persecuted for being mentally ill?”

“For one, you keep playing that card against me by saying that you know nothing about my illness, yet start to tell me or define to me what that is.”

“I’m just trying to help you become normal.”

“Help me become normal, interesting argument. For starters, what is normal? Is a man abnormal because he thinks differently than the rest? Was Columbus abnormal therefore by thinking the earth was round? Are functional families more normal although dysfunctional ones are proving more common? Can good marriages be considered normal when most are failing in modern times? And what about the abnormal people? Have you ever had their keen common sense reasoning skills surprise you when debating with the developmentally disabled? Observed socially foolish behavior by “nerd” MENSA members and geniuses? Normal simply isn’t the norm of modern society. Further, why would you suggest for any good reason that I would even want to become normal? Mentally ill people often enjoy many facets of their disease. We are often playfully eccentric, out-of-the-box thinkers making us more musical, artistic and creative. For that reason many men of great genius were mentally ill, Van Gogh and Isaac Newton with schizophrenia, Plato and Lincoln with chronic depression… Normal is rarely our desire whereas functioning in society and acceptance more commonly is. Your effort to help me as a manic-depressive become normal is about as rational as trying to help a black man become white, a gay man to become straight, make a woman think more like a man, or force a Mexican immigrant to assimilate or leave the country. If being normal means not being me, if being normal means not writing my “insanity,” not enjoying the euphoria of my manias, not showing sensitivity and empathy to those who suffer, not painting or writing poetry with such passion… more so, if being normal means hating and fearing those who are different from me, then why would I want to be “normal” at all?”

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