I’m not normal.

“I’m getting sick of this. I bet if we did a poll right now, nobody else would be doing what you’re doing. You’re not acting like a normal person. It’s as if you’ve given up”.

I sat on my bed, laptop balanced on my legs, and wondered if my mother would really put money on my abnormality. She’s not the betting kind – she’s free of any vices unless you can count chocolate – so I’d guess not, but it still struck me as somewhat insensitive. I never act like a normal person; surely she’s used to it by now? I tried to concentrate on the screen as she carried on, determined to ignore anything negative.

If you carry on like this, I’m calling the psychiatric unit“.

Last week, she threw this old gem at me – a claim she’s been making since my teens – because I was shouting. Admittedly, I’ve been shouting a lot recently, and there’s no doubt it’s making me look entirely crazy; especially when I’m slamming doors like an angsty teenager and bursting into tears for no reason. My emotions have been running all over the place for a couple of weeks now, and having my mother remind me that I’m not part of “normal” society really doesn’t help.

This was always going to be the risk I took by starting on Lyrica. The side-effects read like a list of psychiatric disorders, and my GP warned me that I was likely to experience more anxiety and depression if I took them. What can you do though when faced with both physical and mental illness? You take those risks because otherwise you’d never get anywhere; unfortunately most medications seem to end in a cycle of side-effects and more pills to calm those down. Some may say that scrapping the meds would be the ideal answer. If only life were that black and white.

Lyrica works. It works better than I ever imagined, and being able to do simple things like lifting my arms above my head has done a lot to improve things for me emotionally. I can stand up for more than a couple of minutes now; a few months ago, I had to sit down almost permanently. However, that freedom has come at a huge price, and I’m starting to worry a little.

I should be writing about S’s bithday celebrations – he turned thirty on Thursday – but instead I’m panicking over nothing, and putting off completing this post because I know it’ll all sound ridiculous. I feel selfish; I’m here complaining about my problems and haven’t made any effort to reply to comments or read other blogs. I mean, I have made the effort, but couldn’t write anything. Or even take anything in.

 

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34 Comments

  1. Your blog is for whatever you want to write about – it isn’t about ‘shoulds’..I don’t think you’re selfish at all. I think you should give yourself a little more credit – you are fighting a yeoman’s fight – and doing so takes herculean effort. I applaud you..and hope you can give yourself a pat on the back (even a small one…:-))

  2. Mucho Love from your friend who says, who wants to be normal? Okay, maybe we’d both like it sometimes, but the point is, there isn’t any such thing as a normal person. You are currently much better than normal for you, and also worse. If your mum starts in with the unit shit, again, please remind her of what the doctor said about side effects, and then direct her to call his office. That takes the responsibility off of you, and puts it with someone she will believe, easily.

    Happy birthday to S., and please, don’t beat yourself up too badly. You are not the cause of your mum’s wacky reactions — they arise from her, not from you. Please be kind to yourself, if you can. I don’t like hearing that you are holding down my friend! 8-)

    • I confess, I didn’t tell my mother about the side-effects and I hid the leaflet from her; she usually gets hold of them, reads them and panics. I didn’t want her to be judging my every word and action as an effect of the Lyrica. Turns out she throws the mental illness bit in anyway. I’m sick of her defining me by it, you know?

      I agree there’s no such thing as a normal person. I don’t even believe there’s such a thing as normal. People are constantly changing.. nobody can ever be normal. I know she’d never actually call the unit, and if she did they wouldn’t do anything, but it’s the threat I hate. The reminder that I was the daughter who let her down.

      ((hugs)) Much love to you, as always.

  3. This calls for one of my favorite “Alice in Wonderland” quotes…

    The Mad Hatter: Have I gone mad?
    [Alice checks Hatter's temperature]
    Alice Kingsley: I’m afraid so. You’re entirely bonkers. But I’ll tell you a secret. All the best people are. :D
    Hugs friend..hang in there!

  4. I have so been there before, it is like you wrote my own words. I could not take the lyrica. I kept falling. Sometimes in the middle of the night. I would wake up and be in the hall, head in the bathroom. But then I started falling in the day. Yikes! Besides being crazy I have fibromyalgia along with depression. Some day’s crazy is a good thing some days it’s not. I do agree with “stuff I said.” If I had a choice I would certainly be the Mad Hatter! Hang in there!

    • I’ve heard a lot of negativity about Lyrica, and I’ve been falling too. Stumbling a lot. It’s difficult weighing up the pros and cons; I’m anxious and panicky and my motor skills have deserted me… but I don’t hurt. I mean, my joints hurt from the arthritis, but my muscles don’t ache and burn anymore. I don’t wake up with my thighs screaming in pain. For the first time in years, I sometimes sleep properly.

      Is it worth it? I’ve decided it is, but I can understand why so many people can’t take it. The blurred vision is driving me crazy.

      Thanks so much, Nancy <3 I have a lot of love for the Mad Hatter!

      • I found something to help with the pain during sleeping. It is called a Cuddle Ewe. Now mind you I do not recommend many things because I know that everything is different for each person and what works for me may not work for you and visa versa. The Cuddle Ewe is a wool under quilt (mattress topper) I found it on a fibro site. I was desperate because of all the pain I was waking up with. Shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles, among the other places. My hubby bought me two different mattresses, one quite costly. I felt like the princess and the pea. It had a 30 day guarantee and like I said I was desperate. They are costly so I bought a twin size expecting to be returning it. When it arrived I was even more doubtful. It was thinner than I thought it needed to be. I put it on my bed and OMGoodness that was 7 years ago and that was the best 200 dollars I ever spent. I was even able to resume camping. I take it everywhere with me. I love it. This year I splurged an bought one for the queen size bed. I am not sure how or why it works I only know that it does. Check it out. It does have that 90 day guarantee. Between that and getting my meds right for the first time in my adult life I can sleep about 7 hours and I do not feel like I have been playing football and being the ball. I have never slept that long. I say if the Lyrica is working for you and the good outweighs the bad go for it. My sister takes it just fine. But then she has never been coordinated. lol She is the clown I blogged about. lol

  5. Should I send you a box of fucking kleenex? How often do you allow yourself your own pity parties? Yes, life sux at times and yes it gets scary and yes we feel so alone trapped in our own world that no one else understands but only you have the ability to make your life better. Only you have the ability to let the right people in your world and keep the wrong people out, only you have the ability to push yourself beyond the norm and only you have the capability to accept what is happening to you and your life.
    If you want better you shall have it if you reach for it and if you want to sit on your ass and let your life pass you by, then fucking sit there and let it. If you need a shoulder, hell I have two very large ones and I am no stranger to mental illness as I am certified crazy. So stop with the poor me shit and pull yourself up by your boot straps and get on with it love. If you need someone to talk to contact me at katchef49@yahoo.com and I will send you my home phone number and I will kick your ass up and out the door sweetie, mwaaahhhhh don’t give up and dont give in, I haven’t and never will.

    • Thanks. I think.

      Pity party? If that’s what it is, then I let it happen… eh, more often than I let on. It’s easy to say let the right people into my world, but what should I do? Throw my mother out of her own house? Abandon her because she’s struggling with her life and taking it out on me? I can’t be that callous, regardless of whether it would help me.

      I resent being told I sit on my ass and let this happen. I’ve got off my ass more than I should to arrange appointments and travel to see specialists. I’ve agreed to scans and blood tests and invasive surgery in an attempt to fight whatever’s been going on. I’ve pushed for treatment and medications, and shouted at consultants who refused to listen to me. I’ve gone to parties when I don’t want to, just because I know I need to join the real world. I take my mother to town every Thursday regardless of how I feel, because she needs the help. None of this makes me a superhero… but I do try, even if I don’t want to.

      This blog… writing about the bad stuff helps me. It may not be cheerful reading and I have no doubt it does annoy some, but I stopped writing for anybody else a while ago. If having a whinge on my blog calms me down and stops me causing myself harm… I know this may not make sense, but it’s all part of trying to deal with everyhing.

      I don’t intentionally go for the poor-me aspect. If it comes across that way… eh. It’s just what comes out when I type. I certainly don’t feel sorry for myself. Just frustrated.

      • When I speak of sitting on your ass I do not mean physically, I mean mentally and I am sure I appear to be quite callous but I am far from it. Everyone needs a special someone that will help lift them from the bowels that we sink into and it isn’t easy to find that special one person but they are out there. Write away if it makes you feel better as that is why I write and I am finally experiencing happiness for the first time in a very long time. I do hope you are able to feel good again and I apologize for appearing so mean and hateful, Im sorry. All of us feel sorry for ourselves and where are life is at, sometimes and when you feel you need to apply your own brand of love to yourself then do it. Don’t let me or anyone else influence you how you deal with your pain. Hell, I am no one to talk believe me.

        • Thank you for replying, luv. I admit I took your comment to heart, and I’m not one to deal with criticism well. I’ve had a skinful of judgement today and I think you got caught in the firing line.

          I’m lucky; I have that special person. We live apart right now, so only see each other at the weekends. It’s getting through the week without that support which I find difficult. Then I worry I’m relying too much on one person; I worry about the most ridiculous things. Sometimes everything gets jumbled in my head and I have to spew it out on here or I’ll let it fester.

          No need to apologise; even if I don’t like it, I appreciate honesty.

  6. I’d heard normal was just a setting on the dryer. :)

    Seriously though, don’t ‘should’ on yourself (wise words from a friend of mine who even wrote it on a post-it note for me as a daily reminder.)

    Being critical/judgmental of others is probably one of the worst vices, they seem to suck the lifeblood out of everyone and are never ever happy. Life is a process. Be proud of your progress, you work !@#$ hard! I am proud of you and you have my support. :)

    I’d have to say one thing I learned to ask myself is, “Would I accept this from someone I wasn’t related to?” Usually the answer is no and I have to limit my exposure to them. No one’s life matters more than yours, same as their comments and beliefs. Self-care rocks!

  7. I’d much prefer to be unique and individual rather than ‘normal’. Normal means you’re part of the flock that follows each other. Unique means you listen to your soul, stand for what you believe in, and have the courageous to be yourself, no matter what anyone else thinks. Tough but I know you can do it :)

    And so what you haven’t commented on any posts – I don’t always either, but entirely my choice. Ditch the should’s and replace them with could’s – it’s your life, no-one else’s. xx

  8. You’re allowed to feel what you feel. There’s nothing wrong with that. And I see you trying to get out there and lead your life quite often. I know you’ll make it through.

    Oh, and if you were entirely normal, I wouldn’t be here. I so don’t do normal, either in myself or the people I choose to know. :)

  9. LOVE, I really wish someone would define normal for me, cause i for one havent a clue about what it is, is normal sitting on your bed at 1030 at night listening to death metal, one wouldnt think so. but HBTG you write to your hearts content i will be right here to read every word you put on your blog and if at times i dont comment it is because i dont have the words but i will like all of your posts.

  10. Please don’t feel bad that you don’t comment. Or read blogs. This is not suppose to be a chore. This is entertainment. A past time activity. A hobby. Not a law. You read them when you feel like it. I don’t hold anything against anyone who doesn’t feel like reading my blog. Fatigue, illness, emergencies, or sometimes you-just-don’t-feel-like-it. Carry on….

    I agree with prideinmadness…normal is boring. You think outside the box. What you need is to get out of that house and live your life. And I know that day will come soon. Hopefully with S!

    Is there some way you can catch yourself before you have an outburst or crying fit? Can you feel it coming on? If you can, do you think you could control it and just tell yourself it’s the Lyrica? Take deep breaths and walk away from the source that is triggering it.

    Not for nothing, but menopause is alot like that. Hormones suck.

  11. I’m certain that your mother and mine must be related. My mother gives me just the same insensitive and helpful comments. She once told me everyone else was so much easier to deal with than me. I think I suggested that I’d do the deed and she wouldn’t have to bother herself anymore. But normal? It’s funny how we presume that everyone else is normal and we’re the one’s that aren’t. I’m just realising now that my mother is far from from normal. Although she’s not the one with all the diagnoses. Ironic! What I hate though (with fibro) is that we end up having to trade mental health for physical health. Right now mine is the other way around because I can’t take the medication. But either way, it sucks so please don’t feel selfish. It’s okay to be exactly as you are.

  12. Pleasedo not beat up on yourself for what you are doing is the best you can. If someon eis asking more than that from you than I would question their wants.
    Sometimes we have to keep in mind that other people often ride horses all over someone’s feelings just to elevate them sleves. I’m not saying this is what is happening just asking that you consider it.

    I understand the give and take with medicines. I too use Lyrica for Foibro and Ginat Cell Response. Because it acts oon my central nervous system in different ways than opiates the pain relief has been incredible for the Fibro. But for me it has its drawbacks as well. I have hyper-tension now where before I had serious low bllodd pressure. I also have to have my liver screened often because its so hard on it and the years of medicine (almost 30) have taken their toll. Its a good thing I don’t drink. o my take is its about quality of life. Mine is much better than without the Lyrica for now.

    Please do not beat up on yourself sweetie, I’d like to know what Normal is, or meet Normal oneday. Wait! Nope, I have changed my mind. Normal and I would not be compatable.~

  13. I think you are perfect just the way you are. And what is normal? For real how freaking boring would that be. Do you, never ever apologize. “Normal” are elementary school teachers in freaking sweaters from the Gap. If that is normal I just would keep on walking by. I gotcha :) I as you gather would fail normal and damn proud of that. Be well friend.

    • Aw, thank you sweetie! I hate the idea of normal; “normal” conjours up images of grey-suited robots working 9-5, having 2.4 children, and obeying every rule society comes up with. That ain’t for me. I’d crack on the first day.

      It’s weird. I don’t mind being far from normal, but I don’t like my mother pointing it out. Guess I just feel she doesn’t have the right to be hypocritical. And I agree, normal is boring, and who ever enjoyed a boring life?!

      Take much care of you <3

  14. *sends love and hugs*

    Sounds like maybe your mother can’t get her head around the idea of your medication causing these side-effects, which is why she’s being insensitive.

    I’m in retreat next week (Saturday-Friday) so won’t be around but I’ll be praying for you.

      • Yeah, not everyone can cope with the silence. In fact, it was giving me serious grief, just the idea of it (and it kind of still is) but I’ve talked to one of the Sisters (who is currently sleeping in the cell next door to me and the cells where we are have paper walls) about it and we’ve come up with a plan of action so I can cope with the next 7 days.

        I’m sure the main reason I’ve been so worked up about it is because of how this week, since Monday, has been competely off the normal routine and I’ve had far more time by myself than I normally do, and then there’s been time with all the Sisters who are home, so I’ve been going almost from one extreme to another and I’ve got to re-find the middle again.

        So… Crazy is as crazy does! I’ll see you on the flip side of it and may even write a daily diary to post next Friday when we’re allowed back online again.

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