“Normal is how you perceive normal, not what others tell you is normal.”
- Sean Thomas
In the throes of Hepatitis C treatment, this is something I’ve been pondering for a few days. What is “normal”? Can “normal” change or is it an immutable truth? Are any two “normals” the same?
So is this now my “New Normal”?
Perhaps we need to allow ourselves a range of normality, especially while we go through this treatment journey. And more importantly, perhaps we need to stop defining “normal” as what we were.
Because what we were is different for everyone. Heck, it’s different for US at various stages of the treatment process. Before I started treatment, I felt normal. I did normal things. I got up, I exercised in the morning. I went to work 5 days a week. I came home. I tried to avoid cooking dinner wherever possible. I slept. I did normal weekend things. I went out for dinner, I went to the movies. I met with friends. I enjoyed my Saturday morning treat of breakfast and the Sydney Morning Herald at my favourite cafe.
For other people, normal might have been an inability to work, or to go out, or to enjoy certain activities. Perhaps some people managed far more than me.
That I can’t do some of those things right now doesn’t mean I’m not in a good place. It doesn’t mean I’m more sick than I was. It might mean that I am saving my energy. It might mean that right here, right now, I am engaging in the fight of my life. And that’s my New Normal.
Perhaps we all need to cherish our New Normals. Often they’re a sign that something monumental is happening within us.