Have you ever found yourself saying, “I just want to be normal again”? I find myself doing it often when talking about the business of being ill after my mold exposure at work. For me normal was fourteen years ago before I began getting sick in 1999. The normal then was coloring or highlighting my hair, wearing my contacts, putting on make-up, having manicures and pedicures, wearing clothes right off the rack of the store without worry of chemicals and fragrances, and more frightening wearing clothes from the dry cleaners. Normal was meeting friends for dinner, taking long walks, traveling with my girlfriend in her plane, spending the day shopping in the mall and eating lunches out with the girls. Normal was being able to travel anywhere I wanted and staying in a hotel without worry about cleaning products, mold, and formaldehyde. Normal was getting up and cleaning the entire house (all 2500 sq. feet of it) in one day.
For me I began getting sick in 1999 and walked through some sort of Twilight Zone Tunnel, if you will. Then suddenly emerging on the other side to where I am now fourteen years older. It is as if that time of growing older didn’t happen yet I know it did just by looking at my body.
Is it realistic to say I want to be normal again? The answer is not an easy yes or no. Yes, I want to be normal in that I want many of the things I could do back again. However, fourteen years has passed. It is realistic to say I want normal and expect the normal from that time? No, it is not. Despite the illness and all that goes with it, my body as aged as it would have had I not become ill. My normal had I not become ill fourteen years ago would most definitely have been altered given the simple fact that as my body aged it would have brought limitations in movements and limitations in energy.
When we say normal, what are we really asking for? Normal is really only relevant for a short period of time. Normal is constantly changing as our bodies and the world around us changes.
How do you define normal? When you say you want to be normal again, what normal are you asking for? Is it the normal from years gone by?