Having a “Normal” Life

I want to riff on where I left off in the last blog entry.

I always thought recovery must be self-defined.

In the 1990s I had a “normal” life with a corporate office job and an apartment. So on paper it looked like I had recovered.

Only I don’t think I had a better life until I turned 35 and started working as a librarian.

Proof that you can be in remission yet not have the kind of life you wanted to have until later on.

In this regard I don’t view recovery as the return to having a so-called “normal” life.

The Merriam-Webster definition of normal is:

Of or having ordinary or average intelligence; conforming to a standard or type; free of mental defect.

Does being average and conforming appeal to you? More power to you should it float you to be normal.

I always wanted to have “an artist’s life in the city.” That was my one true goal when I was in college

Often those of us with broken brains take a detour before coming to be where we want to be.

Thus I’m not keen to accept returning to having a “normal” life as the hallmark of whether a person has recovered.

Isn’t it a relief to know this?

Isn’t it more hopeful to know that you don’t have to fit a mold of what constitutes success?

That you and I can go our merry way having a life of our own design.

As the saying goes:

Sometimes the best raspberries come late in the season.

Author: Chris Bruni

Christina Bruni is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir Left of the Dial. She contributed a chapter "Recovery is Within Reach" to Benessere Psicologico: Contemporary Thought on Italian American Mental Health. As well as an author and activist, Bruni is an artist and athlete.

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