One of my favourite pub debate topics. What is normal? According to the – is this:-

1. Conforming with, adhering to, or constituting a norm, standard, pattern, level, or type; typical: normal room temperature; one’s normal weight; normal diplomatic relations.

2. Biology Functioning or occurring in a natural way; lacking observable abnormalities or deficiencies.

So this could be interpreted in many ways – but boiling down to the point that normal is ‘the same as a large group of the same’, or ‘average’. Given this ‘label’ do people actually want to be normal? If not then do they want to be abnormal? Labelling things is always a tough call, because you’re never going to please everyone – however given these descriptions, I most definitely would not want to be normal. But then I do get my wish there don’t I? Being Depressed would not constitute normal for most people – but being Depressed is actually normal for me. Strange concept? Hard to accept when that one popped into my head – with media, society and well, the Doctor telling me how I am is not ‘biologically and mentally correct’ does this mean i’m not normal? For me no – for society yes. Should this be a problem? Most definitely not.

People are forever trying to push the boundaries with dress sense, style, fashion, new media fads, and strangely, even when some are trying to be different, as soon as someone else is the same as you, it has the danger of becoming normal. So if i’m to run with that idea – the fact that some statistics purportedly put Depression sufferers alone at 12.5% of the population, does that actually make it normal? Seems that way doesn’t it? We’re certainly a significant minority if not!

Also, being Depressed does not mean we don’t conform to society, or can adopt the accepted way of thinking/behaving. Behavioural norms are often more diligently studied, picking up on the slightest body language gesture, or emotional display that many so-called ‘normal’ people don’t. I often find myself quietly hidden in a corner of a new group of people, studying, noting, assessing how to handle the situation – who to avoid, who to speak to – and most importanly, how do you include the person who is being left out? Usually the person who is like me but less practiced with the ‘Mask’? Despite being the perennial ‘life and soul of the party’ I don’t generally start out that way – and it is often the reflection of the people i’m with that will bring out that side of me more than not.

So – do I want to be normal? Depends entirely on what normal is. If it’s normal for me then wholeheartedly yes – why change yourself when you can accept yourself? What is so wrong with being able to feel what so many others cannot? Crying like a baby at Grays Anatomy or Bicentennial Man? Feeling joy in equal measure in so many ways I cannot count? If being normal means being reserved, unemotional, unfeeling, blank, bland and beige… you can count me out.