Why Can’t I Just Be Normal?
A question that would usually pop into my mind when remorseful due to stupid stuff I’d done while drunk was – ‘why can’t I just be normal like everyone else?’ As my situation deteriorated, due to my insatiable enthusiasm for alcohol, the life of a ‘normal person’ began to seem increasingly attractive.
So, I started to make serious attempts at living what I considered to be a normal life – I quit drinking, bought a microwave, bought a futon, exercised every day, got a nice girlfriend, went to college, and got a good job. Acting normal seemed to work for a while until the nagging question ‘what is the point?’ caused that normal world to implode.
I now see that the reason I couldn’t live a ‘normal life’ was I’d already realised, even before I started drinking, the things society told me should be enough to satisfy me weren’t going to be enough to satisfy me. There was never anything actually wrong with this realisation – in fact, it is the same realisation that drove people like the Buddha to discover a path to true happiness. It was not my disillusionment with ‘normal living’ that was the problem – it was what I did with this disillusionment that was the problem.
Do You Really Want to Be Normal?
Some people are perfectly happy to embrace a conventional life. For them, a secure job, a retirement plan, a nice home, and friends coming around for dinner occasionally is enough. There is nothing wrong with this being enough, the problem is when you have already decided this is not going to be enough and you try to make it enough.
It is often our dissatisfaction with ‘normal living’ that makes alcohol or drugs such an attractive proposition. It can create an urge to escape reality which then leads to a great deal of suffering. Once we have made the decision to escape the substance abuse, it can be tempting to view our sense of dissatisfaction with life as the enemy –a quirk in our brain that is preventing us from ‘getting with the program’. But is this really true? Is it possible this sense of dissatisfaction is pointing us towards the only thing that will allow us to feel fully fulfilled and happy?
The Unusual Life You Are Meant to Live
So what could it be that this sense of dissatisfaction is telling us?
In my own case, this inner disquiet was due to not feeling like I knew who I was – I was living a lie. I felt like a stranger to myself, and when I tried to make my life fit in with my thoughts about how ‘I should be’, it only made me feel worse.
None of us are special, but we are all unique. There will never be anyone exactly like you born again in this universe – you are a one off. It is only through allowing yourself to blossom that you will begin to feel fulfilled. For this process to begin, you need to be willing to let go of any thoughts you have about who you are.
The problem with allowing thoughts dictate who we are is that they are always going to be
at least partially wrong. Thoughts are just stories we use to help us make sense of the world – living our life from these stories is mistaking the map for the territory. You are part of reality, so you need to drop the stories about yourself to discover your true self.
The thoughts we have about ourselves can prevent us from blossoming – we end up putting limits on ourselves that don’t exist in reality (e.g. ‘I’m too old for that’, ‘I’m not clever enough’, ‘I’m not very adventurous’, ‘I’m lazy’, or ‘it sounds too risky’). These thoughts can mean we end up settling for a life where we feel dissatisfied until we end up saying ‘what is the point?’
Further reading – How to Find Your Life Purpose
Please support Hope Rehab Thailand by sharing this post on social media.
Other Topics That Might Interest You
If you really want this Christmas to be different, perhaps the wisest course of action would be to seek help with the things that are holding you back. This would not only many a better festive season but more importantly a better life
Winter can be a particularly challenging time for our mental health. Sometimes the best solution to a dark time can be a change of scenery. This is not about running away from our problems but about doing what we need to do in order to manage and survive them.
Autumn (Fall in North America) provides the perfect example of how change occurs. It involves the letting go of the old to make room for the new.
During your time with us at Hope, you can expect a life-changing adventure, but we will also provide you with the tools you need for a better future. This is not a quick fix because quick fixes don’t tend to last
A lack of love for the summertime may just be down to personal preference, but it can also be due to an underlying disorder or because we’ve had bad experiences at this time of year. Summer can bring out the worst in us, and this is particularly the case if we have some kind of addiction issue.