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Defining normal.  By the way, what really is normal?

The purpose of this site began as way to explore the way my mental illness had affected my life. I have been living with bipolar disorder for 16 years. Over the years (and it hasn’t been easy), I have come to believe that my mental illness does not DEFINE me.

I entered graduate school to pursue my degree in social work with one goal in mind: Transforming “I AM my mental illness” to “I HAVE a mental illness.”

From an examination of my own mental illness and mental illness in general, I began to further ponder this idea of normal. When I look out at the world, I see a lot of things that have become the status quo or what we just accept as normal. Perhaps the biggest normal out there: discrimination. Not just based on mental illness. But race. Sexuality. Gender. So many to even list. What about poverty? Is it normal to allow ourselves to stand by and not doing anything to eradicate the pervasive poverty in our world? And then there are all the silly things (or not so silly) to muse upon…our addiction to technology, popular culture, etc. Is it normal to obsess over the lives of celebrities or Facebook?

So much to explore as we seek to define normal. Take this journey with me. I think what we will find out together is normal is quite relative.

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