Normal versus Crazy

I think the word normal should be retired as well as the word crazy.

They’re just words in the lexicon yet they continue to hurt people when the words are used.

I wonder if people who live in fear of hearing the word crazy are possibly identifying with their illness to a greater degree because it affects them more.

I once wanted to be normal and not have others think I was crazy. That ended when I started my job as a librarian.

My contention is that people diagnosed with schizophrenia or bipolar or another mental illness should find some kind of work to do so they feel better about themselves and get out of their house and their heads.

This could be a labor of love like volunteer work or paid labor yet either way it should be the kind of right livelihood that thrills our soul most of the time.

Ruminating on what we think people think of us is a futile circular tape loop in our imagination. It often doesn’t turn out to be true what we think.

A good friend of mine tells people his diagnosis–they don’t care and they accept him because he’s a good guy.

I was stigmatized way back in the mists of time so now I don’t really consider it as something that really matters to me.

Besides: I say: a person with a mental illness could turn out to be a viable romantic partner.

Holding out so-called normal people as the only suitable or desirable partners will set us up to fail.

I met a guy who is more real and honest and ethical than most “normal” people I’ve met.

That’s why we really do need to retire from the lexicon the words normal and crazy.

Decades ago I quickly got over wanting  to have other people accept me as normal.

It’s possibly because I’m a writer and an artist that I think these time-worn cliches should be removed from a person’s vocabulary about how they feel about themselves.

I don’t view any human being as normal or crazy. This takes courage.

Yet it also takes the belief that you will see the person first and get to know them.

It does help to break break with another person and listen to them so you can understand them.

So-called normal people need to be listened to and understood too.

Common ground is the ground on which everyone stands.

Dividing people into normal versus mentally ill is not the way to go.

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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