It's world diabetes awareness day 2015!! So to celebrate I'm going to write about a thought that crosses every diabetic's mind at one time or another - am I normal?
I have been type 1 diabetic for 15 years.
I have always felt that I am different from my peers because of that fact. I viewed my condition as a hindrance and throughout the years I have resented the fact I am diabetic, been angry that I am diabetic, been wishful of being a non-diabetic or been highly annoyed about what life with type 1 diabetes entails. Sometimes I think these things more often or more strongly than other times but at the very least they were always in the back of my mind. However, all this completely changed when I started asking myself - what is normal?
In the Oxford Dictionary the adjective "normal" is defined as:
"Conforming to a standard; usual, typical of expected".
In terms of people, the definition is:
"Free from physical or mental disorders".
I cannot categorise myself into either of those descriptions therefore I am not normal. I am different.
If I am not normal, who is normal?
But, I can't answer that question simply because normality changes. I once heard a friend of mine say - "normality is just a perception of the mind" - and he could not be any closer to the truth. What is normal to me is abnormal to the next person, what is abnormal to me is normal to someone else. But still we believe that society has these unspoken terms and conditions and we question ourselves.
Am I normal?
If you put me in a line with 9 other people who were all non-diabetics, 7 of which were female and the other 2 male (including myself there would be 8 females in total), no, I am not normal because I am the only diabetic stood there. I am not usual, typical, expected or conforming to the diabetes-free standards. I am not free from a physical or mental disorder. I am not normal.
And yet, I am normal at the same time.
I am normal if you are judging us on gender. In this circumstance, I am normal. I am conforming to the female expectations of that line up. I am also normal if I am in a line up of 9 diabetics and 1 non-diabetic.
So, I ask myself over and over again - am I normal? Well my answer is this,
Why would you want to be normal?