I am not sure what normal is, I am starting to believe that word is a myth. A word that we have created to either judge others or ourselves and our current situations. Whether it is a "the grass is always greener" scenario or a dream we create in our heads when we are small, uneducated in the way things work and naive.
When J was diagnosed with CIDP 3 1/2 years ago my life began it's "new" normal. It's not like I had never gone thru a hard time or a dream shattering experience before this. I have a whole whack load of those in my resume but this was different. There are things that happen to you, devastate you and even at times break you. Most people experience something like that in one form or another in their lifetime. They hurt, they suck and eventually you get up wipe yourself off, mourn the experience or loss of whatever it is and then gradually move on. Then there are the events in our lives that transform our own individual definition of normal.
These are the experiences that change you....like real permanent change you. They are like forks in the road in your journey and you have to decide which way to go....and you have to decide, life simply cannot stop. They change the landscape around you and the colors you see the world. Later on when you are further down your new path you can look behind you and be amazed at how far you have come and then one day you realize this new life, this new way of looking at things and experiencing the journey is now normal. There is a certain calmness that coats you as you become aware that you are doing more than survive..... you are continuing your journey.
Sometimes I don't even realize I am watching J closely, looking for a sign of weakness in his body, a hesitation in his walk, a struggle to get up, holding to the railing with stairs, a further stoop in his back. Months of really good health does an amazing thing to time. I was asked last night by a lady I don't know personally but who knows his family and who's husband has the same disease as J, how he is doing. It was a little strange to try to remember how long things have been going well with his health. I am not even sure I know how to explain it. I had to think....when was the last time things were bad....hmmmmm....thinking thinking...oh Christmas.... December was a bad month and the beginning of Jan....I wasn't aware that I had stopped counting weeks and months in between relapses. I began to realize last night that I am pretty firmly planted in our new normal.
I think of my childhood friend, Stefanie, in the beginning stages of her new normal.....a normal I can't imagine.... my heart feels for her and her little boys. I think of my other childhood and closest friend, Patti, who is also starting a journey that I can't imagine and is terrifying. Both ladies on different journeys, as we all are, about to experience a new routine, a new dream, and a new hope...... as I have discovered even through the darkest times and toughest roads with time comes hope and learning to live in that realm makes the new normal....well....normal.