What is the new normal?
According to the end-all reference Urban Dictionary, the new normal is the current state of being after some dramatic change has transpired.
The rest of the UD entry is gold. The new normal encourages one to deal with current situations rather than lamenting what could have been. Like, whoever wrote it needs to be my friend.
Feeling “normal” is something that I’ve been struggling with since the night of the accident. Deep down, I knew it was just a matter of time. Like that annoying cliché saying that makes you want to bop someone on the head as soon as the words leave their lips. “Time heals all.” *shudders* Time heals, that’s true. But does it heal all?
The great Sean Carter once said, “after the show it’s the after party then after the tragic event it’s the mourning period.” Something like that. But my slightly altered rap lyric holds truth. The mourning period is inevitable.
We — feel free to exclude yourself if this doesn’t apply — mourn because essentially we lost our normality or what we considered normal. Mourning is necessary. Crying is essential. And most importantly, your worries are important because they’re important to you. Never let anyone tell you that “it’s not a big deal.”
When I used to talk about the car accident, my injuries and what I went through to recover, I always ended it with “it wasn’t too bad.” I’m still not sure why I felt the need to tack on a few words at the end, to completely minimize what I went through. I think I didn’t want to accept what had happened. Nah, that’s it. I didn’t want to accept any of it.
My body went through the motions but my mind hid in a safe place. In a place where I could easily jump out of my hospital bed and run. Safely padded from reality.
I remember the looks on my doctors’ and physical therapists’ faces when I’d ask if I’d ever be back to “normal.” “Time will tell but we can’t be sure.” TIME. So I held on to time as long as I could like it was a waiting list and I was waiting for the cure.
The only problem was that I never saw the need to deal with my changes because TIME. Instead, I focused on my past and honed in on what could have been. I began comparing myself to my old self, the “normal” one. I was obsessed with going back to the way I used to be. I refused to adapt. I didn’t want to meet my new self.
A wise lady once asked me, “why do you like making your life so difficult?” I replied, “if I adapt, I’ll be accepting that this is the way my life will have to be.” She smiled. “It doesn’t have to be forever. If this is temporary, there’s nothing wrong with making the transition easier and if this is permanent, well, at least you’ll be happy.”
It’s only in the latter half of 2013 where I find myself embracing my new normal. Making smaller changes to adapt without losing hope. Time heals, yes. And when you finally have the courage to welcome your entire self, flaws and all, then I guess that little cliché saying is true. Time will heal all.
Note: the picture is a piece of my medical reports snapped for dramatic purposes. dun dun dunnn.
published November 1, 2013