I realized in 2015 that I was not normal. It took me years to figure this fact out – I haven’t been normal for years. I have what is known as generalized anxiety disorder, which means everything makes me nervous or anxious.
I didn’t think twice about the things that frightened me the most, believing them to be normal. It turns out that they weren’t normal for people at all. I wasn’t normal for years and had no idea about it until 2015. I was in shock when this fact fell into my lap not too long ago.
My father’s death in late 2015 shocked me into getting treatment. His death made me realize that I’m not feeling normal emotions. I needed to be checked out and monitored to make sure I don’t do anything reckless.
That’s why I wanted to go over five things I deal with that aren’t normal. I realized these fears weren’t normal over several years. If you have any of them, don’t feel nervous about sharing that with me in the comments below or in an email!
“I’d be scared to leave the house.”
I could barely leave the house without some sort of fear that something would happen to me. I didn’t even realize that wasn’t normal until I started therapy in 2015. I didn’t realize other people didn’t have that fear.
It was worse for me when I was leaving the house to go somewhere where I wouldn’t know anyone. I can’t stand going to functions without having someone I know to talk to while I’m there. I start to shake at the thought and still do that with therapy.
People don’t understand this fear and like to attach a stigma to it. It’s like it’s a disease they can catch on a whim. I’ve never understood that thought process and hope to never understand it. I have a mental illness that makes me fear leaving the house and that’s the end of the story, you know?
“I’d be nervous around people I don’t know.”
If I don’t know you, there is a huge chance that I won’t talk to you for a while. It takes a lot of nerve for me to walk up to someone in order to speak to them. I don’t like introducing myself to other people I don’t know yet because I’m so shy these days.
I’ve always been super shy but because of my anxiety disorder, it’s so much worse than a quote-on-quote “normal person’s” shyness. I hate the thought of embarrassing myself so I end up making a fool out of myself in the end.
I don’t always think through what I say to the full extent either. I am prone to blurting out what I’m thinking without putting any thought into how it might sound. I’ve gotten into trouble with so many people because of that problem. It’s a nervous habit and nothing more.
“I stutter when I’m speaking in front of a group.”
I think this goes pretty much without saying. I don’t have to go in-depth with this one, do I? I get so nervous that I start stuttering like a mad-woman. I am shaking “like a leaf” and can’t stop the shaking for quite some time.
This is why I hated public speaking as a young adult. I had to take a public speaking class to get my college degree. Let’s just say I hated every moment of that damn class too, okay? I felt almost normal by the end of the semester but I think the entire class could see me shaking earlier on in the class.
Even though I took a public speaking course in college, I still shake and stutter when I speak in public groups. I hate the thought of speaking in front of people and that will never change for me. I know most people don’t like public speaking but my hatred may not be normal.
“I was terrified of touching my violin.”
I’ve been playing the violin off and on since about 2003. Because of my anxiety disorder, I’ve always been terrified of touching it. I would play softly and not make much of an impact. I was so scared of messing up that I’d mess up.
I was too focused on perfection, even at a young age, that I sucked at something I loved. At the end of the day, I loved playing the violin but I put it away in 2009 after I graduated high school. My college didn’t have a music program so I was out of luck in that category.
I took up the violin again in August 2017 after starting medication for my anxiety disorder. My violin teacher made me realize that something in me was NOT normal. She told me how impressed she was that I had improved so quickly.
I knew then that I wasn’t normal when she told me in September 2017 that she had considered telling me to put my violin up for good. She now says otherwise since she claims that I sound so much better by comparison.
“I was terrified of driving any sort of vehicle.”
This is a problem that still troubles me from time to time when I’m on the interstate. If I’m driving to an unknown destination, I get nervous then as well. I don’t like not knowing where I’m going or how long it’ll take to get there.
I’ve always been one to plan everything down to the second. I freak out if I can’t do that so that’s the reason I’m so early to some appointments in my life. Nine times out of ten, I didn’t know where the place was and wanted enough time to get there in case I got lost.
I’ve gotten better about driving over the past 9 years of doing so. But don’t get me wrong – rainy days make me want to stay home unless the trip is short. That part of me will never change and I don’t mind that one bit.
I realized I wasn’t normal over a period of years. It didn’t happen overnight and it won’t happen overnight for anyone else either. If you don’t feel normal, then realize you aren’t alone in your journey. There are others out there who feel the same way.
Don’t be afraid to get treatment for whatever it is that’s going on in your life. If you’re depressed or anxious like me, don’t be afraid to go out for treatment. The worst that could happen is that it doesn’t work out for you.
Don’t let the fear of the unknown stop you, my friend. I do want to hear about your experience, though. If you don’t feel quite “right”, how would you explain it to a doctor? Put your answer in the comments section below!