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When I Told My Husband, 'I Wish I Could Be Normal for You'

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The other night I laid in bed next my husband and cried as I told him how frustrated I was with my immune system for misbehaving. Through a sob, I said, “I wish I could be normal for you.”

His reply caught me off guard.

“But, you are normal.”

Sometimes I feel the opposite of what most people consider normal. I usually feel like the opposite of normal. But I’ve grown used to my headaches, body aches, tonsil infections, insomnia, anxiety, etc.

When I tell a friend I have to cancel plans because I can barely leave my bed, I usually am met with, “I hope you feel better soon!” — to which I reply, “This is normal. I’ll be OK in a few days.”

For the people whose bodies function properly, I’m far from normal, but for me, it’s life. It’s hard for people who don’t have to live with Lyme disease to understand that my body not functioning properly is “normal.” Sometimes I even have a hard time myself coming to grips with the fact that this is my life now. I often sit and wonder what life would be like if I didn’t have to live with Lyme, but it’s too hard to think back to a time when I didn’t have to deal with the things I do now.

After seven years of illness, I’ve grown used to being sick.

author with hat on playing guitar

I remember when I first became ill, thinking one day I would feel better; those thoughts are few and far between now. Dwelling on the past only makes the present more painful. Now, I function as best I can using the resources I have been given to make it through.

This is normal now.

I find comfort in the fact that I have made progress in my journey, and I am finding a new normal every day. I hope this trend continues for years to come, until one day I don’t have to cancel plans or go days without leaving my bed because of Lyme.

My husband was right. I am normal — normal for me. I cannot compare my journey to those who are well, and I cannot compare it to others who share my illness. I cannot live in the past or the future. I have to live in the here and now. And, for now, this is normal.

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Originally published: May 23, 2016
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