Hello, I’m Abby Normal – 5 Ways I feel Abnormal with a Mental Illness

abnormal
“Abby Normal” scene from “Young Frankenstein”

I feel Abby Normal in this world of normalcy.  Don’t even bother.  I know what you are thinking.  Nobody is really “normal”.  Everybody has their quirks.  I just wish my quirks were all I had.

A drawing of a brain that has its parts labeled.

Meet Abby Normal

In this blog post, I am going to share with you some insight into someone’s mentally ill brain who thinks “I feel Abby Normal”.  My thoughts and your thoughts about being abnormal can cause huge barriers from stigma. Eventually, when we work to understand what is behind those thoughts we may be better able to connect.

In some of my wildest dreams, I dream of a world without mental illness stigma.  In my dreams, I will not look like I have four heads when I mention my bipolar. 

Something weird happened one evening. I told my husband the ceiling in our bedroom had various glowing neon lights.  It reminded me of the zoo exhibit that displays fish in a tank with a black light. All of the fish are lit up in neon colors. Needless to say, he didn’t say what he was thinking. Believe me, silence screams very loudly when two people do not talk. Especially when one of those people is psychotic.

Blue and reddish/orange fish swimming in an aquarium.
Abby Normal

I have sympathy for my husband when I say things like that that are off the wall. What was he supposed to say or do after I said something like that to him? He did the best thing at the moment.

5 Ways I feel Abby Normal

  1. My paranoia makes me feel Abby Normal.  For one reason, I believe people are thinking bad things about me.  They know I have bipolar and hear voices, see things, and taste things that are not there.  They will not be my friends because they see me as a freak.
  2. Delusions always skew reality.  Prior to the Latuda working, I believed there were Russian spies hiding out in my closet.  Latuda is the medicine I take which helps out with psychotic episodes such as this.  Since I know what goes on in my brain, I think other people can see right through my skull and see my crazies.
  3. Noises can drive me up the wall.  The noise could be coming from the TV which is too loud.  Fireworks in our neighbor’s yard.  Another noise could be the high-pitched squeal of a baby at a restaurant.  You may wonder why noises would be something to make me feel abnormal.  A long, long time ago, loud noises did not bother me.  When noises bother me, my ears tingle, my shoulders rise up as if to block out the noise.
  4. One of the worst symptoms of bipolar is my aversion to touch.  There are times when someone will touch me on my arm where my skin is exposed and my skin will crawl like a millipede up a wall.  I get chills up and down my arms.  My spine even tingles.  I feel abnormal when I react like this to someone’s touch.  Sometimes it is a family member. It makes me feel bad as if I am rejecting them. Over the past year and a half, I have been growing out of my hair.  Lots of people do this all the time.  With my sensitivity to touch, the short hairs that graze my face might as well be razor blades.  I just can’t stand it.  I try all kinds of things to keep my hair away from my face.  In the end, I just cut my hair out of frustration and rage.
  5. I feel Abby Normal when I experience depression.  I’m a Christian and many associated with the Christian community think if you have depression, you do not have the Holy Spirit within you.  People do not choose to be depressed.  Neither is depression spiritual.  Having depression is a chemical imbalance of the brain. The prophet Jeremiah from the Old Testament of the Bible was called by scholars the “weeping prophet” because of all the tribulations he went through and all the tears he cried.  Even with all the tears and depression, God still called him to a prophet ministry.
A drawing of a silhouette of a person bending over with their head in their hands. Negative words are written all around the person.

Conclusion

I gave you my list of five things that make me feel Abby Normal.  This list can change with time.  People with different mental illnesses can have different lists.  You may have a friend who has OCD, PTSD, postpartum depression, or ADD.  Your friend could come up with a completely different list than mine.  That doesn’t mean I am wrong or he/she is wrong.  These reasons are just our opinion.

A depressed man sitting in a window over-looking the city.

Call to Action to get rid of Abnormal Feelings

Do you have a friend who has a mental health challenge?  Do you know if they feel comfortable or Abby Normal?  If you feel strongly about tearing down mental illness stigma, you will want to help your friend feel at ease. 

Two friends facing a sunset while holding their arms up and thumbs up.

What else can you do?  Be compassionate.  Be a friend.  Shut down the offensive remarks about mental health.  What else can you do?  Share your thoughts in the comments section.

Call to Action

Do you have a friend who has a mental health challenge?  Do you know if they feel comfortable or Abby Normal?  If you feel strongly about tearing down mental illness stigma, you will want to help your friend feel at ease. 

What else can you do?  Be compassionate.  Be a friend.  Shut down the offensive remarks about mental health.  What else can you do?  Share your thoughts in the comments section.

People holding up comment signs.
Life Conquering – A Mental Health Outreach

Life Conquering is an award-winning blog

“2018 and 2019 Best Bipolar Disorder Blogs”

https://www.healthline.com/health/bipolar-disorder/best-blogs-of-the-year#8

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Print Magazine Guest Writer

Today’s Christian Living

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Print magazine and website

  • “Strength in Weakness” (bipolar) published in the October/November 2015 Vol. 53 No. 6 issue on page 40
  • “Praying Through Fear” (anxiety) published in the November 2017 Vol. 52 No. 6 issue on page 50

Public Speaking Events

Pinterest and Popcorn

A Women’s Ministry Activity at my church to share ideas and to fellowship.

  • Introduced Life Conquering
  • Shared information to educate on mental health
  • Spoke individually with the women and ministered to them

Fruit of the Spirit Bible Study

  • Introduced Life Conquering
  • Shared information to educate on mental health
  • Spoke individually with the women and ministered to them
  • Shared my life with bipolar 1

Email me a line at lifeconquering@gmail.com

References

https://lifeconquering.org/

https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/depression/index.shtml

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/anxiety/symptoms-causes/syc-20350961

https://lifeconquering.org/from-stranger-to-friend-a-courageous-person-spotlight/

https://lifeconquering.org/mental-health-speaker-brochure/

https://lifeconquering.org/when-the-going-gets-tough/

https://lifeconquering.org/lulu-is-a-rhinoceros-do-you-know-who-you-are/

https://lifeconquering.org/depression-at-work/

https://lifeconquering.org/trying-to-understand-depression/

https://lifeconquering.org/finding-gods-will-in-3-steps-a-bipolars-guide/

https://lifeconquering.org/narcissism-article-hot-topic-today/

https://lifeconquering.org/mental-health-discoveries-blog/

https://lifeconquering.org/social-anxiety-naked-in-times-square/

https://lifeconquering.org/suicide-2/

https://lifeconquering.org/guest-blogger-julie-morris-on-work-stress/

https://lifeconquering.org/depression-and-bipolar-depression/

https://lifeconquering.org/mentally-ill-twisted-monsters-said-trump/

https://lifeconquering.org/mental-health-check-in/

https://lifeconquering.org/the-kind-of-rage-where-you-only-see-red/

https://lifeconquering.org/life-conquering-blog-a-mental-health-outreach/

https://lifeconquering.org/bipolar-really-sucks/

https://lifeconquering.org/the-holy-spirit-and-mental-illness-debate/

https://lifeconquering.org/bipolar-blogger-bandit/

https://lifeconquering.org/i-have-an-eating-disorder-i-am-a-food-addict-god-help-me/

https://lifeconquering.org/suicide-signs-in-children-and-teens-you-dont-want-to-miss/

https://lifeconquering.org/music-that-comforts-the-soul/

https://lifeconquering.org/21-days-motivation-help-lose-weight/

https://lifeconquering.org/new-post-on-adhd-and-college-at-psych-central-blog-mental-health-discoveries/

https://lifeconquering.org/bipolar-disorder-and-physical-illness/

https://lifeconquering.org/mental-health-food-for-thought/

https://lifeconquering.org/bipolar-disorder-warriors-and-the-weapons-they-use-in-battle/

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