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What Is Normal?

What is normal? I mean is anything really normal, or is it what we call normal just what we have gotten comfortable with. Is what we call normal just a never ending attempt to run away from who we are. So really, what is normal? I am beginning to think that it is just a place for us to hide, an escape to complacency and mediocrity so we can ignore our own story. It isn’t normal, it is safe. Packaging ourselves up to be accepted, covering up our past, and presenting ourselves as normal, when we are nothing of the sort. I am tired of running from my past, hiding in my attempt at normalcy.

You see, I am a man who has battled the bottle. Alcoholism almost destroyed everything I had and the very essence of who I was. I am grateful that I was able to find recovery. To rediscover my life and all that God had destined for me. But in my recovery I started trying to distance myself from who I was. I did not want to be an alcoholic and I won’t refer to myself that way because it is not who I am now. But being an alcoholic is part of who I was, part of my story. so part of who I am. The very thing I want to distance myself from was the actual catalyst that brought me to being a warrior on purpose. You cannot be a warrior if you are always running from the battle.

What is normal
Recovery is what gave me back my purpose

I just wanted to be normal, so desperately. To just live and breathe as all the normal people did. But again, what is normal? I am finding that normal really does not exist. The further I ran to what I thought was normal the further away from who I am I got. And normal was always changing, the rules were always being switched up to fit what was popular at the time. I could never seem to figure out how I was supposed to act, how I was supposed to speak, so that I could fit in all nice and neat. Every time things got comfortable, the rules would change and I would have to try and adjust to finding that sense again of what everyone else considered normal.

I was selling out. Trying to be a version of myself that the world would find more acceptable. To be honest, I am being a hypocrite with my recovery. I use it when it suits me. I become, Kip the alcoholic, when I have something to gain from it. All other times I distance myself from it because I am still ashamed of what other people might think of me. I think it may lesson my value, my sense of worthiness, in the eyes of other people. I am forgetting a lesson I learned because of my alcoholism. My self-worth doesn’t lie in what you or anyone else thinks of me, but in what I know about me. And I am really just disgusted that I let myself think just because I found recovery I am better than someone who has not.

…I was not like “those people”.

Where did I lose it? I know where. In my pursuit to want to be normal. I remember walking into rehab with the bravado that I was not like “those people”. I quickly found out how arrogant and wrong I was. There was not a normal alcoholic. They were men and women of all ages, from all walks of life. From the CEO to the highway patrolmen. From the former youth pastor all the way to a young bus boy. I learned quickly that alcoholism and addiction did not discriminate. But in my recovery I have denied my past for too long. Today, I am tired of trying to distance myself from the foundation of what made me who I am today.

I don’t want to try to fit in anymore.

I am an alcoholic who has found recovery. A man who is a warrior and living a life on purpose. I am living a life that until now was just a dream. Being in recovery is my story. And alcoholism is at the root of that story. That is a story that God can and wants to use to help others. I can try to be normal, but what is normal? Is it going to school, getting an education, getting a good job, having a family, teaching them to do the same, and then dying. That is a cycle of comfortable, that the blindness of normal has convinced everyone to embrace. That cycle sucks. I don’t want to try and fit in anymore. I want to live and to be just “me”.

What is normal? It sure as heck isn’t trying to be who you think everyone else will accept. It is not hiding in a bubble of comfortable and only engaging in who you are when it serves you. I don’t think normal exists if you are true to who you are. I am running back to who I am, I remember who I am. This guy, will not forget again. Embrace who you are. The good, the bad, and more importantly the ugly of it all. It all makes up your story. We all have to be the unique puzzle piece we were created to be. It is the only way to bring the puzzle together.

Normal doesn’t win, normal is just safe.

The only ones who are normal are the ones going along with the charade of comfortably hiding from who they really are. So stop trying to be normal. Start by getting back to what makes you, well you. Search for that instead of what you see everyone else grabbing for. I am through running from my own power. I am done trying on the masks of normal seeking a more comfortable way. God restored my life through the channels of alcoholism and it’s recovery. That is where this warrior is needed, and where I will be heading to fight. It is who I am, and I will not allow shame to ever keep me off the battlefield again. Normal is not for me. Normal doesn’t win, normal is just safe. I am sick and tired of playing it safe.


  1. Michelle Frank Michelle Frank

    Gosh this takes me to when I decided I did in fact need day treatment for depression. I wasn’t like those people who needed to be there. But although our circumstances of how we go there were different our current situations were much the same, desperately devastated. I love “Normal doesn’t win. Normal is just safe.”

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