I’m embarrassed to admit it but I’m the kind of guy who is forever looking for approval. Approval and reassurance. This bothers me. Do you think that’s it okay for me to come right out and say something like that?
Only joking. I’m bad but I’m not that bad. Though when I do get bad, well, then I must admit I drive everyone around me pretty demented. “Do you think its ok for me go around asking everyone for approval all the time?” I ask everyone I meet, “I mean, is it ok?” Needless to say, this tends to piss people off big-time and I don’t exactly have a lot of friends. I can’t help myself though. And then the fact that I don’t have any friends worries me. “Is this normal?” I wonder. “Is it normal – or at the least half-way acceptable – to have no friends?” I worry about this a lot, and then I worry about the fact that I am worrying about it. “Is it ok for me to go around worrying all the time?” I ask myself. “Is it normal?” Then I start worrying that it might be harmful or dangerous for my mental health to be worrying so much, and this – as you might imagine – simply makes matters worse.
I have huge problems around the idea of being normal (or not normal, as the case may be). Obviously it is important to me that I should be at least partially normal. This matters very much to me – rightly or wrongly as the case may be. Suppose I’m not at all normal? Is that ok? Is there any way at all that it could be ok to be not normal, I wonder. Questions like this wreck my head. Surely – I argue with myself – if it’s true that I’m really not normal then in some way this has to be ok. It has to be. I mean, it obviously happens to people. It’s normal for some people to be not normal, right? And so surely – by this logic – it must in some way be normal to be not normal. But beneath all this rationalization I am very far from being convinced. I can’t help thinking that it isn’t in the slightest bit normal to be not normal – to be abnormal, in fact – and so where does this leave me? What can I do? What am I expected to do, in this situation?
I suppose what I’m asking is, “What is the normal thing to do when you discover that you’re not normal?” But then, as soon as I say this, I realize that this is pure insanity. It’s pure insanity to be asking such a question. How can there be a ‘normal’ response to what is by anyone’s standard a highly abnormal situation? Obviously there can’t. That is pure stupid. But where does this leave me? What am I supposed to do? As I’m sure you can see, this whole business has my head twisted around in knots. If it isn’t ok to be abnormal and you can’t help it (so there really isn’t any choice) then what is the right thing to do? How do I proceed from this basis? What is my next step? How do I cope with this situation?
Perhaps I am wrong to be trying to cope with an abnormal situation. Perhaps the way to cope is to stop trying to cope. Coping – or rather, trying to cope – plainly doesn’t work. It isn’t getting me anywhere. So how about NOT coping? Maybe this is the answer? But then how do I go about not coping? I don’t know how to do this either. I’m just as bad at not coping as I am trying to cope. I haven’t got a clue about how to go about it. So what do I do? Can anyone blame me for being insecure, with all this shit going around my head? Surely that’s understandable, given the circumstances. Wouldn’t you say so?