“I just wish I was normal.” “Why can’t I be more normal?” It’s something people with mental illnesses struggle with. They compare themselves to the normal people. The ones who have everything figured out. But nobody’s life is perfect. No one has everything figured out. Millions of people are just struggling to find their way in our constantly evolving world. What is normal anyway? What criteria must a person meet to be considered normal? Merriam – Webster defines normal as “conforming to a type, standard, or regular pattern,” but I say normal does not exist. It isn’t a physical destination or a state of being. It isn’t anything. Normal is a fictional status that people struggle to reach, but never can. But the question I have for you is this: why would you want to be normal anyway? You were not made to fit someone else’s image of who you should be. You were made to stand out. To be different and beautifully, oh so beautifully, broken. How monotonous and predictable would the world be if we were all the same? People are born to be unique. Everyone has the quirks that make them stand out from others. For some of us those quirks occur because of mental illnesses. Jenny Lawson once said, “She taught me it was better to be beautifully broken than perfectly the same.” That poignant statement resonates with me. I might have mental disorders that sometimes make me feel like I’m crazy or different, but they are mine. I wouldn’t be me without my mental issues. I fight to overcome the things depression and anxiety tell me about myself, but I don’t want to know how different I would be if I didn’t have those struggles. Because I wouldn’t be me. I may not always like myself or see what an amazing and beautiful person I can be, but there are people who love me just for who I am. There are friends I wouldn’t have if I was someone different. People who see my beauty. People who hold me up when I’m falling apart and make me laugh when I just want to cry. And I would not give those people up for all the normal in the world.