I have been on new medication for over a month now and the drugs and my body have really started to adapt to each other. Now that the side effects and the initial “what is this going to do to my body” feels have waned, I have started to think a lot about what it means to be and to feel “normal.” How do you know if the medication you’re taking is doing what it is supposed to do when you have never really known what it is like to not need medication; when you have never really known what that “normal” feeling is.
I know, I know—there is no such thing as normal. And normal is not the best word, but it really is the only word I can think of. When I was younger, I craved knowing what being normal would feel like. I knew I wasn’t normal because I needed medications and therapists to be able to get through life, and many of my peers did not. None of the medications that I tried when I was younger worked well; some made me numb, others accentuated my highs and lows.
So now, at the age of twenty-four, how am I supposed to know if my medication is working? What does normal feel like? Is normal a constant state of joy? Or is it a constant state of reacting to the elements that you encounter during your day, whether they make you sad, happy, or angry? Maybe it’s a constant state of calm, of feeling peaceful. Or maybe, and most likely of all, it’s different for everyone. But if that is the case, how do I even begin to find what my normal is?
My biggest fear is that this medication will make me into someone that I am not. Not necessarily in a bad way, but in a way that is untrue to my true self. But without the knowledge of what my normal is, I cannot tell if that is happening or not.
What I do know is that my depression has lessened and my depressive episodes have decreased. I know that I still cry at episodes of This Is Us. I know that I have been seeing my friends more. I also know that my anxiety has skyrocketed. I know that I’ve been having more panic attacks lately. I know that I’m having a harder time connecting with people because I just don’t have the energy.
Am I normal yet?
almond rum cookies
active time: 15 minutes ~ total time: 50 minutes
These almond rum cookies won’t solve any major life crisis, but they will provide you with a delicious distraction while you eat your way through a dozen of them.
- 1/4 cup almond milk
- 1/3 cup oil
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tbsp rum
- 1 tbsp molasses
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 cup arrowroot
- 2 cups Bob’s All Purpose Gluten Free Flour
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Sliced almonds, about 1 cup.
1. Preheat to 350 degree fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the milk, oil, sugar, rum, molasses, and vanilla and mix until well combined.
3. Add in the rest of the ingredients (except for the almond).
4. Wet your hands and make 24 cookie dough balls.
5. Place the almonds into a shallow dish and gently flatten each cookie dough ball into the almonds, repeat on the other side (do not make them too flat!)
6. Bake them for 12 minutes. Let the cookies cool on the tray for 15 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.