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“This is not normal” has become something of a rallying call for the resistance against the rising regime on a local, national, and international level. It’s not a bad place to begin. It’s true, after all — none of the confusing and detrimental decisions being made by this rising regime we’re dealing with is normal. And yet, people are trying to make this situation in which we’re now living normal.

“Stop protesting,” they say. “Accept your new president. Get a job.”

They try to silence voices of dissent while their demagogue leaders silence voices of fact-seeking and science.

This is not normal.

Then again, neither am I.

I’ve never been ‘normal.’ Even before my diagnoses began to emerge, I didn’t fit in very well. Teachers told my parents that I would “always march to the beat of [my] own drummer.” In a way, for a long time, I’ve been afraid to truly stand out, or assert my own goals or personality. I felt more comfortable trying to weave it into the patterns of others, in their individual lives or the life of a community. I never really took care of or connected with myself; I made the needs and wants of others more of a concern. When my own desires would emerge, I’d be impulsive or even reckless in pursuing them, and then berate or flagellate myself (or worse) in the aftermath. I understand now how typical that is of those with bipolar disorder, even my less severe flavor of Type II.

That impulsiveness or recklessness was never normal, nor is it, nor will it ever be.

Some chose to subscribe to the interpretation that they were, and are, and always will be.

Those toxic, short-sighted, and regressive perceptions of me are not normal.

Just like this new regime and its toxic, short-sighted, and regressive decisions are not normal.

I think that’s an underlying reason why people trying to normalize such things pisses me off. It’s the same sort of normalization people tried to ascribe to my aberrant behavior.

I don’t know where this infection of imagination came from. I don’t know why so many people, some of whom I used to believe were incredibly adept at imagining others complexly and engaging in progressive, independent thought, fell so easily into group-think tendencies and mob mentalities. Correcting erroneous thinking and toxic behavior is never a simple, once-and-done affair; it takes sustained, thoughtful, compassionate effort.

Some people, I guess, just don’t care enough to do that.

That should not be, nor should it ever be, normal.

We are on this planet together. We are in this fight for survival together. And we will not survive if we continue to tear ourselves apart just to get one over on our neighbor.

We need to fight back against ignorance and mindless mob mentalities. We need to demand more comprehensive and compassionate allowance for the rights of individual human beings. We need to put a stop to the toxicity and fascism.

Because it is not normal.