When Will I Feel Normal?

When our bodies or minds seem to be against us.

When I first began writing this, it was about feeling normal after pregnancy. And then I thought about breastfeeding. 

When will I feel normal? When will I feel human?

I kept asking myself these questions. I knew it would be a while. With the growing baby, the round ligament pain, the excruciating heart burn, the head aches, the swelling, the peeing a million times a day (ok, that might be a stretch, but not by much). 

Then, will come the milk production. My body producing to keep baby girl alive. The wonderful miracle, that at the same time leaves many women feeling like a feeding trough (especially in those early days of no sleep). It will no doubt be an amazing bonding experience, but I also know, as someone who likes my space, it will wear on me…

When will I feel normal? When will I feel human?

I know these questions will continue. But, as I began to work all of this out in my mind, I realized these are not the only times I have asked these questions. Because, this is not just for pregnancy or breastfeeding. These questions come up for those experiencing loss, infertility issues, chronic illness, mental illness/instability, broken bodies. 

This is what happens when our bodies or our minds seem to turn against us. 

We begin to ask the questions: When will I feel normal, human, whole, healed, well? 

The fact is, these words I’ve felt so deeply, these words I’ve heard from other pregnant/breastfeeding mommas I’ve also heard from those with mental health issues, with chronic illness, with bodies that don’t seem to work the way they were designed. These words are about all of us. And, they connect us, because we are not alone.

I was 14 when I first heard the words “it’s possible with issues like this that fertility will be an issue. Of course, we won’t know for a while…” That’s right, I was told this at 14. Fast forward through two decades of hell each month only to find, when God wants you to have a baby, medical evidence and struggle really don’t make a difference. 

But, these haven’t been my only struggles over the years that have made me wonder when will I feel normal again? Battles with depression & anxiety, panic attacks, migraines, chronic GI issues, PMDD (a monthly struggle that is not something I’d wish on my worst enemy), each have at several times left me with these questions.

The fact is, though, we were never promised ease in this life. Unfortunately, for many of us, that means walking through times of life when our bodies and/or minds seem to be against us. And, when it’s our bodies, or our minds, that seem to be against us, we can feel betrayed. We can feel let down. We can feel “less than” or “abnormal”. What I’ve realized in this world, “abnormal” is normal.

As I sat in church this weekend, I was praying on these things, meditating on these questions. And one of the songs we sang reminded me: we may not be able to avoid any of these struggles, even in the most beautiful moments in life, but there is hope for our eternity. When we will be whole in the presence of the King.

“By your spirit I will rise, from the ashes of defeat. The resurrected King is resurrecting me. 

In your name I come alive, to declare your victory. The resurrected King is resurrecting me.”

“Resurrecting” – Elevation Worship

And, for now, we can claim those promises, and know that sometimes, we’ll even see that redemption, that return to normal even in this life. Yet, even if we don’t, we have that true hope for the future. 

For now, I will accept that I have a beautiful blessing growing inside me, and I will feel whatever my “normal” is sometime after she comes, and we bond as I feed her…then, I will continue to ask these questions at times in my life, because my body has a history of being against me, and so does my mind. 

From here on, though, I’ll remind myself of this hope of the future, and of the fact that I’m not alone. And, that my own questions can connect me with others and lessen some of their loneliness as they walk through these questions themselves.

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