“I just want to be normal,” sayeth the umpteenth thousand patient on my green couch.

If only you knew how normal you are, I say only in my head.

That god-damn bill of goods. The one sold to us in magazines, on television, on Facebook, on shiny holiday cards. The one told at parties over martinis, on the sidelines of the soccer field, even dressed up at church.

Yep, that one. The one filtered of reality. The reality that none of us are spared. That ALL of us experience the range of human experience – loss and gain. The full effect of all feelings – highs and lows.

“But I have a diagnosis!” I can hear you argue with me. Trying to prove to me that you are different, somehow special in the category of fucked-up. That you are officially assigned and t-shirted as “not normal.”

I get that. Some people have cancer, epilepsy, clinical depression, asthma, divorce, a history of sexual abuse. These are real and painfully difficult. And deserve a shiny gold trophy all on their own.

Yet, I prefer a different diagnosis – human.

Because, we all are human. As far as I know, at least at this point in history, there is no escaping it. We all struggle with something. Some kind of challenge that makes our life uniquely troublesome. Suffering comes in many colors, just like that deliciously smelly box of thirty-six crayons we had as children.

So, stop aiming for normal. Stop falling for the masquerade. Stop making up in your head that you are solely selected by the gods of life who are sitting around some conference table, laughing as the ensure that you alone are especially victimized.

Instead, do you. Normal, wonderful, human you.