I can be as contrary as any Mary, Mary, quite contrary… It was about six weeks ago that I pleaded to be regarded as normal in a blog post. Then in my previous post I took another position, delighting in not being regarded as normal.

006Both are true, I am neither completely one nor the other. I am capable of both and I don’t want be labeled as either.

There is a meta-position too where I am neither normal, abnormal, sub-normal, paranormal, or un-normal, if you like but I am all of these. I don’t mean I am highly unusual in resisting being labelled as being one state or another but I think all are possible and almost simultaneously depending on who is making the observation about how I am.

If I am depressed, I am contrary enough to want to be considered as also having the potential for elation. This starts to explain my dislike of labeling. I don’t want to be only one of sick or well, for example. If others think I am unwell and in need of healing or repair it is more difficult for me to be judged as “very well thank you”.

While a diagnosis of a condition might be helpful, I do worry that others will see the condition first, recognising the label attached to it, and then the person – me – in the background. Being labeled can inhibit my experience from evolving moment to moment, from one state to another. I don’t like thought of being diagnosed as less than normal or in need of fixing. This is what normal looks like, colourful and multi-hued.

There is a freedom in being able to move between one state one of experience and the other and both, not perhaps in equal measures but sometimes I want to move between seemingly opposing states. I recall enjoying that freedom in grief. I know I am not the only contrary being to have been sad and solemn at a funeral and then found reason to laugh through the tears. I recently overheard that experience labeled as hysterical. I heard someone describing hysterical weeping interspersed with hysterical laughing. Hysterical is a word loaded with negative judgments implying a delirious state – but a state I’ve found natural at a funeral.

I am not sure (or maybe I am) that one thing can be posited without the other being right there, that’s polarities at play. Sometimes I am beside myself, and all the while completely myself, that’s the circus of my contrary nature. For me it is important to respect what I know and what I don’t know about myself or another person.