Why do I have to be normal?

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Why do I have to be normal?

Unread post by anonymous2354 »

I have a best friend who I see almost every day. We are extremely close and she's my favourite person on earth. But I feel subpar to her.

I want to preface this by saying I know there's being weird is subjective and there's no real concept of 'normal', but as a teenager it really feels like there is.

Me and my best friend are both 17 and go to different colleges but live in the same city. We also share the same close friend group who all know we are a duo. The thing is, my best friend (BFF for short from now on) prides herself on being 'crazy' and 'weird'. She probably calls herself crazy about 50 times a day (no exaggeration) and always talks about how she doesn't care what other people think. It doesn't annoy me but it just makes me feel like I'm so boring. She always has crazy stories to tell- every day she will reveal another insane adventure from her life that drops your jaw. I've already told her all my stories 10x over but I know there's years worth of stuff she hasn't told me about yet. She's my age but has a story for everything.

BFF has an aura that makes practically everyone like her. She's the most extroverted person I know and gets on with everyone. She has about 50 other friends and is always the life of the party and the person everyone talks to in a room. I have Autism and can feel really socially awkward at times. All my life I've faded into the background and at parties (I never get invited, but when BFF has brought me along) I feel stiff and unwelcome. She doesn't even socialise by 'normal' standards, she's kind of like the 11th doctor in Doctor Who in the sense that she can act super odd but people still end up loving her.

It's hard to explain what makes her seem 'crazy' but she's quite an erratic person and doesn't abide by many societal standards. All her friends call her insane (in an endearing way) and she says it herself every day. She has a lot of undiagnosed but obvious mental health conditions (OCD, ADHD, Depression, likely Bipolar) and all of her friends, including me, suspect she has Autism too, which makes me upset, because why couldn't I get her Autism where she's the life of the party rather than mine where I feel like I fade away? I also chronically struggle with mental illnesses and spent 8 months in a psychiatric ward as a 13 year old due to my severe eating disorder.

I feel like other people and myself thought I was weird my whole life due to my Autism, but now that I understand it I feel like such a boring person. My life is pretty exciting now ONLY because of BFF because she adds so much adventure to my life, good or bad, which is one of the things I love about her, but I get sad that by myself nothing weird seems to happen to me. I don't really want to fit in at all- I want to be weird and crazy and fun like she is. BFF calls me crazy too, but really it feels like everything weird I do is because I'm with her/ because I'm absorbing her personality.

I mean, I do know I have SOME unique qualities/ things that I do that could be considered a little crazy, but it seems like everything she does is out of the ordinary in a cool way. She's literally a manic pixie dream girl. I just feel completely normal, which doesn't sound negative, but I've always thought of myself as pretty eccentric and interesting, and now it feels like I'm just so... average compared to her.

I'm aware this does sound a bit silly but it does plague me. It feels like every weird thing I do I grasp at to reassure myself I'm not normal, because the thought of being normal really upsets me. I know my mental illnesses make me do and think odd things sometimes, but I want the type of odd that BFF has- extroverted and not caring what people think.

Really, she does struggle a lot with being bullied and her mental illnesses provide a huge challenge for her, and I know I always tend to idolise my friends and compare myself to them, but even knowing this intellectually doesn't make me feel any different. I just wish I was as cool and fun and unique as her. I feel like her sidekick and she's the main character. I have always felt this way with all my friends throughout my life.

I apologise for the long read.
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Re: Why do I have to be normal?

Unread post by Willa »

Hi anonymous2354, Welcome to the Boards!

Thank you so much for sharing how you are feeling. It can be extremely difficult to have someone in your life you are close to and admire, but can not help comparing yourself to. When I was your age I felt similarly about myself and my best friend, and I felt there was no way I would ever feel as cool or comfortable as she did in her own skin. However, eventually, as I grew I realized the parts of myself that were different from her and I began to love myself for them instead of constantly comparing myself. One big thing that personally helped me was branching out a little from the people who knew us as a duo and spending time with people talking about or doing things that really mattered to me or that I found interesting. This is a great way to make some new friendships as well as explore who you are outside the rigid box you may have already placed yourself in.

As I am sure you already know, there is no one weird or normal and every person is unique in their own way. It seems like this aspect of comparing yourself to your friend has become very intense, and often when we spend so long focusing so closely on something we forget how to view it in any other way. You know that this person is not completely 100% confident in all aspects of your life and you may be idolizing her, so taking the time to really reflect on that may be more helpful then falling down the same patterns of thinking about her inherent uniqueness or coolness. Have you ever tried speaking to her about how you feel? Having an honest conversation may help you understand her better as well as give your friend the time to show you all the amazing aspects of yourself that you may not be able to see! Does this all make sense?
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