When I first stepped on this path and made a commitment to get better there wasn’t much to laugh about. I had hit the lowest bottom I ever had, emotionally, physically and spiritually, my life was hanging in the balance and every moment felt very fragile. When I began to look for support, and for others like me, who were struggling to find a new way of living, and those who already had, I was surprised to find how much laughter there was in their recovery. I had not yet found the humor in where I found myself at all, and yet, often I would hear people share their stories or offer comfort to others with a sense of humor and laughter at the places they had come from or things they had once did. That laughter, that sense of humor about where we had come from and where we found ourselves in that moment helped to make things OK, it helped me to realize that the place I found myself was not a death sentence, nor was it a place where I was meant to suffer for the rest of my life and have no fun, the work I had to do was serious, but I didn’t have to take myself so seriously, in fact, to recover, to get better, to find this new way of life, it was going to help tremendously to find some humor in my own situation if I was going to be able to let go and move on.
My Mom, who has had her struggles with health over the years, has always said, “if I’ve lost my sense of humor I’ve lost everything,” even in the moments when she was in the worst pain or discomfort. I remembered that as I set out in this new journey, that I too needed to hold on to my sense of humor as I stepped forward and began to heal. Even in the very serious place I found myself, in terms of needing to come clean and get help for the way I had been living, and to find a way to live with my mental illness, it helped to look for those moments that I could laugh at, and they were harder to find at the start, but they were there. Life is really what we make it, and even in our darkest days we have a choice how we’re going to look at it and deal with it. As painful as much of my early recovery was emotionally, it helped to lighten the load with some laughter where I could, but, I had to be careful. I had built up such a strong wall to protect myself that I had also used my sense of humor to deflect and hide behind. I had to be careful in those early days to not use my laughter to try to escape the truth and brush off the work I was needing to do. The laughter could not be self-deprecating, it couldn’t be an act to hide how I truly felt, and it couldn’t be at someone else’s expense, my laughter had to come from a place of humility, to connected and relation to someone like myself and as an act of healing.
As I got better so did my sense of humor about the road that had brought me to my knees. I realized that my suffering was a result of my disease along with choices I had been making, and many of those choices, looking back, now seem pretty funny, even though I had justified them at the time, but to be able to look back and find the humor from a happier and healthier place, allowed me to put some perspective on how bad things were and how bad many of my choices were. And that laughter helped me to create bonds with others, like myself, who had traveled down similar roads. Our laughter united us and made us stronger.
When we find ourselves on those dark moments of our life it can be difficult to find the humor in our situation, but just finding one thing could make the difference of struggling through another day, or finding the light on an otherwise dark existence, that laughter just may be the key to opening the door and setting yourself free. SLAY on!
SLAY OF THE DAY: Do you take yourself seriously or are you able to find the humor in things? If you’re not able to, why not? If you are, how do you look for the humor in your day-to-day life? How has humor helped you through a difficult time? How has it connected you to people like yourself? And how have those connections helped you on your journey? If you have trouble finding the humor your day, how can you look for those moments to find it and maybe lighten your mood? Can you think of something in your past, that now, looking back, may seem funny to you? Do you see how finding the humor in those moments allows the light to come in? Find those moments SLAYER. Look for the humor in your life, allow yourself to laugh and let yourself heal from those darkest days.
S – self L – love A – appreciate Y – you