If you haven’t noticed already, I’m dedicating a lot of posts to the topic of humor lately. For two reasons: as I’ve said in so many posts, humor is central to my recovery, and second, to respond to those readers that find absolutely nothing about depression funny.
Back on my post, “16 Ways Depression Is Like a Pumpkin,” Beyond Blue reader Kathy wrote this:
I have been reading Beyond Blue for awhile. You may give hope to people with minimum to mild depression. But apparently you have no idea what it’s like to suffer from severe depression.
I often hear other versions. And I always think of Beyond Blue reader Nancy’s response, on the combox of my post “Some Words for the Desperate.” She articulates so well the need for small talk, and nonsense, and how it builds a community of support. Thanks, Nancy!
As I read this post, it reminded me of myself the first time I stepped in to a 12 step meeting. It was early and people were chatting in small groups, greeting others; there was laughter in the room and a great sense of community.
However, I thought I definitely had come to the wrong place. NOTHING at that point in my life was funny, nor could I find a reason to laugh about anything. I figured that if these people could, then they had absolutely no clue as to what REAL problems were, and they used this hour as a “social visit”.
Obviously, I was wrong; dead wrong. There’s a saying, “bring the body and the mind will follow”. My pre-conceived notions were based on comparing my insides to other people’s outsides. In addition, I did not take into account that they had been in “treatment” for quite some time; many for years on end. Not to say that they still did not face very difficult dark days; however, they found days that were lighter, and had even come to a place where humor could be incorporated when looking back on situations or dealing with some of the more minor current ones. They had learned different coping skills and tools. No, not denial or pretending. The authentic ones would express good times/feelings when it suited the timing and also spoke of the darker, more difficult times.
This is exactly what goes on here at Beyond Blue. I was told in the beginning of my other journeys to be open-minded. Just open the door of willingness a little bit to let some of the light (or enlightenment) shine through.
I have had one of the most difficult years, and thank God that although there are the days that I cry and don’t want to live through the process (yes – I do – I just want to be on the other side), I can still get very silly, laugh, and find humor in what I thought was awful in the past.
I am encapsulating 15 plus years of hard work to get to this place where both can be integrated. I’m still very vulnerable and do not fool myself into every thinking I’ve got a lock on how to stay well-balanced, sober, of right thought and action and a positive attitude filled with gratitude.
There is another saying, “Sometimes we’re the teacher; sometimes the student”. It’s great to be on the giving end, but recently I’ve had to be on the receiving end.
So………. after 16 years of doing this merry-go-round of recovery from everything, (including myself), I would hope that I’d develop enough of a hindsight and repertoire to use as humor. I look to others for their sharing also, as I smile at my computer, bobbing my head up and down in agreement. I’m glad that some of us are in a place where humor and sarcasm can be a thread through our tapestry.