Did you ever realize how important laughter is? When I got sober, I became conscious of how much I was NOT enjoying laughing! We all know how to laugh, although in addiction not much was very comical or amusing. My days were summed up to waking up, doing the same thing over and expecting different results or better known as insanity. Most days, there was not much else to the lifestyle and life did not have much meaning. I may have laughed while watching a funny movie or hearing a joke but the focus was quickly back to scheming how to get the next one. The worst part, and far from laughter, was being consumed with fear that I may not be able get the next one!
Once, I heard the recovery slogan, “We do not have to live that way anymore!” I later learned, my miserable experience in active addiction without laughter was common among other members in the 12-step fellowship. I still vividly remember and always share about a genuine belly laugh I had while at Genesis House; that is one of the most unforgettable moments I cherish from early recovery. My roommate and I were giggling about something juvenile but we could not stop laughing to the point my sides hurt. I later laid in bed thinking, wow when was the last time I laughed so hard and felt my spirit smile? I know for me, it had been many months or even years! That split second, I could remember feeling hope that I didn’t have to feel as sad and lonely as I did when I was using.
Now laughing has become a form of therapy for me. Since that night at Genesis House, I have not stopped finding ways to laugh, even in the worst of times! For me, laughter helps draw attention away from anything that causes me anger, stress, guilt and other negative emotions. I can see a difficult situation with a new perspective and instead feel gratitude. Instead of allowing powerlessness to get the best of me, I can change my perspective, know it is a lesson or blessing and simply smile. Even on days I feel laughing is not helping my circumstance, I know that laughter is contagious and I may be helping others. Try to make sure to have yourself a good laugh today!