Many times, over the years, we come to understand that laughter is the best medicine. It can make us forget our troubles, makes others feel better and can even be good for our actual physical and mental health. But what about when we laugh to keep from crying? Those times when we joke around and laugh to put others at ease but inside we’re hurting?
Sadness, depression and anxiety can take us for an emotional rollercoaster ride that can leave us feeling like nothing is going right; with highs and lows that cannot exactly be quantified with accurate descriptors. It’s a painful and bewildering feeling of hopelessness. Sometimes with no actual cause. It’s a wave that comes over you that doesn’t let go no matter how bad you want it to leave you.
For me, I’ve been in a very depressive funk for a long time. I put up a brave face and can still joke around and laugh with the best of them. These times are the highs… But then come those times, sometimes within the same day, where I just want to be left alone and not get up and just in bed. Still… Laughter has been a go to for trying to self-heal. If I can’t make myself laugh, then I’ll make others laugh!
But isn’t always easy. I crave human contact but when I’m feeling anxious or my depression grabs particular hold of me, I either retreat into my own mind or I try too hard to be funny.
This isn’t to say I don’t enjoy making others laugh; I do. I very much enjoy making funny voices or try to emulate Michael Jackson’s dancing or just telling funny stories. Seeing others laugh at my intentional behavior makes me feel like a superhero! But then…
I have to wonder if I’m doing it wrong. I’ve often made self-depracating jokes about my lack of hearing or something else about me to make others see I’m different but similar. Sometimes I DO get depressed about not always understanding what others have said. Sometimes I DO feel anxiety about being in a crowd of people. Sometimes I DO feel sad that I’m not where I wanted to be in life.
So I laugh it off. I make jokes with a hint of truth in them. If not to make others laugh, then for me to find the silver lining I know must be there. Still I thank Jah for the friends I’ve made. Still I thank Jah for the family I grew up with. Still I thank Jah for the son whom I adore. Still I thank Jah for letting me to get to know him.
And still I thank Jah for the laughter I’ve had, that I’ve given and have yet to give and receive because … Through it all… Good and bad… I still have to laugh through the hard times. Whether that be depression, anxiety or the hassles of life.
I still laugh…