They say laughter is the best medicine, and I have to agree. There is something magical about the deep belly laugh. It gives you a case of the warm fuzzies like nobody’s business.
This is one of the unexpected gifts in sobriety. You see, while in active alcoholism everything is just numb, pretty much all of the time. You go through the motions of each day, but everything is very flat. When things get stressful (as they inevitably do throughout the day or week), you immediately reach for the one coping mechanism that you know—and then you are numb again.
If you are lucky enough to get off the Total Life and Happiness Suck merry-go-round, then you will see. Anxiety dwindles and it is easier to shrug off day to day life stresses. You wake up feeling alive and well-rested, a major change from the misery that used to encompass every morning routine and shroud your entire existence in a blanket of guilt and shame.
You begin to realize that the very thing that you used to manage life’s nuisances made your stress and anxiety worse. You begin to feel quite blissful that you are able to deal with stress in a productive manner and no longer have the anxiety that leaves you out of breath and reaching for a toxic solution. Instead of going through the day lifeless just waiting for your nightly poison, you begin to feel. The highs feel wonderful (hello Pink Cloud!) and while the lows feel not so good, it DOES feel good to be able to organically cope.
And then there are belly laughs.
Last fall I was sitting with my youngest discussing Halloween costumes. He wanted to dress as a cat and we were talking about types of cat costumes. We decided to see if Amazon had anything good, so we cuddled up on the sofa and searched for “cat costume”.
When we saw the results we roared with laughter. Lots of cats came up, cats dressed as pirates, cats dressed as witches, cats dressed as zebras, you name it. It was such a simple thing, yet months later we still explode with laughter whenever we think about it.
That night I was so grateful and had full appreciation for my sobriety. If I was drinking that night, I would have been rushing to get through the moment and probably wouldn’t have even searched with him, I probably would have hastily bought a costume on my lunch a week before Halloween. It’s sad truth but outlines the truth in how this impacts our kids.
Last month hubby and I retired to bed early with an unspoken plan to get a little frisky (do not read on if you are easily offended!). While we were snuggling, I kept feeling a small pebble in the sheets. I couldn’t get it out and finally exclaimed, “There’s something hard in our bed!” Well… after I said it I realized what I said and we both roared in laughter for a long harmonious moment.
Yeah, making funnies and sharing belly laughs is far superior to going to bed barely coherent. This impacts our entire family—our entire existence.
The lows will always be there and we will have to feel them eventually. It is far better to work through despondent feelings and then move on and get all of the benefits—like belly laughs—than to live life flatlined and emotionless.
I’m not sure about you, but I’d rather live through today sad, than be in a zombie state. For tomorrow I want to wake up without that guilt and shame and feel energized and alive <3