How does humor play a role in my life? It has kept me alive when little else could. I am a recovering drug addict with nearly seven years clean and sober. Living without the constant chore of searching for more drugs and the avoiding of landlords and utilities service workers leaves a lot of empty free time on your hands that you only know one way of filling, and that way is no longer. So, what to do?
It is, to me, very much like sustaining an injury that leaves you paralyzed. You’re used to walking around, taking showers, getting something to eat, going to the bathroom, and going out to shop, visit, or work. It is a normal daily routine and once you have lost the use of your legs, there is nothing normal about it. At first you are stuck, lost, confused, and helpless.
Eventually you find the will and just enough strength to make one simple change, and then another. You begin to focus on these small changes and then rack your brain every second on what the next possibility might be. And then you hit a snag. Something doesn’t go just how you imagined it should. You feel you have failed and have to fight the urge to just give up and remain disabled or addicted or whatever the circumstance might be. But throughout your process, whether you realize it or not, whether you worked hard to create it or not, you remember that you have people in your life who are your constant support. So you make a phone call.
Someone answers on the other end of the line. Immediately you go off hysterically about how everything is wrong. The person on the other end just listens, because they are very familiar with the weight of your burden. As you puke your soul out over telegraphic lines, you realize how silly it all is. You comprehend that the problem was just a minor mistake and already you have learned what went wrong.
The voice on the other end of the line says, “Wow! All of that? And you called me? I’m just a lawyer. I couldn’t possibly fix that and you certainly couldn’t afford my fee!” The tension is broken. The relief that you are okay comes in a flood of tears, and the laughter the two of you share is something you will both remember when the next snag trips you up, or the next time your phone rings and you hear a familiar, hysterical ranting from someone who is crossing that spot in the very road you are on. Humor can come from within. It can come from another person. Or it can be shared in a valuable lesson with a ripple effect that can go on long after the laughter subsides.