If you’ve just come from your first fellowship meeting, you might be surprised by the amount of laughter you heard. The meeting had an overall air of levity to it. You didn’t understand why people could be so blase about something so serious. To you, who have just put down your last drink, or haven’t taken a drink today, this attitude seemed in poor taste.
It’s not that anyone was making fun of their recovery. Hold on, and as they say, keep coming! Laughter promotes a healthy healing energy for addiction. For one, it eases stress. Think of a time when you were really upset about something. You might have even been crying. Suddenly a friend says something funny about the situation you’re upset about. You might feel offended by this for a second, until the humor breaks through your barrier, and you burst into laughter. Laughter helps relieve the tension in the moment. It also helps you see that you don’t have to take yourself so seriously.
Of course, getting sober is a serious matter, but the laughter that comes from you can give you an inkling that not all is lost. You drank. There were consequences to your drinking. You lost a lot, maybe even your home, custody of your children, your job, relationships with friends and so forth. Alcoholism has awful outcomes to be sure, but you can turn your life around. It may not be the life you knew before you began drinking alcoholically, but it will be yours. Laughter promotes the winds of hope, and in recovery, we all need hope.
When we laugh we naturally feel better—our mood lifts. Laughter can help ease your symptoms of depression. Try being depressed at the same time as you laugh. It’s impossible!
If the only laughter you hear is at fellowship meetings, consider watching some humorous videos throughout your week. See how your mood lifts. Laughter is also contagious. There are a number of videos on the web under contagious laughter headings. See what happens when you watch them.
Are you dealing with lots of heavy stuff in therapy? Laughter helps us see that there is more to our sobriety than the heavy stuff. Laughter provides the balance and hope we need in sobriety. If we can’t laugh, if we can’t feel better from all that we have been through, then what is the point? Laugh is the point. Joy is the point. Feeling good about yourself is the point.
“Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony.”—Mahatma Gandhi
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