So, there's this pain thing. You know the one that consumes you and makes you feel so sick to your stomach that you long for the days of "morning" sickness (ahem....all day sickness). Yeah, that. The kind of unrelenting pain that you're just trying to focus on how to breathe never mind how you're going to get dinner or pick up the kids from school or buy that birthday gift for the party this weekend. That's the pain that I'm talkin' about. So, here's the thing. Please don't stop reading my blog but.... you need to laugh. We all do.
Feel free to yell obscenities at the screen now. Tell me off. That's okay. But hear me out. I never said that laughing was going to remove the pain. A few minutes of laughter is not going to change your diagnosis. Laughing every day is not going to make me able to take dance class again or jeez, even vacuum. Oooh.........imagine that! Vacuuming is making the same sentence as taking dance class. Watch out everyone! Maureen is getting wild!!!
What I AM saying is that we DESERVE a break. I deserve a small piece of joy each day. Anyone living with chronic pain is worthy of happiness. Where can we find that sweet spot of intense euphoria? Laughter, my friends. There is a reason for that old adage, "Laughter is the Best Medicine". Now, don't get me wrong. I think we need to do a lot more than laugh. But, if times are tough and life is dark, as it has been lately for me, please do yourself the kindness of enjoying a good belly laugh.
Anyone who knows me is well aware of my love of a good joke. I have a loud, hearty guffaw that has certainly caused hearing damage to my sweet husband. However, I have been told I am a fantastic audience member at the theatre by my actor friends. I am at peace with my laugh. It is a big part of who I am. It is vibrant, happy and yes, loud.
The saddest thing to me was when I noticed recently how little I had been laughing. I remember when Nicholas, my 14 year old, was small he was asked in kindergarten to write about his family. He wrote, "Daddy works at TV. Mommy plays and laughs" I always thought that was the highest of compliments. However, I began to worry a lot that my second son would have a very different description of his mom.
So, I began to seek out laughter. I started with DVR-ing The Ellen Show every day last year. I'd be in horrible pain and within minutes of watching, the house would be filled with screams and snorts of laughter. When the boys were at school, I would go to YouTube and watch Jimmy Fallon skits from his late night show. My husband introduced me to a crazy, funny sketch called "Between Two Ferns" online. I binge watched that one day while bedridden and cried. This time, the tears were not from pain. They were from hysterical comedy that took my breath away.
What a gift. Laughter is a gift. It is free and it is accessible to us all.
Please use it. Comedic books, Lucille Ball, Jerry Seinfeld, The Three Stooges, NPR's "Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me" or whatever it is that cracks you up. It doesn't matter. Just find it and spend 10 minutes a day listening, reading or watching it.
I know it seems like a small thing and I admit that it is. However, laughter keeps us in the light. Even if it is for ten minutes a day. And, my friends, without that light we will get swallowed by the darkness.
So, fight to stay in the light. Fight with the 1% of energy you have in you and find the laughter. If you listen hard enough, you will probably hear me. If you get a migraine, you may live too close to my home. :)