Ellie Vs. Depressing Laughter

Hello dear readers.

This will be short because I’ve been bitch-slapped with depression and I am exhausted. It took me three hours to convince myself to get out of bed and do something, so here I am, doing something. The following is what I have been thinking about in bed. It all started, as most things do nowadays it seems, with Facebook.

I was rolling around in bed today after I got home from the doctor in that weird spot in the mind between “I really need some fucking sleep” and “I can’t sleep because nothing makes any sense.” So, I solved the issue by occasionally scrolling through Facebook, which admittedly is the worst possible solution for my current state because it’s mostly filled with all the people who have recently passed away. But then I saw a post (I can’t even remember what it was; the brain fog is strong with this one today) and I giggled. Not loudly or triumphantly like a villian who just caught that pesky little hero they’d been after, but, I did giggle.

This giggle sparked a memory in me. When I was in college, I took a psychology class because I was interested in learning about the subject…and also because I was forced to by my Communication degree. The teacher I had was Ms. Reed; a stunningly gorgeous, brilliant, yet perpetually caffeinated teacher who suffered from the worst case of sleep apnea I had ever seen. Her class was terribly stressful and by far the hardest I had been through. I nearly failed it. Yet despite my C-, I learned more from that class than nearly any other I had ever taken.

At one point we studied depression, which was fantastic for me considering I suffer from clinical depression, though at the time was blissfully unaware of this fact. We studied the difference between sadness and depression, which I had never even thought about. There are many differences, but the one I found most intriguing was that, according to sciency science and people with glasses and white coats, when it comes to behavioral traits, a person who has intense sadness will often times still be able to laugh. A person suffering from depression, however, has a much harder time laughing. I am not sure why the least important fact wanted to stick in my head for five years, but it has. So I made it a little home in the back of my head where it has happily stayed.

My depression is partly clinical because of all that stuff that goes on with brains that I am too tired to describe, and partly situational because as so many doctors love to remind me, my life just kind of fucking sucks. Yet through every surgery, Emergency Room visit, Ambulance ride, and all the other extremely unhumorous events that come along with being chronically ill, I can remember at least one time where either I made someone laugh, they made me laugh, or in most cases, both.

I don’t believe laughter is the best medicine. I’m more likely to say that painkiller is the best medicine since it’s what gets me through most of my days. I do believe that laughter and silliness can get one through the most treacherous parts of life, though. It doesn’t make the pain less severe, make me any less depressed, or make my money problems go away. Laughter won’t make the person you miss come back, or fix anything tangible at all. But I do find that when I laugh, for just one blip of a second, the smallest, almost microscropic flash of a light ignites in my heart. When that little light radiates, it quickly burns out; but the fact that I can feel that in myself, or cause that almost unnoticeable change to occur in others, gives me just a glimpse of hope.

I don’t always laugh out of happiness. Many times, it is to distract myself. And of course, in the style of distractions, they never last long or get very far. I can’t tell you how many times I start typing out words that I find funny in either txt or a Facebook post, and then give up halfway through because I just can’t bring myself to be the comical little weirdo I pride myself on being. Yet at the same time, the moments I remember making a nurse laugh at 3am while they’re setting up my Saline drip are moments that, while they may be initially created in desperation to forget my unfortunate circumstance, in the long run do give me real joy and happiness which doesn’t fade at all.

I feel as if my heart is aching, my mind is overflowing, and my body is screaming; but if I can just squeeze out a few dick jokes here and there, I think maybe I can get through this, one bad pun at a time.

You can’t maximize a life. What you can do, is try to be honest in the choices that you make. Be true to yourself, no matter how embarrassing those choices are. Life is not a science. I realize that. Look, I’m a guy who does palindromes and tells jokes about leather jackets because that gives me some meaning, at least for now. And you know what, I apologize for none of it. Because the unexamined life is not worth living, man.

~Demetri Martin – If I

Disclaimer: this post does NOT mean that if you are not a silly person, or don’t laugh a ton that you are DEFINITELY DEPRESSED. Rather, my point is to highlight how laughter and joy can make a person who IS depressed feel a second of light in the darkness we are forced by our depression to stagger through every day. Furthermore, I wanted to highlight the fact that people who are silly, funny people aren’t always people who feel no suffering. 

 

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6 thoughts on “Ellie Vs. Depressing Laughter

  1. Nice post. I enjoyed reading it.

    I don’t laugh much … I don’t think it’s because I’m depressed. I think it’s because the people around me aren’t funny. When I’m away from them and “living my own life” I do laugh … although it is hard pressed to make me laugh.

    Anyway, your teacher sounds interesting … maybe you could write another post about her and how she crammed your head with stuff. Just an idea … no pressure.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Elizabetcetera, I am always so elated when you read and comment on my posts! I adore your responses. That’s really interesting that you laugh more on your own. Maybe it’s because the people around you just don’t match your humor, since there are so many different tastes when it comes to what one finds interesting. While I find humor in a lot of things, there are many things most people find funny that I certainly don’t. Writing a post about the class is a fabulous idea! I keep a list of posts I intend to write and I will add that one too it for a day when I’m feeling well 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. 🙂

        I’m trying to think of the latest thing that I thought was funny and can’t remember. I’m seriously trying. I don’t laugh so much at work because I find the others (I sound like a total snob) humor funny … I find it banal.

        My humor is more sarcastic, dry, sardonic, deadpan … although I do love puns … dirty limericks are good too!

        I had a patient the other day who I thought was a hoot. She was (is) a recovered (recovering) alcoholic and just went to those dark funny places.

        Here’s the joke she told me:

        Doctor says to the patient, “The good news is you’re NOT a hypochondriac.”

        ____________

        Yep, that’s it — that’s all there is to the joke. Wait a minute … let it sink in. It took a few seconds for me to get it. And of course, not everyone will find it funny. I laughed my @ss off.

        Anyway, laughter is the best medicine in case you need surgery or actual medicine, then laughter is NOT the best medicine! 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I don’t think you sound like a snob at all! I am very much the same way. The way you describe your humor is exactly how I describe mine. When I lived at home with my family, most of the things they found funny could barely force an eye-roll out of me. Especially being chronically ill, I can’t help but have a twisted sense of humor about me, and it’s so much fun when nurses and doctors joke around with me. Once, when I was a teen and broke my toe, the ER doctor said very seriously, “well, your toe is definitely broken, so we’re going to chop it off, and to make you even, we’ll cut off the other one on the left, too.” and I replied, “you’re the worst doctor ever. Let’s do it.” We burst into laughter while my mother sat there horrified. So see, you DO laugh, you simply have a standard, which I don’t think is a bad thing. And I LOVE That hypochondriac joke! I’m storing that one in my brain for later C:

        Liked by 1 person

      3. That’s hilarious about the doctor! Love it! I must have a touch of sickly stardust upon me as well! 😉

        I find, in general, it’s much easier to joke around w/ male patients vs. female. The females ones … well, the jokes have to be a bit more delicate, and well-timed, not to mention the patient has to be sized up first to see if humor is an appropriate interaction w/ that person to begin with.

        Like

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