In 2018 learn to laugh at yourself and your circumstances. It’s no great accomplishment to let your hardships stamp a map of wrinkles on your face, turn your hair gray and embitter your heart. On the contrary if you can discover the humor amid adversity it takes some of the sting out of the situation.
You might not see anything about a stroke and becoming a ventilator-dependent quadriplegic as a reason to laugh, but the warped sense of humor God gave me gifted me with that ability. When I started to laugh instead of cry, my spirit began to heal and joy found me again. The ability to laugh has been such a blessing. I don’t always laugh at least not initially, but eventually I find a way to poke fun at what upsets me.
Choose to Laugh Instead of Cry
Although it might seem overly simple, it works. Here’s an example.
I have to allow caregivers to bathe me. Since I am uncomfortable when I’m nude I make jokes to alleviate my embarrassment. Part of my embarrassment comes from the fact, I’m extremely flat chested. So, I usually will tell a new caregiver that I had a breast reduction and my doctor went overboard. This statement is accompanied by a serious unsmiling face and delivered in a matter of fact and sober manner.
Here’s another example. I don’t think anyone that’s paralyzed and requires assistance to go to the bathroom looks forward to it or finds it enjoyable. For the first couple years I cried through my bowel program. My dependence on others was hard enough, but I eventually got used to my dependence on others.
I try not to dwell on it for long or discuss it, because it makes me uncomfortable and embarrasses me even after 19 years. At some point in the future I will discuss the process and accompanying feelings, but not today.
Each morning I start the day with insertion of a suppository. As a result, my face turns red and blotchy. Try to imagine someone you have known less than a week doing this. It’s embarrassing. It never fails that a new caregiver will comment. “Your face is so red. ”
My response is “What color would your face turn, if I stuck my finger up your butt first thing in the morning?” The tension lessens, and everyone usually laughs. On a purely objective level, I realize it is just something that must happen. I suppose a person can grow used to anything over time.
A New Year Resolution
Try to take yourself less seriously in 2018 and laugh more. Sometimes life’s hard, and you may get frustrated and over time discouraged. I resolve this year to turn to God immediately and pray when I feel overwhelmed instead of despairing first. and to laugh and enjoy life more fully and thankfully.
Do you have a different method to cope when faced with hardships? Please feel free to share, comment or ask questions.