I tend to be a very serious person, with little sense of humor. Perhaps this is a direct result of my trauma. Perhaps my wounds are too deep to live a truly joyous life. Perhaps laughter lies just below the surface, waiting to be set free.
There are times when I feel envious of other people. I don’t envy their monetary worth, their success, or their good fortune. I envy their ability to feel joy. I envy their ability to be silly, and their ability to see the humor in difficult or stressful situations. I envy their ability to laugh at themselves and their shortcomings.
I know that I had gotten silly and laughed a lot when I was a young child. My life wasn’t completely devoid of happy moments, like when my father took me on pony rides and taught me how to ride my first two-wheel bicycle. I used to love swimming in lakes and body surfing in the ocean. I enjoyed playing Jacks, hopscotch, and jump rope with my friends.
I remember giggling with my girlfriends as we discussed which boys in class were cute. I had laughed when I was in love with my teenage sweethearts. The feeling of being in love was exhilarating. I had laughed with my college theater department friends and my conservatory friends.
So, when did I stop laughing? If I had to pinpoint a time in my life when this happened, I guess it would be after I was date-raped in New York City and had the abortion. Since that experience, there seemed to begin a gradual dampening of my Spirit. It was at that time that my alcoholism began to spiral out of control. Perhaps I had lost my belief in the goodness of life, and in humanity itself.
With the help of therapy, I have been able to come to terms with my past. I have been able to reclaim much of my personal power, which I had allowed to be taken from me. I have healed to the point where I feel content, uplifted, even happy, but the exuberance of my younger years continues to elude me.
I am not giving up hope. I have come a long way in how I perceive life. I’m not as pessimistic and cynical as I used to be. When difficult events enter my life, I bounce back quickly. I choose to see challenges rather than obstacles. I can let go of things easier. There are many activities that I enjoy doing. I have friends and family who bring Love and Light into my life. I am grateful for all these things.
I look forward to the day when I will be able to laugh at myself and my shortcomings, instead of beating myself up. I look forward to the day when I will be able to not take things – or myself – so seriously. I look forward to the day when I will once again be able to experience the freedom of joy in my heart and soul.
I don’t know how much more emotional and psychological healing must take place before these things will become a natural extension of my being. But I know that with time, I will get there.