Don’t panic, this isn’t a poor-me piece. It just that it hit me like a sledgehammer the other day that enjoying a good laugh has helped pull me through some grim times and added real joy to the good ones.
Don’t get me wrong, a great shrink and equally excellent psychologist, good meds, fun friends, world’s best dog, well paid career and a sensationally loyal and loving family have all played their part. But to this incredibly lucky list I would add the ability to enjoy a good belly laugh. And believe me, I have the belly for it.
I’m not going to waffle on because the point is pretty obvious – the ability to laugh can help get you through downtimes including mental illness. It does things for your endorphins or neuro thingamajiggies or whatever. Who knows? I’m just saying I feel better for it.
What I am not saying is that in my bleakest days, I could slump down in front of Billy Connolly (whom I adore) and instantly feel better. That’s ludicrous and an insult to people with severe clinical depression. But when I’m not ‘too bad’ Billy could make me feel a bit better. Bless the man, he still does.
But the bloke I enjoy laughing at most, is the bloke I see in the mirror every day. The ability to laugh at myself has allowed me to forgive myself for stupid acts. To put things in perspective. To give my friends and family permission to laugh at me too. And God knows, they deserve to.
Anyway, Helvetica and Times Roman walk into a bar. “Get out of here!” shouts the bartender. “We don’t serve your type.”