Monday, February 1, 2010

Laughter, And Negativity.

 MrSponsortpants is always an excellent read; I think he must have been feeling giddy this morning - his entire post is limericks of his own invention. (I suggest we all compose one of our own, and send it to him via his comments form; I did - a form of verse in which the more of a groaner it is, the better.)

Laughter has helped to open my mind to Al-Anon ideas which, initially, I couldn't grasp with any clarity. Sitting in meetings, listening to members speak about their struggles with control, laughing as they described their thinking, made it possible for me to realise that my own thinking had some of the same elements of  lunacy. Once I'd truly seen and accepted the ridiculousness of some of my reasoning, I've never been able to go back to taking myself with the same seriousness as before. It's just not possible.

I took myself very seriously when I came into program. I had a huge chip on my shoulder, and I seethed with resentment, anger, and frustration. I think I must have almost given off sparks, I was so full of hostility towards the world. I was unable to understand how my negativity pushed people away from me, partly because I had no concept of how deeply my negativity was rooted.

When I'm around someone who is relentlessly negative, I'm offered a reminder of who I was, before this program helped me to change, by offering me the loving, supportive environment which made change feel safe.

When I was negative, I was trying to save myself from disappointment, by never allowing myself to hope. If I didn't allow myself to want, I couldn't be hurt if I didn't receive what I wanted. It sounds quite reasonable when one has that as an operating life philosophy.

But life without hope is a measly offering, a matter of plodding along, head down, just "getting through the day." I went for years like that, just getting through. I had no joy in living. I looked forward to nothing, and I scoffed at those who bubbled with enthusiasm. My unhappiness revealed itself in sarcastic commentary, although I wasn't aware of it at the time.

Working this program has turned me into the sort of person at which I used to raise an eyebrow - cheerful, enthusiastic, and positive. Someone who loves silliness, and meets it in kind, limerick to limerick. God bless you, MrSponsorPants, and everyone else in recovery, for the joy you've given to me.


  1. I can't help but think of a rather serious friend who would always carefully consider her words before sharing and always shared with the most intense look on her face. One day, after sharing a rather tough spot she was going through, she paused, looked up at all of us and said, "You know what I realized? Nobody really cares." It was said as a realization that all her "stuff" was just stuff. It was an AHA moment for her and we all laughed with her. Her big crisis was right-sized at that moment with her sharp wit and the ability to laugh at her seriousness. We do care about her, she knew that. We still laugh about it. I learned that in alanon.


  2. Great post! I am on my way to read mrsponsorpants limericks. You give me hope that I, too, will grow and change through Al Anon. Thanks!!

  3. Humor is a great thing. I appreciate that I can now laugh whereas before it was difficult to hear any laughter in meetings.