Men will confess to treason, murder, arson, false teeth, or a wig. How many of them will own up to a lack of humor? Frank Moore Colby (1865-1925) American educator and writer
A sense of humor is a gift from the Gods. I don’t know I would have survived as long as I have without one. It always puzzling to encounter a person who is obviously doing everything they can to squelch theirs. Even people blessed with creative nature. There seems to be this social convention that the best artist or poet is a tortured soul. Maybe they are just the ones who get the most attention.
Lately I’ve been reading tons of books related to Bipolar disorder. I need to sit down and list them just so I can keep track of them all. It’s not just morbid curiosity because this particular silver hammer fell on my head at a visit to head doctor a few months ago.
One overriding theme in almost all the books so far is the fear that medication to treat the manic phase of bipolar will some how rob someone of their creativity. I had that same fear and also the fear that I would sit around like a lump of clay and not laugh about anything, especially after coming across “inappropriate laughter” as a listed symptom of mania.
I did go through a mild phase of that right after starting meds until my body adjusted. But looking back, my creativity was not gone; it just got put on a high shelf out of harm’s way until I found my way back to the center and balanced. True there are days when I feel like I’m barely balanced on the head of a pin, but most days are good days.
I prefer to view inappropriate laughter as laughing out loud at a time when it will cause emotional harm to those around you. Seeing the humor even in death is not necessarily a marker for mental illness. I bolster my case by referring you to the Darwin awards (see example below). It’s a site that list stories of people who removed themselves from the gene pool by killing themselves accidentally in incredibly stupid ways. For example; making drunken love on a commuter train track, standing on a wheelchair on a balcony to water hanging plants, trying to use a lawn chair with helium balloons as a form of travel, etc.
I did actually have to squelch what would probably have been inappropriate laughter at a funeral once. The woman in the coffin was a friend who died tragically at a young age in a car crash.
I covered my face and just shook until the feeling turned to tears of grief. The need to laugh part was from wanting to howl, slap my knee and say “Girl, I’ve been telling you for years that you shouldn’t be texting, putting on makeup and giving yourself a manicure all at the same time while driving down the highway at 80 miles an hour, drunk at 3:00am.
Hmmm, wonder if she was a bit manic at the time? I’d like to think she’s sitting up on a cloud somewhere thinking “Yea, yea, so you were right. When you get here someday, I’m gonna slap you! Then we’ll do belly shots off of hot looking pretty boy angels.”
(12 April 2008, Florida) Traffic was moving slowly on southbound I-95. Shawn M. had recently left a Pompano Beach bar, and now he was stuck in traffic. As the saying goes, you don’t buy beer–you just rent it, and Shawn couldn’t wait another moment to relieve himself. “I need to take a leak,” he told his friends.
Traffic was deadlocked, so the waterlogged man climbed out, put his hand on the divider, and jumped over the low concrete wall… only to fall 65 feet to his death. “He probably thought there was a road, but there wasn’t,” said a Fort Lauderdale police spokesman. The car was idling on an overpass above the railroad lines.
His mother shared her thoughts. “Shawn didn’t do a whole lot for a living. He got along on his charm, just like his father.”
Though his death was tragic, Shawn’s downfall proves the old adage: Look before you leak!
“Guess he was dying to go.”
“He shoulda peed in a bottle.”
“Apparently it was just his time to go.”