Okay, I use the term “heal” metaphorically. But for the past eight years of that rollercoaster ride known as hearing loss, I’ve found laughter to be the most effective remedy for coping with the inevitable.
“So I’m going deaf,” I say with a slight chuckle to my family and friends. “What’s new with YOU?”
For the record, it really isn’t fun to ask my three kids to repeat themselves multiple times so my flawed ears can hear them. It also isn’t a picnic to attempt to talk on the cell phone with background noise or to engage in conversation in a crowded restaurant with Musak blaring at full volume. And I wouldn’t choose to fall asleep at night to the sound of ringing sirens in my ears.
But every time I open my mouth, tilt my head back, and let out a snorty laugh, it makes me feel good. For a few seconds, I forget all about my lost hearing decibels. My whole body becomes euphoric, filled with the feel-good endorphins of a make-your-belly-hurt chuckle.
Do I live in hearing loss denial? Is that why it’s so easy to have a sense of humor about it all?
Recently, my husband and I completed a personality test known as the Flag Page, created by Mark Gungor. The results revealed that Hubby loves for life to be calm, precise, and predictable. Mine? It showed that I like to have fun. In fact, my fun-o-meter is so high that the test rated me at a 204 score for fun, one of the highest scores on the planet.
Does that explain why I can find the ‘ha-ha’ moment in just about anything? Is it possible for anyone with hearing loss to cultivate the same sense of fun and humor?
If laughing at the thought of progressively going deaf doesn’t amuse you, might I offer these suggestions:
- Take a deep breath. In and out. Keep doing it until you feel like you’re ready to pass out. Feel better?
- Write down what it is about hearing loss that annoys you, then laugh like a moron at that list. How do you feel now?
- Pick the funniest movie you’ve ever seen, invite your hearing family and friends to watch it with you. Then, during a pivotal scene, mute the volume. Pretend like you can lip read everything in that scene, then laugh like a mad person.
Okay, you should feel much better now.
So my tips may be a little outlandish. But reading them hopefully turned your frown upside down. Hopefully? (C’mon, laugh with me here…)
Great post, Shanna. The healing power of laughter has been well-documented and for too many years, Christians have lived as though smiles were sinful. I am so glad you have learned how to laugh and spread the joy.
RJ – Thank you for the sweet comment. I know that we’ve shared a few laughs. It’s great medicine and cheap!
Rebecca – Yes, there is power in laughter. It may even be stronger than more expensive medicinal remedies, and definitely without the side effects. 🙂
Shanna, Thank you for sharing your journey. The joy of the Lord is our strength. And laughter is often the key to breaking through the blues to find His joy! Blessings, Angela
Angela – Thank you for commenting. I like your awareness of our joy in the Lord providing strength. Blessings to you.
Sometimes you gotta laugh – or you’ll cry. Your post really resonants with me and I truly believe we laugh more. To many studies show how good that is for us, but for people with hearing loss to laugh means you have to hear what was said. It has been my experience that If we surround ourselves with people that don’t mind repeating often until we heard too, those same people are the kind that don’t mind laught AGAIN… WITH us. Laughter is good medicine, and so is your post. Thank you!
Denise – How about those of us with hearing loss learn to laugh through our tears! Ah, the roller coaster emotions of hearing loss…
Nothing wrong with humor! Deal with things the way that works for each person! Here are some verses from the Old Testament book of Proverbs (some versions use the word “laughter” in place of “merry heart”):: 15:13 – A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.; 15:15 – All the days of the afflicted are evil: but he that is of a merry heart hath a continual feast.; 17:22 – A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.
Netagene – I like your Scripture passages. The Bible clearly has a sense of joy and humor in specific places. 🙂
You also need to laugh at your mistakes…they can be quite funny. Years ago my son came home from school all excited. He said “My teacher is cool, he plays the guitar”. But instead of this, I thought he said “My teacher is cool, he pees in a jar”. I have other examples, but they are too x-rated. Anyhow, learning to laugh is critical when you have a hearing loss. Great post!
Peter – I love to laugh at these mistakes! Hopefully, everyone around us is laughing with us…not at us. 🙂
Thats exactly what I have in my PowerPoint presentation on this topic: “Laugh with me but not at me”.
Sounds great, Peter!
Loved this post, Shanna!
Thank you, Karen. It was fun to write!
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