Laughing to Keep From Crying

It’s been several years since I posted anything new in this blog, and those years have not been easy. I spent some time in jail, I lost custody of my kids, and until recently, made less money than I did when I was ten years younger. I’ve struggled with bi-polar disorder and the drug and alcohol addiction that commonly accompanies it most of my life. Those struggles have changed, and I think I deal with them better now, but I don’t think they’ve lessened much as the years progressed.

It hasn’t been all bad though. During the short time I spent in jail, I forgave my ex-wife and my father, and in doing so put down a heavy, burning hatred I’d been carrying around for far too long. Later, I experienced God in an undeniable way for the first time while attending a church the laws of this land forbid me to, and in that place my broken heart was healed, returning to me the capacity to love. The hardships I’ve endured have humbled me and instilled in me an empathy for those whose accrue a greater share of suffering in this life than most.

The best way I’ve found to deal with life coming apart at the seams is to keep a sense of humor about it all—as much as one can. Believe me, I know there are times when one can laugh about as easily as he or she can shit gold. However, a certain fatalistic gallows humor has served me better than dwelling constantly in sorrow and hopelessness. Things are looking up again: I’m writing, I’m spending time in the dojo, and I’m staying as positive as I can. If you’re reading this and feeling totally fucking hopeless, then I encourage you to hang in there and maybe try cracking a few jokes about the situation most people will probably find in bad taste. What people think matters not, especially if you can find some way to smile, or better yet, laugh.

About Jeff Opfer

Jeff is a carpenter and freelance writer born and raised in the Reno area. View all posts by Jeff Opfer

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