Friday, October 02, 2009

The only way to get rid of my fears is to make films about them.
Alfred Hitchcock

"All of us are born with a set of instinctive fears--of falling, of the dark, of lobsters, of falling on lobsters in the dark, or speaking before a Rotary Club, and of the words "Some Assembly Required."
Dave Barry

A man has been visiting a therapist because he has had a fear of monsters living under his bed. The man has been seeing this doctor for months. Every time he would come in the doctor would ask "have you made any progress?". Every time the man would say "no." The man decided to go and see another doctor. When he went back to his other doctor and he asked "have you made any progress?" he said "yes, I am feeling all better now" The doctor asked "what happened". The man said "I went to another doctor and he cured me in one session". The doctor asked "What did he tell you?" The man said "he just told me to cut the legs off of my bed".

Internet Joke

Say “October” and you automatically put a smile on my face. I love this time of year. Visually, I love the colors of our beloved Midwest. The smell of bonfires and burning oak with a slight chill in the air excites me. Shuffle walking and crunching leaves on the side walk, (except when the occasional snake crawls out) is a favorite activity. The old horror flicks that appear on TV stir up special childhood memories. And most of all, I love the playfulness of Halloween. I love the risks kids take dressing up and “ parading around”. I can appreciate the loved adult in their life who designs and puts together a costume. Of course there are some that don’t like Halloween. Reasons range from “bad memories” to “fear of what it represents.”

Fear is an interesting phenomena. It’s funny how we teach babies the game of ‘peek-a-boo’, which is really based on the element of fear and surprise. Some of us go to horror movies which is a controlled dose of fear. After all, it’s only a movie, right?

I have faced many types of fears in my life. Fear of loss of health, fear of loss of friendships, fear for a loved one’s safety, fear of losing a job and my list goes on. Maybe you too have faced these same ones and can add a few more. I remember walking thru an alley, 4 police cars pull up, and then I had 4 guns pointed at my head. When they screamed, “ get down” I realized they were yelling at the “ suspect” behind me. I immediately ducked walked along side parked cars and the theme from “ Hawaii 5-0” started playing in my head! As I laughed about the incident, my breathing returned to normal!

So why am I writing about fear in a humor column? Humor is one of the main antidotes to relieving symptoms of fear and anxiety. It helps us disengage from the fear-filled moment, in order to gain a hopeful perspective. The act of laughing reduces the tension that fear induces in our body. Mirth connects our emotional hearts to each other, powerfully reducing isolation and loneliness. Over the past year, as I gained my strength back from physical ailments, I craved the humor, laughter and support that dear friends and family gave me. Humor, Laughter and Mirth can illuminate the darkness that fear lives in. I recognize that not all want to laugh in fearful situations. Sometimes it takes a crack in the fear to let the light in. And everyone cracks up in their own time.

This time of year, you may experience many fears. Fear of the cold, fear of relatives coming over to your house, fear of lack of money, fear of swine flu and lastly, fear of weight gain. I’m sure you can add to the list. However, while you have your list of fears, don’t forget to have the antidote. Keep Laughter, Humor and Mirth close to your body, mind and spirit.

Blessings of gratitude for all who have made laugh along the way,
Debra Joy Hart RN BFA CLL
Age Wise Care Management