Image result for hoteiBack in high school, I forgot how I laughed. I remembered how to, but how I laughed… I couldn’t do it. I remember very clearly one day just realizing I wasn’t laughing the same. It hit me with such surprise. I remember thinking, ‘holy shit! This isn’t how I laugh’, but I had no way of figuring out my old laugh.

I don’t remember being too depressed at the time. I mean sure, I was depressed, because it was high school, but it was that simple ‘high school depression’. You just hate being there. You’re bored and that feels like depression. It gets worse the older you get, trust me. No, this was something more severe… perhaps dementia. Any answers, I will gladly consider.

I couldn’t bring it up to people at the time. It didn’t seem like a big deal. Now, looking back, I realized how fucked up it is… just losing this integral part of your personality. Your laugh and laughter can define you. People can acknowledge it over time, like ‘yes, I know he was there, because we all laughed at the same thing’… not anymore. I felt bland. I felt like I became lost in the crowd of other people’s laughter. I had to adapt. I assumed other people’s sounds and laughed as they did. Now, as I look back, I realize I never got the joke.

This was before the time when everything was on Youtube… I have no way of finding out how it sounded. I could ask people, but if they showed me it just wouldn’t sound the same. I had to adapt. For a while, I didn’t laugh. I don’t know if you’ve ever tried not laughing, especially when it’s all you want to do, but it actually hurts. You physically and spiritually feel pain. I felt a pain in my stomach from holding in laughter and this necessary expression of joy rotted inside me. That wouldn’t work, so I decided to steal other people’s laughs. I mimicked a good laugh and stuck with it. I have it to this day, but it’s not the same.

I’m not sure what to do? How do I get fixed? Have I gone insane? Somebody help? Has this ever happened to any of you?

I’ve assumed to this point that I have an acute form of dementia. How such a vital bit of information could be lost is beyond me. I don’t think it happened over the span of a day. Just… one day… I forgot. Help out. I provided a picture of Hotei, a happy, fat bastard who always laughs, because it would seem right that the struggle to be happy like him means figuring out how to laugh. I lost part of myself. Part of the struggle is finding it. I wonder if Hotei ever had to mimic other people’s laughter. Imagine blending into a crowd because you’re not sure how you need to sound. Hotei can’t blend in… he’s too fat and happy. When you blend in you forget yourself. Somewhere along the line I forgot myself.


19 thoughts on “Tears

  1. “A town that everyone hates but no one leaves” – you could be talking about Bath except it would go: “A town where everyone hates but no one leaves.” I read the above with interest. I hope you are exagerating your affliction a little. If not, then this is a good place to chronicle I suppose. Just take care! B

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You don’t find yourself in this life. That’s what I believe. Life is a cycle of losing yourself, then finding yourself again. And each time the cycle ends, you grow 🙂

    Thank you for you words. They helped me!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Wow, that is a scary thing to lose?! It had never even occurred to me that this could happen to a person? I’m really curious about this now. I wonder if when you dream your laugh might sound like your own laugh, because your subconscious may remember what is was, though your conscious mind has lost it?

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  4. You’ve become so sad that you’ve lost your laughter. I believe you haven’t really forgotten it, it’s buried somewhere deep, deep inside you. But it’s there. Someday when you’re *truly* happy, you’ll laugh your heart out and that, my dear, will be *your* laughter. I know because I’ve been through this. Take care. Stay strong.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. My heart goes out to you, and I understand. I had a similar situation only it was about actual “tears!”
    Most of my life I could cry easily, including plenty of joyful/happy tears. Then one night I arrived home from a social event and I was so sad. I got down on my knees, sat back on my heals and sobbed deep gut wrenching sobs. After a few minutes I got mad and told God I was never going to cry again because it did no good.

    Many years went by with NO physical tears. I found my tears were internal and I wrote a piece about my Crystal Tears. A few years ago I told God I was ready to be able to cry physical tears again, but could He please make the first time be for a happy reason. And one day that actually happened 🙂

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  6. Dear chap, that is a very insightful and poignant thing to read. It sets me to wondering if it was, in fact, a symptom of not forgetting a part of yourself but, rather, losing yourself? Perhaps you were actually starting out on the road to depression. It was at about that age that I ‘forgot’ to hold my head up. Whatever it was for you, it shows your insight even at such a young age. Did it also mark the beginning of your ability to be self-analytical?
    Or maybe it’s something mor simplistic like your voice breaking 🤔

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I would leave the laughter to others. There is nothing wrong with not laughing and as a good friend once remarked; ‘happiness is vastly over-rated.’ The thing is, make others laugh. That ought to be the real aim and your article is proof of that.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I don’t think this would be considered as dementia. If it is, then at least half the world is demented (incidentally, this is arguable). Most adults in modern society experience this losing of oneself in the crowd. It is part of being a member of a civilized world; we lose the ‘I’ and gain the ‘We’, for better or for worse.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. The first thing you need to do to rediscover your laugh is to figure out where it used to begin versus where it begins now. The expression of a laugh comes from the throat and mouth, but that’s not where it starts. I’m smiling as I type this; you can see the smile on my lips, but it begins with a curling of the toes – most of the time, when I’m wearing tight shoes, I don’t even notice this. So think about where your laugh used to start, then have a quiet word with that bit of you and ask it why it doesn’t find things as funny as it used to. Then ask that bit of you what you need to do differently to make it amused…

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I actually had the opposite happen. In high school I realized that my laughter was forced…phony. I was afraid to let my real emotions out, including happiness. After recognizing what I was doing in keeping my emotions locked down, I let my real laughter just erupt. Everyone made fun of my laugh, but I didn’t care. I let it run loose and felt so much better for it.

    You never have to hide yourself from others or yourself. You don’t need to mimic or pretend. Just let the laughter bubble up naturally and your laugh will be your own.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I felt numb at school, looking back I was oppressed and midly depressed. I didn’t laugh much. Since then I’ve had various laughs, a high pitched giggle which I shared with a particular friend, then I took on my sisters more raucous laugh, where heads turn to see what’s going on, and then there’s my polite laugh to put people at ease, but the other day the real me laugh came out unexpectedly and I was crying with laughter – it felt wonderful. I don’t mind how I laugh, just as long as I do now and again. But yes, if you feel at one with yourself its definitely easier to laugh.

    There’s no way you’re demented, just keep trucking, not watching maybe and out it will come when it’s ready. Take care.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Fake laughter abounds. Watch any morning or talk show. And society seems addicted to mimicking these puppets. Watch a dog chase its tail. Look up some old classics like Abbott and Costello. When I want to laugh I watch my copies of 3rd Rock From the Sun. Those aliens have humankind pegged! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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