Just For Laughs

Photo Oct 07, 7 05 36 PM

My giggle has snowballed.

What started off as a thin curve in the corner of my mouth, now parts my teeth and lips. Old, stale air busts out of my lungs, exhaling dust, like a door being pulled off an ancient, sealed tomb. It’s more than just a breath — I let everything go. I once sat, tight-lipped and quiet, but now — wild noises erupt from my face.

Laughter. It’s happening.

At unpredictable times, with unpredictable rhythms, and in unpredictable places. It’s disconcerting — and glorious.

Up until recently, laughter was something I used with caution — I guarded it. I covered my mouth with my hands. Laughter seldom passed these lips that, for a long while, only spoke solemn words. Back then, I let all the jesters in my life perform without reward. I held on tightly to a pain that, I was sure, laughter would invalidate. So, it leaked it out in small spurts, like little coughs, that barely sounded.

I have since learned to let things escape.

Now, I hold my knees together while my stomach shakes. I laugh — tears streaming from the corners of my eyes, running over my cheekbones — which are sore from smiling. Sometimes, I think I need to be sedated. But, instead of quieting the squeals of my sweet abandon — I let them loose. It frees me up. It makes space for the things that need the room. It allows others to do the same. The word “infectious” is not an appropriate one here. This thing — this audible joy — is not a disease. It’s the cure.

Laughter is its own form of permission. The first time I set it free — along with the ancient air that sat trapped in my gut — I felt like I might be sick. I didn’t know what I was letting go of. I have learned to embrace the vacancy. There is just an empty space now, but, it’s not a void that needs filling. So, I leave it — happily unoccupied.

Today, I snort out my pleasure like a pig in shit. I sit in front of the TV screen and let it hit the chords I cannot hit myself. I let a friend’s sarcasm rub me the right way. I feel it — my own fresh air — rushing up the sides of my chest. I belt out chuckles that travel from the couch to the kitchen.

Laughter is the great necromancer. Something in me is alive again.

I feel it rise in my throat. I throw my head back. I let it escape me.

Now, who’s got a good joke?

The Not-So-Great Escape


Who doesn’t love a great escape?

We all have our little exit strategies. In fact, I have an extensive repertoire of escape plans that expertly let me off the hook for any and all of my (in)actions. No matter what task I’m facing, I always have an escape route. Sometimes several. It’s one of those defense mechanisms that seems really brilliant in its conception, but, the long term results of escape: No Bueno.

Escape plans allow for, wait for it…wait for itESCAPE.

Come on! Who wouldn’t want to hear, while they’re waist-high in shit, that they have the option to bail the fuck outta there? It’s human nature. If things suck, in general, we tend to avoid them. It makes sense. But, I’m discovering, the longer I have my wits about me, the best lessons are learned while we’re wading through the crap. Sure, it stinks, it’s uncomfortable, and when we’re finally out, more often than not, it appears that we have nothing to show for having made the horrendous journey. Therein lies the lesson: Sometimes, you find out the hard way that there isn’t always a door prize for your effort. That shit you’re caked in? Congratulations! That’s your prize! I hope you learned something, because there ain’t no escaping this one kids: Growing up blows.

We attempt escape for lots of reasons, but let’s boil it down. Because really, at the end of the day — it’s all about fear. Nine out of ten times, the thing I’m avoiding, the thing I’m telling myself isn’t the best bet, or even a possible bet — it’s fear. Fear that I’m not going to get the mythical thing I’ve envisioned.

We stay in places we should leave. And, we tell ourselves some pretty amazing lies. We make it sound good. We romance ourselves. You know what I mean. You tell yourself to stay when you KNOW you shouldn’t because, if you stay:

  • You know what you’re getting.
  • It’ll be better this time…
  • You can change this.
  • They can change this.
  • This may be your only chance!
  • Once you leave this place, there’s no way back!

Yeah. Lies. Lies. Lies.

Stop! Bubble busting time!


Finding freedom is all about running through the burning building of your mind. Finding an escape route on the fly — alone and mid-crisis. Stay in the burning building for an extra minute, get some smoke in your lungs and feel the heat*.  If you run out too early, it can only mean missing out on valuable truths about yourself. If you reframe your fear, the escape plan itself becomes magicalSo, find your proverbial unicorn and then: Get the fuck outta dodge!

What if you embraced what might happen, what could happen? Be honest. If what should have happened had actually happened, you wouldn’t find yourself with this dilemma. Instead of copping out and staying put — JUST GO!

  • Be unsure, and be surprised.
  • It could be good. From the get-go. Like, whoa.
  • Action IS change.
  • No one is perfect, don’t rely on others to make you happy, they don’t determine your outcome.
  • There are unlimited chances.
  • If you’re meant to be somewhere or with someone, there is always a way back.


My Advice: Wade through some shit. Walk through a burning building or two. Ride your well-earned unicorn into the sunset — now that’s an escape!


Stay saucy,



*SaucySobriety.com would like to note here that we do NOT recommend you stay in a building that is literally burning. This is a metaphor. Please see your building’s fire codes for escape plans in the event of an actual fire.