Lunatic Fringe, now a mainstay of classic rock stations, was a catchy song from the Canadian group Red Rider that was released in 1981. One line from this song declared "We won't let you kill the laughter". This line has resonated with me, especially as I am part of the lunatic fringe (by my own youthful definition) given that I have been through several periods of extensive counseling in my life.
With counseling, at times I kind of felt like the boy who had to tie a pork chop to his leg to get the dog to play with him. In other words, I felt like I had to pay for somebody to listen to me because I had no support system in my life. However, through counseling, I came to learn some important things about myself, some of which have simply educated me, some of which have helped me to cope, some of which have helped me to develop some self worth, and some of which have taught me how to let more light shine into my world.
In my most recent period of counseling, I got to a point where I felt like I had taken my psychologist's advice and input as far as I could, and it was time to try to work on my life on my own for a while. That was several years ago now. I notice from time to time that some of the old patterns of thought creep in and take me over. I am not sure if the trenches are as deep as they were or the blues as azure in color, but I worry that my defenses are slowing eroding away. I wonder if at some point I will realize that my counseling didn't fully take.
The scene reminds me of a locker room interchange between Jerry Seinfeld and George Costanza. After showering and getting dressed, Jerry notices that George is still all sweaty. George then replies that he doesn't think the shower took. After all the counseling that I have been through, I'm not fully certain that it took. However, I believe that with counselors, it is not like they are removing a tumor or fixing a broken bone. Their art is more subtle, more delicate, more uncertain. So I don't think that one is ever fully "cured", but, perhaps, in a better place. Who knows? I'm sure that there are lots of opinions on this, but I guess that I only see what happened (or is happening) in my own personal situation.
However, whether or not I am a nut or a lunatic by my own definition, I realize that the trials of this world, my own demons, will pull me down, but I will not let them pull me under. I will not let them kill the laughter.
(Part 2 of 2)