For a while there I honestly never thought it would happen again. I had nothing in me that saw humor or light. I saw dark, grey, endless skies with no hope of blue or peaceful in them. I can look back and call those days very bleak. The hardest time of my life and I care not to ever return to them. But, just as everyone said I would, I grew from them. I hardened my core and built the walls necessary to protect myself from hurt. This was good for me. Some might even call it healthy.

But slowly, the giggles returned. Small at first, mostly grins and the occasional chuckle. Finally seeing the funny in life became easier. The laughter started coming more often, and it was beautiful. My amazing friends drew it out of me in ways I had forgotten your closest friends can….driving around with Leslie, blaring gangsta rap as loud as we could at 12:30 in Derby, KS. Laughing our asses off because we knew all the words and because hey, we’re white girls blaring Dre in DERBY FUCKING KS. Heather, making me cry from laughter at the sheer amount of food she and I can consume in one sitting (seriously people, we can fucking put it down). Missy, who had me doubled over from laughing so hard as she shared her loud, drunken fantasy with me. Shelley, who I know now shares my taste in more than clothing and make-up (I will never recover from that night, Shel- STILL laughing about it). Grace who successfully renamed male body parts with me. I mean, really. How can you not laugh when you’re amongst greatness like this?

I have found whimsy at work again. I laugh so hard there lately I can hardly contain myself. These folks I spend all day 5 days a week with who know me better than most and who, for the most part, get me as a person. Have no expectations of me beyond who I am. Who know me well enough to steer clear of me on *those* days. Shanae, who will “dance off” with me as we walk toward one another (she always wins). JoJo, my walking partner and the chick who is going through it all with me and who gets how fucked up it all is but can still find something to laugh at each day. And Miss Janet, who I’m pretty sure IS me when I grow up. I laugh with them. It is fantastic just how much I laugh with them.

I talked to my big brother and sister-in-law last night and we had one another in stitches. They have shared in my situation and support me in the best way they can…by making me laugh and by making me see that I what I have gone through is, in many ways, hysterical. When I roll my eyes at life, I know they are rolling theirs harder. Is there anything quite as satisfying as a shared, simultaneous eye roll at life? Hell no. That’s the shit right there, ya’ll.

My gut has never felt better than it does now- with all the happy surrounding me these days. My anger is subsiding. My happy is returning and reminding me just who I am. I am starting to catch a glimpse of how life can be and what is out there for me to cherish. It’s beautiful and disarming at times. I had forgotten, ya know? 7 months of sad and anger and fear can make the world a pretty fucked up place to be. But it’s coming back. I’m coming back. It’s getting easier and easier to breathe again. I’m not 100%, but I’m also not where I was a few months back. We do heal eventually. I am learning this. I am proof of this. My peals of laughter daily are proof of this. My smile? It’s back.

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