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Last week we went to see Marc Maron do a stand-up show at the Moore theater. It was a lot of fun. He’s a great comedian to go see as he still really seems to love doing what he does. For two hours he ranted like a hilarious lunatic, told his tales and then showed us his pile of unorganized notes, post-its and talked about his chaotic process. At some point he started talking about what it was like to be “broken” and in a good relationship. He joked along the lines of “If you’re broken, just accept it. You will always be that way. You will always be broken. It never gets better and you never get well, so get used to it.”

He made a crack about being a fucked up person with emotional issues who was finally in a healthy romantic relationship… and how it was slowly killing him. I laughed hard. I know the feeling.

I’m a mess on the inside and know it. I work on it silently each day so that I can be a decent person and not drag others down with the low moods and bad days. I don’t always succeed. Sometimes I’m a nightmare to be around. Of course, most of the time my ‘insanity’ is pretty quiet and manageable. I’m not a loud, bitchy person. I don’t like to fight. I don’t like to raise my voice. I absolutely make efforts to be the best that I can be in any given situation. I do so because it seems to me that even with all of the problems and inner struggles, it is still worth it to try and be another functional piece in this crazy life puzzle. I don’t want to be another selfish, weaker link that breaks under the pressure. I don’t want to be another problem. I always try and be the rock; the reliable one. The one you can count on. My mood might be in the dumps, but I’ll show up and help. I do so because it is the only thing that makes sense to me.

Because being a self-destructive emotional wreck isn’t a valid option, even if it feels like that was the role I was groomed for my entire life. I’m lying if I say that I have it all together. I struggle through deep bouts of depression without pills. I find myself secretly crying in the bathroom or dark bedroom at least one time each week. There are times when I understand why people give up and into bitterness. Life is fucking hard. Being human in a less-than-perfect system is frustrating and draining. Especially for those of us (most of us) who struggle daily with just trying to earn enough at a job (or several) to afford the basics: Food, shelter, warmth and health for ourselves and our families. Every week I see another good person crumble under the weight of it all.

Marc Maron found a lovely way to openly talk about his life and thoughts: He became a comedian. Many of my favorite comedians have darker pasts and stories that they share. That old Irish proverb was correct and laughter is indeed very healing. Laughter can transport you from the lowest, deepest depths of despair to a more light-hearted place. Jokes ease the predictable daily stings. Humor – even the raunchy shit – combats suffering.

It’s why I’m such a fan of stand-up. It’s laugh therapy. It reminds me that I’m not alone in my experiences and that I’m not malfunctioning.

Fuck, I’m probably a lot closer to “normal” than I think.