Thursday, April 12, 2007

Of Tantamount Importance Pt 3 - Conclusion

Alright, so the dreaded (and dumb, in my opinion) joke is past.


Back to the study:

The German study conducted to determine differences in how recovering addicts/alcoholics differ from 'healthy' people regarding 'HUMOUR' - basically tells us that

Recovering addicts often have trouble with processing 'humourous' material!

(Sometimes) Addicts Can't Take A Joke.
(Sometimes) Addicts Don't 'Get' Jokes.
(Sometimes) Addicts don't find things 'funny' that other people do.

The areas tested in the research all involve skills that people use to interpret and understand jokes. Aside from 'mood,' all of the other areas imply that:

An addict's intellectual ability, skewed from abusing substances, is less intellectually tuned to figuring out 'joke material, and...

An addict's memory, skewed from abusing substances, is less capable of drawing on 'previous' information learned - that might assist the addict to 'get the joke'

An addict's psychomotor skills, in question - damaged from substance abuse, are less capable of assisting an addict in the realization of 'punch lines.' You may not think that this 'more physical' area tested wouldn't have anything to do with 'brain-work' but IT DOES because...Psychomotor skills include - INPUT FROM THE EYES, so that external data can be entered to become part of 'brainwork' and the thinking process! An addict's poor 'mentalizing' ability hinders the process of interpreting jokes!

In short - recovering addicts have quite a few damaged areas (even if known only to be scant measures of mental impairment) that fog their ability to see humour as healthier people see humour!

Now that this is known, it's not the end of the world! I thought it was, at first, but after some 'problem-solving,' I realized that if recovering addicts - as well as 'healthy' individuals just keep this information in mind, the addict can learn to think differently by NOT RELYING on only deficient parts of their make-up while healthier people can, if they're aware that the joke they are telling is being processed by a recovering alcoholic, GIVE THE ADDICT MORE TIME for sorting the joke out........and more importantly - BE CALM if the addict is unable to see the humour right away.

Maybe addicts will have to resolve to allow other people to find certain jokes FUNNY even if they don't appreciate the same joke - instead of thinking 'that joke was stupid and that person who thought it was funny - is actually pretty weird (or has a weird sense of humour).'

All in all, if we all agree to disagree, we can all get along, funny or not funny!

How does this further related to addiction, recovery, or this blog - where 12-Step information is ALL OVER THE PLACE?


Bill W. and Doctor Bob do, in fact, mention in a few places in The Big Book - not to take our addict selves too seriously - but I believe these messages are often overlooked and dwarfed by more graphic wording in The Big Book.

Maybe Bill and Doc Bob were ON TO SOMETHING (that they couldn't properly define in one spot during their time).

Maybe Billy and The B. Doc were trying to say, in a totally non-scientific-non-German-research type of way that:


Maybe Bill and Doc Bob were (doh) letting fellow-alcoholics KNOW that we often don't understand humour or see humourous content because OUR MINDS process things in a serious fashion...due to long-term damage from our substance abuse. Fellow alcoholics aren't at fault by way of 'character' but by way of physiology - as is supported by the German research.

So, recovery suggestions NOT TO TAKE THINGS SO SERIOUSLY all the time and to DEVELOP A SENSE OF HUMOUR - really are of tantamount importance, aren't they?

(even if the joke is awful)

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