Madness Apparent

Today I met with an old friend whom I respect and am very fond of.  She advised me not to laugh out too loud because that smacks of insanity and ‘normal’ people don’t do that.  I wasn’t sure how to take that.  I know she means well and is looking out for me.  She explained that only those who have suffered trauma or a bad shock do that.  Well spot on, I have suffered a huge amount of trauma in a short space of time, all life changing and not for the better, so yep hands up.  She told me that the first time she saw me after thirty years and before I had confided my story she could detect that I had been deeply affected by my suffering. 

First I was a bit upset; is it that obvious just from the way I laugh that I am ‘not quite right in the head’?  Is there a problem with laughing loud, is it a sure sign of insanity??  Is this yet another cultural thing?  Another we don’t do this in HK thing.  To be honest I don’t really care what people think of me, especially strangers but it did make me a bit self-conscious.  Whenever I laughed at something she said, my friend nodded in approval and say, yes that’s right, like that. 

To be perfectly honest I’d rather be in hysterics than in the throes of depression unable to even get out of bed. 

I welcome your comments and views.



About cho wan yau

Teacher by day poet/writer by night. Words have been my first love and will be my last. As a child I locked myself into the toilet devouring books which transported me to distant lands. Poetry shared penned from 2009-2010 in a titanic struggle to stay sane at Heartbreak Hotel. Please check it out on Any comments or feedback welcome. Why not share your story with me, because we all have one, don't we?

Posted on January 24, 2014, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Maybe it is a cultural thing because believe me, when I laugh it is LOUD and I’ve never been told that it is inappropriate. Good luck to you.

  2. As I roared with laughter at your delightful words – maybe I am not normal either. Keep laughing I say!

  3. Yep Suz I suspect it is and the list of things of not to do in HK is growing by the minute; top of the list is not drink on your own in public as a single woman, especially one of a certain age.

  4. Paul I like being not ‘normal’, it’s what makes me me and if I am perceived as mad then so be it.

  5. There are certain people in my life that make me self-conscious about my loud, boisterous laugh, too. But I try to stay aware of who it is making the criticism. Knowing nothing at all about HK, I think it is cultural. I grew up in a pretty multi-ethnic atmosphere, and I can tell you the cultures that I know have no problem being loud – with or without laughter – and the ones that seem to find it offensive to be heard laughing at all.
    Don’t give your friend’s criticism space in your head. That’s my two cents.

  6. LOL…Better to laugh than cry…

  7. I always turn heads when I laugh – it is loud and brash and I love it and my friends love it! I say life is to be lived – laugh it up!

    • Thanks for the thumbs up regarding the LOL. It probably is a cultural thing, they are very conservative and reserved here, bit like riding the tube in London, no eye contact and do not speak to strangers, anyway they are too engrossed with their samsungs and iphones.

      At first I worried has my depression turned into bipolar, am I too manic? Ah no I am just happier and laughing is not hurting anyone is it, it’s not as if I have murdered someone or hit an old dear over the head and grabbed her pension.

      I shall carry on doing my thing, just got rid of the inner critic who keeps telling me I am doing everything wrong, courtesy of the ex and a certain family member …

      Hope you are all doing your own thing out there x

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