Day 27:365 Gratitude Challenge and April 14th A to Z Challenge
Today I am grateful for the gift of laughter that is in my life; whether it is my own, my husband’s or my three sons. Laughter is the yin to my yang, the bee’s knees, the cat’s meow, and the fireworks in my soul. It is one of the best coping mechanisms I have in my arsenol of coping tricks and I can honestly say that there is never a day that goes by when I am not thankful for this beautiful gift.
For a post about laughter, it is about to go all serious on you, so please bear with me. Why I am driven to write this kind of a post today, I cannot honestly say. All I know is that it has to be said becase it is sitting in my heart clawing to get out. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I was just on #TheBloggessTribe’s Twitter lists and I noticed how many Bloggessians are dealing with depression and anxiety. It got me wondering, how can I help? Is there any possible way that I can help just one person smile or even laugh today?
So here it is. I need people to know that no matter what, there is always, ALWAYS something to be grateful for and to laugh about. Some days may be so dark that you think you are never going to laugh again but I need you to know that you will. It is going to get better and you are going to crawl up and out of that deep dark hole. I know because I have been where you are and it does get better.
I have been through some dark times. When you grow up as the only child to a father who was both a paranoid schizophrenic and an alcoholic and to a mother who battled debilitating anxiety and depression to boot, you are bound to grow up with some sort of scars to say the least. You are also going to grow up seeing some things that no child should ever have to see. You may even become a little bat shit crazy yourself. But that does not mean it has to define you. While I could not change my past, I did change how I reacted to it.
Laughter, sarcasm and a twisted sense of humour are just three of several coping mechanisms I use to get through each and every day. Still. I used them then and I continue to use them now and I will continue to use them for how ever many days I have left on this earth. I make fun of myself, I try to write funny posts on my blog and I use my humour and
laughter to mask great pain because it is the only way that I can make sense of my life. Soooooo, where did this gift of laughter come from?
My dad had the best laugh. It was real and genuine and came straight from his heart. He loved to tell stories and jokes and he revelled in making other people laugh as well. As long as he was being compliant with his medications and wasn’t off haluciating under that big ole maple tree in our front yard, life was not too bad. Even then, when he was hallucinating and talking to himself, he still had the best laugh. I would often watch him from the window trying to imagine what great story the inside voices were telling him to make him laugh so heartily. Was he laughing at them? With them? Was he laughing at himself?
I will never know and, frankly, I do not want to know. What I choose to remember is the good that was my dad and all that is good that he passed on to me: a contagious laugh, a knack for writing and story telling, a love of reading, and an eye for seeing things in this life that others may not see. It is about seeing how our knickers can actually teach us life lessons, how a cross dressing rabbit named Bugs Bunny can be a great role model, how a dammit doll is one of the best stress relievers out there, and how the assholes in our life are really here for our amusement.
Even though my dad went through his own dark times, he never lost the ability to laugh. He embraced it and it embraced him. Laughter is how he made sense of his world. In that light, I am a chip off the old block, only slightly less medicated.
Dad was always concerned about the legacy he was going to leave behind. Sadly, his schizophrenia robbed him of his ability to see that his legacy was right in front of him. It is in my laughter and in my sons’ laughter and in our ability to make others laugh as well.
My main goal for each and every day is to make at least one person laugh or smile. When I told my friend, Reba, that I was feeling baldy because this post about laughter wasn’t even going to be funny, she replied in typical Reba fashion:
“Keep in might that laughter is not always the best medicine.
Sometimes you need a shot of tequila.”
And that sums things up perfectly. Cheers to a happy, laughter-filled day!