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!
Wow, Linda! Great post! I have never been so choked up when reading about laughter. They are like yin and yang, though, aren’t they? What you wrote about your dad was very moving. I’m sorry you had to go through that, but love that you can see the bright side. As a side note … Reba sounds like the perfect friend:) Thanks for sharing this!
Now I am all choked up! I can’t believe the release I feel, though, in putting that out there. Thanks for commenting and for your kind words. Reba is the BEST!
Amazing to read something written so deeply from the heart. Thank you for sharing this with the world 🙂
Thank you for your kind words. There is so much good in this world and I am deeply touched by the kindness shown me by my blogging friends. 🙂
much love was poured in this post and I got choked up by the end of it. But some crying is good for you – it is also a release mechanism 😉 I am sorry you had to go through what you did, like you said no child should, and I am happy to read that strength is on your side! thank you for sharing and I really liked how you brought the other posts together into this one to really paint the bigger picture
Awwww thank you, Laura, I am deeply touched by your words. I can’t tell you what it means to me to be shown such compassion and understanding. I did a little of my own choking up today, too, which was also good for my soul.
wow, Linda you have survived some rugged stuff…..and the fact you turn it into laughter and good feelings is just incredible. You are one of my heroes.
Awww thank you, Suze; I am so happy that I found you in this great big ole blogsphere because you ROCK!
How is it you always know what I need each day? Thank you for every last word you write! I truly needed this today!
I think it is because we are both needing it at the same time. If ever I can help, please let me know. Seriously.
I really appreciate it, and I will!
Thank you for this post and for your gift of making others laugh. I love, love, love your posts and I understand laughter to hide the pain. You truly have a gift, and I am so thankful I ran across your blog.
You are so very sweet and I am so happy that we have met through our blogs as well. I was so hesitant about posting this piece that I called my husband at work to ask him what he thought. Thankfully, he encouraged me to post it because I had no idea how much it would resonate with others. Thanks to him and to friends like you, I am gaining more confidence every day to keep on with this blog. Thank you for that 😊💕
Thank you; I am happy to hear that you like it. Means a lot to me. Thanks for dropping by the Cabbage Patch!
Have a nice weekend 🙂
Wow what a powerful and emotional post. Incredibly inspiring that you can see the laughter through the dark times #atozchallenge X
Thank you for your kind comments. You give me the courage to keep on writing.
Please do. You have a new regular reader here 🙂 x
I don’t know how I managed to do it but somehow, while trying to reply to your last comment encouraging me to continue writing, I accidently deleted it. Sorry about that.
Thank you once again; your comments really do my heart good 🙂
I am proud of you for showing that bit of your life. I know it was scary, but you did it! And did good! <3
Thank you, Angel; your kind words mean the world to me. <3
Aw Patchy. Sorry I’m so late getting to this beautiful post, especially since it’s one that hits so close to home. To have gone through that, and even the aftermath of it, and to still be able to focus on the love you feel for your dad and the good things that he brought to the world, and make it a better place through laughter, just shows what a special human bean you are. You’re one of the treasure people xxx
I cannot tell how how much your words mean to me especially today. Yesterday, I received word that one of my closest and dearest friends is losing her battle with MS. She is one of the strongest people I have ever had the pleasure knowing. Last night, I said my goodbye to her and my heart is breaking today. So, to receive such beautiful words from you and all the wonderful friends I have met since I took up this blogging thingie, gives me the strength I need to get over this next hurdle. I cannot believe how much people whom I have never met personally can make me feel so loved, so unalone, and so darn good about myself. Thank you so very much for being one of those people.
P.S.: I love being called Patchy 🙂
I’m so sorry to hear about your mate. I can’t imagine what that’s like but I’m tearing up and my heart’s breaking for you. I’m glad to be able to help in any small way. And I’m glad that for once my nickname-endowing attempts have been met with approval! I don’t know if ‘Huffy’ likes hers though, but *I* like it and that’s the main thing 😉
Nicknames are the best because usually they are bang on 😉
Wow. That was quite a curve ball.. And now I just want to box up a million hugs and send them to you from Idaho…
Sorry about the curve ball but please do send the hugs. I really need them today.