Thursday, November 01, 2007

Sometimes You Just Have to Laugh

Sometimes you're going along surviving French III, making headway with your parents to extend your curfew and next thing you know life is raining on your perfectly, poufy, hot-rolled hair. That's how it seemed to me, at 16, when my sister's life started spinning out of control toppling the rest of my family over with her.

Drug addiction is an ugly thing.

Screaming, emergency room visits, rehab, changing schools, yelling, rehab, calls from the police, running away, rehab, padlocks on bedroom doors, counseling, rehab... A joke developed around the house.

Me: Mom I can't find the camera.
Mom: We used to have one.
Together: But it wasn't nailed to the counter. {explosion of laughter}

An addict will pawn anything to get money for drugs, whether it belongs to them or not.

You might think we sound heartless having enjoyed a laugh while my sister was obviously suffering in such a profound way, but we had too. Daily life was too hard. We all spent so many days, months--shoot years--walking on egg shells, not knowing what would happen next, worrying that we knew what would, that we needed a little levity just to cope.

Humor is a tactic my family's employed a number of times over the years to avoid drowning in the buckets of shit that have been poured over our heads. I think it's why one of my favorite movie scenes is the one in Steel Magnolia's when Sally Field is cursing the world over her daughter's coffin and Olympia Dukakis offers up Shirly MacLaine's face for a smack. The relief of laughter after heaving sobs is like a cleansing shower.

Life sucks at times and we all need a way to figure out how to keep going. And this is all a very long way of explaining why I nominated Kris from I'm Not a Girl, Not Yet a Wino for the October Perfect Post award. The woman understands the importance of a good laugh.

17 Deserve Mamma's Love:

Caffienated Cowgirl said...

This is a great post. I understand the need to laugh...my family employed it as well (although not for the reason you had to...that's tough). I can remember other people cringing, thinking we're sick - but hey, did they have to deal with it?

Peg said...

My family is another family that laughs at the adversity we sometimes face--to some, it's insensitive, for us, as with you and Kris, it's essential to survival.

Great Post, great choice!

Suburban Oblivion said...

You can laugh or you can cry..I choose to laugh ;)

Julie Pippert said...

Laughter is the best medicine. And this, "The relief of laughter after heaving sobs is like a cleansing shower." That's perfect too. :)

Julie
Using My Words

Paige Jennifer said...

I totally get the laughter thing. Life is going forward one way or another so you might as well be giggling a little, right?

And I'll totally drink to Kris and her wit. It's the kind of writing that makes me laugh aloud. At my desk. While facing my monitor. It's uber pathetic but oh so enjoyable.

Kelly said...

We're laughers in my family to. Sometimes its all you've got left, and it's a good thing.

Kim said...

Gosh, I love that part of Steel Magnolias. Laugh through the tears. It's the only way.

Wendy said...

Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion, too. I want to be Shirley MacLaine's character so bad when I grow up.

Jennifer aka Binky Bitch said...

Laughter is sometimes the only thing that keeps me going. Great post.

Lotta said...

God help those that can't laugh at their shit or the shit around them. That makes for a very long and un-empathetic life!

Worker Mommy said...

I'm so with you on this. Yes it's cliche but in many cases laughter is indeed the best medicine.

BethGo said...

Golly, I love that movie and that scene really does sum things up. You gotta laugh or else you'll go crazy.
Good post.

JazzBrown said...

Sometimes the only thing we can do is laugh. It keeps us sane (or something like it).

Thanks for another great post. Happy Weekend!

Pendullum said...

Oh the heart ache...
A friend of mine worked on a documentary following a crack addict...
It ended up being on Oprah...
It was called Cracked,Not Broken...
It showed how easy it was to fall... and how hard it was to climb back...It was meant for teenagers to show how it can be anyone... It can happen to any family...
How is your sister today?

Kevin Charnas said...

Without laughter, I'd kill people.

And curiously, I usually laugh the hardest at funerals.

moosh in indy. said...

Being able to find the humor in things makes people not suck and keeps them from being big toilets of depression.
xoxo

Attila The Mom said...

Oh gosh, I am sooooooo there! If you can't find something to laugh at, you'll just fall off the deep-end. :-(