A laughing matter

A laughing matter

Recently our family gathered in New Hampshire for a two-week vacation.  Whenever we are together, there is typically lots of laughter.

It’s probably genetic.

My parents had a keen sense of humor.  So does my brother.  When we both married funny and smart-witted spouses, my father’s only lament was “I didn’t get a straight-man.”

Fast forward decades and I’m reading online and in books about addiction.  Never have I seen listed as a possible sign of substance abuse “a loss of sense of humor” or “absence of laughter in the household.”

But indeed, when Jacob was abusing pills and other drugs in high school and college, a gloom descended on our family.  The sullen “child” who sat at our dinner table each night, neither eating nor speaking, was hardly a player in any joke or retort.

Humor took on a sardonic tone.

“Why aren’t you going hiking with Dad this weekend?” he asked after a particularly frightening night, coming home late, falling into a sleep so deep I nearly dialed 911.

“Why do you think?  Think I can leave you alone?”

Much later, in an Al-Anon meeting, where I never expected to find humor, there was this example.  A woman struggling to live with her alcoholic husband would recant episode upon episode of near-tragic happenings in her home.  The time he almost tumbled down the stairs.  Or dropped a basket full of folded laundry down the same.  At one point, she just started laughing, and we all laughed with her.

So I wasn’t surprised once Jacob was in recovery during his first year, then two – now more than ten – to hear laughter again.

And like so many other losses caused by addiction, I hadn’t realized how much I had missed it.

10 Replies to “A laughing matter”

  1. It’s good to be reminded that when push comes to shove life is made better by the laughter of love.

  2. There are six of us, my brother, the youngest has 19 years clean. The five of us have jokes about the codes we used to use when he was using and we were worried about Mom. As we let him in on the what’s so funny? Be has found the humor in our love and our laughter. Thank you so much for your continued transparency. Love you Lisa.

    1. I’m so glad your brother is doing well. 19 years! Praise to him….and his loving sister.

    1. You always were a kind person. Thanks Marcia
      (and you know this young man well!)