Parenting with Challenges: Sense of Humor Required?

interview, “Family w/ Schizophrenia finds Hope

With the official launch of Ben Behind His Voices less then three months away (OK, by one day, but still…), interest is growing and I’ve been lucky enough to appear on a few talk show already.  One interview, longer and more serious in nature, is on the HealthyPlace.com website.

A few days prior to this web interview, I appeared on Jaki’s Buzz with Wendy McGee, talking about balancing motherhood with a career in broadcasting,acting, and writing.  This is a fun interview with great reaction so far, but one viewer did comment that he thought the subject of  “parenting when schizophrenia hits” was treated too lightly here. 

Seriously? You know, when someone in your family has a mental illness, it does suck the sense of humor right out of you at first. You’re too busy reacting, and coping, and trying to fix things. But you know what? After a while, you’ve got to find yourself again.

Sure, you’ve got to take care of what your loved  one needs, as best you can. But after awhile you realize there’s only so much you can do – at least for the time being. And then you’ve just got to take care of yourself – and, yeah, there’s the rest of your family and others in your world who need you to be yourself too.

taping Jaki’s Buzz

While Ben was developing his illness, I was a morning radio personality. Make ’em laugh. And you know what? Some mornings – coming in to work fresh from an all-nighter at the hospital Emergency Department admitting Ben for yet another stay – it was no small feat to find the sense of humor I needed to be entertaining on the air. But each and every time I had to do this, it helped me. It helped me to remember that there are parts of life that go on, that are enjoyable, even when heartache lurks around the corner. It reminded me that I was more than just the mother of a son who had just had a psychotic break.

So bring the laughter on.  Believe me, when you need to get serious, you will. You need all sides of you to be the parent, wife, sibling, child, friend or professional you need to be. Take care of yourself too. Sometimes it’s all you can do.

 

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2 thoughts on “Parenting with Challenges: Sense of Humor Required?

  1. Amen to that! Laughter is truly the best medicine. If we look hard enough there is always something funny in every situation. I think a good cry is ok too, but is way to exhausting, laughter seems to lighten the load.

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