I love humor in the darkest moments. I think my sense of humor is what kept me alive this long. Lord knows I’ve experienced some feelings and situations during the course of my life where there was absolutely nothing to laugh at. I think finding the irony in the midst of disaster is the ultimate survival skill for people living with mental illness and those who love them.

That’s why I was so struck by this account from a woman dealing with her combat veteran husband’s psychological disability. I’m sure she meant this to be funny, and it is in the most heart breaking kind of way:

  • “But without a doubt, the most awkward I have ever felt was when my husband was selling one of his rifles. He gave me a dollar amount he was looking to get for it, then had me go into the gun shop to find out what they would offer. I told the guy behind the counter ”This is my husband’s rifle, he’s out in the truck but wanted me to come in to have it valued because.....um....because he um...because his service dog is scared of that thing!“ I exclaimed pointing at the stuffed cougar prominently displayed on the shop floor frozen in a permanent fang-flashing prowl. I made a couple of trips between the truck and the store ferrying messages back and forth between the two men like a hostage negotiator. My husband actually didn’t have to come in for that transaction, in Washington State it is legal for a wife to sell her husband’s firearm; apparently even if she does appear to be mentally unstable!”

I’ve just got to say, her husband is a very, very lucky man. I wish all of us struggling with psychological disorders had someone so plucky and supportive.