LET yourself have fun.

It seemed too simple.

The complexities of the dark feelings made it seem pointless, even stupid.
But Fun - and the capital 'F' is justified, I think - was essential to pulling me out of the black hole in which I dwelt and helping me to grow enough courage to explore why it might be worth giving life a try. Fun brings relief like a breath of fresh air and shakes up thinking in a way that can have many different results. I am never the same after having a bit of fun.
I would not let myself enjoy anything, for what felt like the longest of time. I stayed in my room when my family had company. I stuck my head in a book instead of conversing with my siblings or parents, never staying in a room longer than was absolutely necessary. I replied in the negative to invitations to go out. Anywhere. I never bought new clothes or went for walks on sunny days or read what columnists had to say about the latest television phenomenon. If I was obliged to attend something like a birthday party, I dreaded it like a trip into an operating theatre. I endured, instead of enjoying...but, to be fair, I simply did not know how to replace endurance with enjoyment.
For the life of me, I could not now list exactly how I filled my days, before I let fun in. I had obligations and college-/work-related deadlines, yes. But, to be frank, the remainder of my hours were spent stuck in spiraling negativity, planning more than necessary for future work and generating pointless preoccupations, making up excuses not to participate in life, worrying about the present and dwelling on the past.
And hating myself - that took time and energy.

I spent a lot of time crying.

The thing is, enjoyable diversions are in ample supply. Most people actively look for or come up with ways of having fun. So, inevitably, I began to participate, in spite of my efforts to deprive myself of enjoyment and laughs. The wonderful thing about fun is it has neither a fixed definition nor any boundaries. A person can explore until they find out what they enjoy, and then explore some more. The list is endless. Collecting pens can be fun. Reading can be fun. Singing along to the radio can be fun.
Once I got a taste of fun, I began to understand why people had always seemed so hell-bent on creating it. I learned to laugh again. Now I laugh a lot. I laugh in the supermarket when I overhear a child ask an innocent question. I laugh when I'm on my own and I do something silly. I laugh at my own relief that no one saw me!
I dance, even though I have neither training nor experience. I learned that it is far more fun to TRY and dance badly. My niece's embarrassment at my dancing proves I am doing a great job of this. I like some comedians and dislike the humour of others, so I try to go and see a comedian I like at least once during the year. (Tickets make great presents.) I love walking, in all weather. I talk to my siblings all the time. I don't like watching television much so I don't own one. I love youtube and DVDs though. I am grateful for my laptop:)

When I feel lonely - which I sometimes do - I call someone and chat for a while. It doesn't change my entire life but no one act will. However, I always feel better after I've communicated with someone I know.

I could choose not to do any of the above but I now let fun in. It is that simple. 'Not too simple - THAT simple. I made the choice to allow myself enjoy places, people and activities sometimes.
I don't enjoy everything. I know no one who does. But if other people can laugh and dress up and talk to each other about nonsense, why can't I?
I'd recommend giving it a try. A simple start is television or film. I love panel shows. I watch them on youtube all the time. Here is an example of something I'd NEVER have allowed myself to watch before I learned how to have fun. It might make you laugh. If it doesn't, I urge you to actively search for something that does.
You deserve to smile.


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