I know that recovery is a tough tough thing, that there are long periods of time when suicide sounds like an attractive alternative, when fun is just not on the agenda. I've felt that way for most of my life. It's only been in the last year that I've learned how to play. I think it is important to have fun, and I think it is important to let other survivors know about it.

I think it is important to take that child in me out and let him play. He never played all that much. He was too busy surviving to have fun. He was too hurt, too scared, and too traumatized to enjoy himself. He had to keep the secrets and when he did try to venture out he was abused even more (I was molested by an off-duty cop while hitch-hiking at the age of 16).

In the last year I've learned a little bit about how to help this little kid of mine feel safe and protected, so he can finally experience what all children should know. Life can be fun sometimes!

This last weekend, I took this little kid out into the woods in my Jeep and we played hard. We camped out, stayed up late watching the camp fire, told jokes and stories, watched the leaves change in the woods of Maine, rode the trails with a bunch of other Jeep fanatics and we celebrated the fact that we didn't let the bastards win!

I get tears in my eyes whenever I think of having fun with this little boy of mine. It is a feeling I have a very hard time describing. It is like there isn't a place for this feeling to fit into. It seems that after all the years of fear, rage, stress, flashbacks, urges toward violence or suicide, the 'fun' muscles have atrophied from lack of use. Now when this little boy feels like he is loved and cared for, when he feels safe and warm, when he isn't scared or lonely or enraged, I want to cry. Not from pain, although I do my share of that. I want to cry from joy and sorrow. Joy at what I've found and sorrow for what I lost all those years ago.

I just wanted to post this little celebration because it feels like a victory to me. Recovery is hard work. I cry and shake, I have feelings and memories I can't describe, I'm afraid of what I think might have happened and terrified by what I know did happen. I am often confused and I've sometimes felt like death must be better than this. That is why it is important to celebrate the good times.

So, my brothers in recovery, please don't forget to have fun. It's really alright to do that. Take that abused little boy in you and let him have some fun. He's earned it (and so have you.)

-Dave \:\)