I know we all go through times of feeling sorry for ourselves, that’s inevitable with chronic illness. I’ve had times of crying because I wanted my old life back — just ask my husband. I want to address a lifestyle choice of self-pity; it’s self-defeating and may cause flare-ups as well.
Merriam-Webster defines self-pity as: “a feeling of pity for yourself because you believe you have suffered more than is fair or reasonable.”
I’m pretty sure we can agree that there are times when we believe we have suffered more than is fair or reasonable. The problem comes when we stay there. Self-pity is pretty much adopting a victim mentality. Although it can be a self-soothing mechanism, that can help us later in being able to accept our changing circumstances, many times we make a nasty habit of it.
Self-pity can trap you in the quicksand of despondency and despair. Don’t let it! Try things like positive self-talk or using daily declarations. Call someone who is able to speak words of life over you. Smile often, it really does help to lift your mood. Put encouraging post-it notes everywhere. Listen to uplifting music. Do whatever it takes to stay more positive and upbeat.
It won’t be easy, and you will have to fight everyday to stay positive. Just like how God’s mercies are new every morning, you get a fresh start every day you wake up. When you seek how you can serve someone else, you effectively kick self-pity out the door! Joy then takes its place.
It’s important to get plenty of rest, because when we’re tired, our emotions get the best of us. Don’t allow people to stay in your life who are negative Nancy’s or Ned’s. Their negativity will drag you down. We struggle enough to stay positive, so get rid of the negative. It’s destructive, unkind, and unnecessary.
It would even be wise to think about the groups you join, on- and offline. Whining and bickering will also work to drag you down. Find a group or groups that are supportive and uplifting. I’m not saying you shouldn’t be able to vent, we all need to that at times, but it shouldn’t be the overall theme of group members. That’s why I’ve started a few groups myself. I just don’t allow that. My heart has always been to be a support and a lend a listening ear.
Please don’t beat yourself up when you do feel sorry for yourself, we all do from time to time. Just put a time limit on it, like a couple of hours or a day, and then get back in the battle with your head held high.
I believe in you … you’ve got this!
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