Self-Pity Is Self-Defeating

Self-Pity Is Self-Defeating

Through the Fog

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!

Note: Fibromyalgia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Fibromyalgia News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Fibrosis.


  1. Sha'ula says:

    Thank you Robin. I applaud your diligence in writing Through The Fog which is so aptly named. I’ve had both CFS and Fibro for 30 years and your blog has really helped me especially because it seems only those of us who have this comprehend the ordeals of these diseases. It’s even harder when spouse and employer get frustrated because he wants you to be the old you and you can’t now, matter how hard I try to fake “the old normal” it just backfires. Then add to that trying all the plethora of aids such as supplements, vitamins, essential oils, trying all kinds of diet changes, chiropractic measures, numerous horrific medication trials, massage, acupuncture, tai chi, GET, yin yoga, heat, tens unit, CBD, warm salt water therapy, daily wellness meditation, breath work, CBT, prayer, etc. etc. etc. and staying pollyanna positive and people still get frustrated with you or the disease. If I were in a wheelchair people would be the opposite. Maybe I should try getting and using wheelchair as people would be more sensitive. Currently I have a chiropractor, massage therapist, yoga teacher, tai chi teacher, elliptical for GET, heated swimming pool, urologist, gastroenterologist, audiologist, family practice, rheumatologist and on it goes. Sigh! Hang in there fellow survivors these diseases are better than some. Keep a smile in spite of it all and you’ve gained a win. Shy.

    • Robin Dix says:

      Shy, thank you so much!! Never ever apologize or try to be someone that you’re not. Other people will have to change their perspective, or not, that’s their issue. Just be true to who you are (although that changes daily lol). You sound like someone I would enjoy spending time with ????????

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