Hi Brooke, I absolutely loved your podcast on self pity. I believe that self pity has been a driving force of my life since I was very young – probably about 11. I even believe that my entire career path has been inspired by self pity – Counseling and Social Work. Certainly, this is not true for all Counselors and Social Workers, but for me, it has always felt from the pit of my stomach like it was based on self pity and has affected my work. What also struck me from the podcast notes was how you can’t enjoy being with someone you feel sorry for (something along those lines.) I have a sister whom I have been very close to my whole adult life who has massive medical problems (childhood bone cancer resulting in a prosthetic leg, kidney failure/dialysis for 10 years / transplant, bladder failure, and looks like she’s about 20 years older than she is.) She moved here 2 years ago, and I have felt burdened by her being here – over-responsible. Her needs are real, yes. But she is not expecting pity. I think that I have been feeling sorry for her, and due to that, not enjoying her company. And she is amazing! Today, for the first time since she’s moved here, I felt a totally different connection with her – because I decided that I didn’t feel sorry for her. I could sense her joy at our connection, and just feel so much better! This was really liberating for me… I couldn’t figure out why I was so resentful – thinking I was over caring for her, etc. But the truth is, I have been feeling really, really sorry for her. Not helpful!
My other frustration is this: I want very badly to live my life differently than I have been for the past several years. There have been stressful circumstances (parents contentious divorce, sick child) that have lead me to living this way, but things are better now circumstantially, and I am not. I have gained 20 lbs., drink too much, buffer a lot, and don’t live out my intentions like I want to. I feel like I have lost confidence in myself. I let myself down – all the time. The way I want to live is no sugar and alcohol, very little flour – only whole grains, become a runner again (I watch ppl running all the time and pine for it, but because I always feel like crap from my nightly wine habit, I’m not motivated), and manage my time differently. (Like if I don’t get to work out in the morning, go at night! But with my wine habit, that ain’t happening.) I sign up for programs like a junky, read everything, and start every single day with good intentions. But I don’t follow through. I am starting to believe that I really truly am sort of a loser! The way I ACTUALLY live is – wake up feeling pasty after not sleeping well and often not washing my face. Feel bad – angry at myself. Make promises. Have a healthy breakfast. Have a plan for lunch, but break it. Promise I’m not going to drink – even record urges. Maybe skip a night or two. Drink wine anyway while cooking and making excuses and telling myself that I look just fine, and I’m being too hard on myself, I have a great life, and I just need to accept my habits because I obviously like them and cannot change them. I do work out most days, but I want to become a runner again (I have been in the past – never my favorite, but always felt great afterwards.) I sign up for races, never train, then the race comes and goes, and I’m pissed at myself for doing so.
I can’t decide of what I want is authentic, or if I’m wanting something I think I ‘should’ want. But I do know that I have the health and ability to feel vibrant, on purpose, confident in myself. And I just. don’t. do. it.
Is it self pity?
Thank you, and I love being a part of this program!