I’m poor, overweight, have bipolar disorder, and more than anything lately, I’m loaded with self-pity.

I don’t know why I’ve been feeling self-pity more lately than the past, but it doesn’t seem to be in any rush to go away. One strong possibility is the state of my country. The US of A is being led by narcissistic, bigoted, dishonest, ignorant bully. That man (I use that term lightly) leads a controlling party that secretly and cowardly passed a budget that, to put it simply, steals from the poor to give to the rich. Technically, the budget is not a 100% done deal, it has some hurdles before it becomes law, but it doesn’t look good.

On top of all that, our fearless leader is acting like a spoiled child on a playground taunting a North Korean madman who is capable of firing missiles into any part of our nation. I’m feeling a little edgy about that.

It’s been interesting talking to many of my liberal friends since the election and I keep hearing the same thing over and over. That is, they weren’t happy when Reagan won the election, or when either of the Bush’s won, but never have they felt the deep undying depression they’ve experienced since our last election.

Granted, I’m depressed all the time, and struggled with self-pity my whole life, but our current political climate has seemed to make it worse, and more than anything keeps me in a state of helplessness. I think the helplessness is what’s put the cherry on the top.

So, my theory is it’s the feeling of helplessness that’s reinforced my self-pity, but what do others say? Well, I stumbled on a delightful article on Oprah Winfrey’s website. It’s a weekly post by Deepak Chopra where readers are encouraged to ask him questions. I’ve never been a fan of Deepak, and his response to someone asking about self-pity was this:

The issue is dependency. Self-pity is the opposite of self-esteem. It arises because you feel no one will lift you out of your difficulties. With no one stronger, older, wiser and kinder to help you, there’s a tremendous sense of lack. You cannot find the same strength that these rescuers have—or you imagine them to have—and the ache of not being enough is felt as self-pity or ‘poor me.’

I shouldn’t get too upset with the man. His comments are pretty much what I said above, I guess it’s just the way he’s said it. It’s awfully condescending, and I don’t appreciate being told I act like a child.

His solution to self-pity is to “gather some riches.” I won’t go into how he suggests you gather these riches, but it’s the usual stuff we hear like saying affirmations, writing your feeling down then put where they’re coming from…and you’ve heard the drill. If you want to learn more, you can follow the link below.

For years I’ve declared I’m Buddhist, but despite the lovely Buddha figures I have throughout our apartment, I never really have been. I’ve never agreed with much that the various sects I studied, however I agree with the basic tenants, for the most part. One of the sites I check out regularly is Tiny Buddha. In an article on that website regarding self-pity, I found this:

Awful things happen. Dreadful circumstances or tragedies will affect most of our lives at some point. It’s okay to cry and feel sorry for yourself and your circumstances, mope around, or get angry. But at some point you must shake it off, let go of the past, and choose to not let it consume you entirely. Otherwise, you won’t be able to learn from the experience and move forward in a constructive way.

At first I thought the article was equally condescending to Deepak’s, but the author was wise enough to add “I am not addressing true clinical depression here…”

Before I wrote this post, I made a list of all the things I’m feeling self-pity over. I’ve decided to spare the details, but they were mostly affiliated with money, relationships, health, environment, and more, but, right now I don’t think it will serve any purpose. Perhaps later in the week I’ll find it necessary and will shock everyone by doing two posts in a week. For now I’ll leave it at that. Maybe I’ll follow Deepak’s suggestion and gather some riches.



Tiny Buddha

8 comments on Self-Pity

    1. Not condescending at all. It’s dead on target. I’m currently in the over 50% wallowing stage and as your article states, I’m going to allow myself to be in it for awhile. My therapist is well aware of what I’m going through.

  1. I believe that life does indeed require us to have sadness, stress, and challenge. Though it can seem like too much of that at times, when we are feeling weaker, vulnerable, or are ill, etc. It can be hard to “celebrate the contrast.” But contrast it is, and we need to see it as the darkness that allows us to see and appreciate the light. In the meantime, be grateful for the good things in your life, no matter how small. And if you have someone who loves you, don’t be afraid to lean on them a bit more. And if you’ve found friends and kindred spirits online, like me, I’ll do what I can to lift you up! I appreciate you and what you do, my friend! Keep the faith, this too shall pass! From one bipolar brother to another, we will all get through this!

    1. Thank you, Anthony. I’m fortunate to have a great husband and friends who “get me,” give me the space when I need it or give me a shoulder to lean on when I need it. In that sense, I’m blessed. Always good to have you stop by.

  2. It could be something like SAD, Seasonal Affective Disorder. Go outside, RIGHT NOW, get a little sunshine. Plus, it’s that time of year when a lot of people are just too fucking happy which makes the rest of us dwell on what’s missing………….Keep in mind, NO ONE CAN BE THAT HAPPY!! Love to you my friend!!

  3. I have had to learn to be an observer of my thoughts, separating “me” from the jumble that is going on in my head. One of my criteria for evaluating thoughts is to ask myself how much what ever it is that’s eating at me was bothering me when I felt okay. Frequently, it’s something that I don’t have these strong feelings about when I’m not depressed. Evaluating thoughts this way allows me to have the following dialog with myself. “Look, Lora. This wasn’t bothering you/wasn’t bothering you as much last month when you felt okay. If it wasn’t bothering you as much back then, it’s crazy to try to deal with it now when it hurts to even think about it. Set it aside and work on it when you feel better, if it still even bothers you.” After that when the thought comes back in my head is something like this, Thought: I can’t even work because I can’t count on feeling well enough consistently enough to be able to hold down a job. (Yes, this one of mine.) The response to that is, “Yes that stinks. Remember the John Wooden quote, “Don’t let what you can’t do stand in the way of what you can do.” People with a lot less on the ball than me are working. The fact that it seems hopeless is pretty much proof that I’m not problem solving well. If it still bothers me when I feel more stable, work on it then.” This works A LOT of the time for me, but there are times it fails. I could’t do it until I started Geodon. My doctor at the time called in brain glue, and she was right. Negative thoughts that used to come at me like a Hydra are now manageable. Recently I had back to back stomach viruses and another bug that had me not taking my medicine for 5 or 6 weeks. That was a nightmare. Being in my head was like sitting with the person who disliked me most in the world, a person who couldn’t stop explaining why, a person who remembered a seemingly endless catalog of my mistakes and embarrassments. It didn’t matter how I countered anything that was coming at me. I was filled with anger that we could take the dog to the vet to be put to sleep, but no one would be willing to do that for me. It seemed supremely unfair. The only thing I could hang on to was that I knew I hadn’t always believed these things, and that there would be a time when I wasn’t under attack like this. It was horrible to live through, and emotionally I wasn’t okay for weeks after i had recovered physically. But still what carries me through is recognizing that I am not these thoughts. The thoughts are evidence of disordered thinking which is caused by shitty brain chemistry. When the brain chemistry gets better the thoughts change. Anyway, that’s what works for me.

    1. You’ve got lots of good stuff in there Lora. Thank you. One line I really like and can relate to is, “Being in my head was like sitting with the person who disliked me most in the world,”

      When I have “that look” in my eyes, Maurice will say, “Get out of your head, that’s a dangerous neighborhood.” Of course, that doesn’t help in the long run,, but does make me chuckle for a moment or two.

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