Self pity

In one of my Alanon books, One Day at A Time, there is a quote on page 21 that reads, “If I an see myself clearly and honestly in relation to my present circumstances, I will not become the victim of self pity or resentment. If I do what I should I will be at peace with myself. It is only when I compare my lot in life with that of others that the destructive emotion of self-pity is allowed to engulf me”. I read this the other day and I was angry. I had been walking around angry already but this made me even more mad. You see I have been struggling lately. I have been walking around with this feeling of despair. Thinking that I was failing and that I was never going to be able to improve my situation and therefore should just stop trying. But the idea of not trying made me feel worse. So I was stuck. Stuck between wanting to quit having to work on myself because I always feel I come up short, and wanting to improve so I can have the life I want. Then I came across this reading and I just did not want to hear it. I still don’t.

I didn’t think that self pity was what I was feeling. I was absolutely sure that I was feeling defeated and broken and that I was justified in this because I had a terrible life. I mean in the past few months I have gained 10 lbs bringing me to a whopping 325 lbs (the most I have ever weighed) which is just not what I thought would happen when I left my alcoholic husband. I had a vision in my mind that once I dropped him that my life would become this post divorce rom-com of finding myself, making new friends, becoming the best hottest version of myself, and running off with a new man, the one I was meant to find. Yea… that did not happen. And I am pissed about it. I know that my ex husband is remarried now, and while I don’t want to be married to him or anyone else for that matter, I certainly was not expecting him to move on and find his happily ever after so fast. And it wouldn’t be so bad if I was doing better, but I am not. And the other guy I dated briefly after my divorce is also in a new relationship and has a NEW BABY!! I mean SERIOUSLY!!! So yea, not fair!

The worst part is that aside from my weight gain, I feel like everything else in my life has remained the same. I have the same friends, the same job, same pet, same family, same social life, same hobbies, same address, etc. I am saddened by this. It makes me so very angry and mad and defeated. But then I also have to laugh, because all I am doing is exactly what is in the quote. I am comparing my lot to others; my ex husband, Him, and the fairy tale magical lives of the women in the romantic comedies. This comparison has made me feel the “oh whoa is me’s” at an alarmingly high level. I am like an indignant child digging my heels in and standing out in the cold rain despite my parents telling me to come in lest I freeze to death, because I seen it once in a movie and it was supposed to be fun to play in the rain.

Seriously I can not stress just how silly it all feels while I am typing it out, yet in the day to day throws of my life, it feels anything but silly. I am not quite sure how to stop. I know the bottom line is to stop comparing myself but HOW? My brain does it, and while I can change my thoughts once they start, the thoughts keep coming. Not to mention most of the thoughts aren’t even conscious. I just have a uneasy pit in my stomach and anxiety in my chest. These feelings keep me on high alert and I feel like I am walking in on my husband cheating on me, everyday. You know the feeling I am referring to. Sick, twisted, guts, like someone punched you in the stomach. I feel that and I know deep down that I am a failure.

My thoughts go like this… “you should have never left that husband of yours. I mean look at you. You really thought you could do better? Well you were clearly wrong. I mean you are a mess. You are fat and ugly, and no one else is going to want you. You’re still smoking too? He probably doesn’t smoke anymore, he quit for her. You were such a terrible wife that he is so happy without you, and because you were terrible to him your punishment is to suffer. Even the last loser didn’t want you. You weren’t even good enough for him. You will live out the rest of your long life, sick, overweight, unable to move because you are so out of shape, and alone. No one wants to be with someone who cant even take care of themselves. You should honestly just stop trying at all.”

And what do I do then, I give in. I stop trying. I eat more food that I need, because it makes me feel good in that moment. I smoke because it stops the sick feeling in my stomach. I cry a lot. I sit on the couch and I distract myself with long hours of bad television in order to escape. Then I wake up after a few days of this and realize I am still here, and still miserable, only difference is I weigh about 5 lbs more, I cant breathe as well due to all the smoking, and I feel disgusting and stiff. That realization makes me fell worse about myself but also gives me a little bit of a hard push to do better. I then proceed to swing the pendulum all the way to the other extreme. I stop eating at all for most of each day, I stop smoking, I refuse to allow myself to sit down, and I push hard to meet a bunch of goals. This lasts only about a week at the most because it is too much too fast. Then I give in to one or more vices, thinking it will be just one small lapse. Of course this lapse makes me feel like a failure, and starts the cycle all over again.

Now I know what you are thinking, “ok so you clearly know the problem, and the cycle, so why not stop?” And the short answer is, I don’t really know how. I don’t know how to not push myself too hard or not at all. I can not seem to find the balance necessary to just start with one small habit. I start one and I feel like I am still not doing enough so I push for another. I think to myself I can’t eat healthy and not work out. I cant workout it I smoke, so I need to quit that too. Next thing I know I am overwhelmed again. I know this sounds insane. And that is because it is. I don’t know how to stop, but I know how to work my Alanon program.

So what does Alanon tell me to do? Step one – admit that I am powerless over these destructive habits, and that my life has become unmanageable. Step two- come to believe that a higher power can restore me to sanity. And step three – make a decision to turn my will and my life over to the care of God, as I understand him. So in the past 24 hours I have tried to do just that. That looks like me praying all day long. Thanking my HP for everything I am doing and what I have in front of me. Praying for God to help guide me to make better choices and to show me his will for me. What was the result?

Well my day was a bit better. The pit of despair was smaller. My choices were a bit better. I at a salad, and managed to avoid fast food restaurants. I stopped smoking halfway through the day and when I wanted one told myself I could have one tomorrow if i still wanted it. I went to a meeting and talked about all of this with friends who love and understand me. I listened to Gods voice all day and it turned out to be a pretty good day. It was not spectacular, which I am trying to be okay with. It was also not terrible which sometimes is the best thing I can ask for.

Throughout this process, I am learning a lot. I know that this is the first time in my life I have no one to blame for my troubles, and I am struggling to really take responsibility for my life. I keep looking outside of myself for a new object of obsession, someone to grab hold of and make responsible for my health and happiness. But I know that if nothing changes, nothing changes. I know enough to at least not do that again. I know enough to go to a meeting and call a friend. I may still be struggling with comparison, and bad habits of self care, self pity, and extremism, but there is so much I know today and have made good changes. I also have a little faith. Not much. But enough to know that this program of recovery works. I have seen it. And I know that if I keep trusting the process and doing my best to keep making progress (not perfection) I will continue to improve my life far beyond anything I would have been able to do if I was still in an obsessive relationship and not in Alanon.

So for today I can accept that self pity is sometimes (often) what I feel. I don’t have to like it and I can continue to work and pray that this character defect be taken from me, so I can live a more fulfilling life.


One response to “Self pity”

  1. Reblogged this on cm writes and commented:
    So many of us have been there, and we all have looked at those things too. Not the exact situation, not the same problems, but yes, similar thoughts. The solution? Alanon has it right about turning to God. You have it within your sites. You asked God what His will is for you. In the gist of the answer, he has told you. Your day was a bit better, everything you did was a bit better, even your thoughts were a bit better. You are on the right track, keep seeking what Gods’ will is for you.


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