It feels like failure.
I failed at a 30 day goal. I made it 28 days. Why couldn’t I make it the last 2 days?
For one whole day, the day after failing, I pondered this question in mind as my body lay in bed. I had responsibilities that day as I do every day. To others and to myself.
Instead, I laid in bed and ate the very chocolate I shouldn’t have eaten to reach my 30 day goal.
It didn’t stop with the chocolate, it went beyond. About how I was a failure in my whole life. I listed the goals I set and hadn’t reached. I scruntized every step and labeled it a failure.
All because I couldn’t wait another 2 days to eat the chocolate.
I’m writing this the day after my self pity party. It was very grand. But the only one to see its grandness was myself. So then, did it matter?
Self-pity gets a bad reputation. And I’m not here to condone it, reverse opinion or even to celebrate it as I did that day.
Self-pity didn’t serve me, I knew this as I bit into the piece of chocolate. I wanted to get out of it because I knew there was no benefit to it. I’ve been told over and over again, it’s useless.
When you’re in the thick of self-pity, it’s really hard to see what’s happening. So, I’m going to guess that you’re not reading this article when you’re at your own self invited pity party.
You can keep this in the back of your mind. There are two negative things happening at once.
The first is the disappointment of failing or whatever other negative emotion comes up. I was disappointed in myself, I also felt worthlessness. Those are some big negative emotions.
But what makes it worse (if that’s possible) is for berating ourselves for feeling bad. If you look back at what I wrote: “I wanted to get out of it because I knew there was no benefit to it.”
The second thing happening is me judging my bad feelings about the failure. Can you see it? I could have let myself experience the disappointment and shame from the failure and moved through those emotions but I added more “negative” emotions to it because I was telling myself that there was no benefit to feeling bad (about myself).
Even if we get to self-pity, we then make it worse by intellectualising it and then judging it which then of course doesn’t break the cycle. And we ultimately stay in negative emotions a lot longer than we want.
The only way I got better was just to accept my self-pity and then let myself feel it, let myself feel disappointment and worthlessness.
Knowing that some emotions are not “good” for us is the smallest way in which we judge ourselves and compound negative emotions. Humans have a full range of emotions and yes, the ones that don’t technically help like self-pity are present in everyone.
So, if you get to that point of self-pity, maybe let it be. Weave through it without telling yourself it’s useless or not helpful to you or anyone. Let the party be and die out as the last guest leaves and you can then begin to clean up after they’ve gone home.