Self pity is a pathetic emotion… but my therapist assures me that no matter how negative the emotion, I need to recognise and accept all emotions..
He is of the belief that one of the reasons so many people in modern society struggle with themselves and their environment is that we are taught by our fast paced lives and politically correct thinking that negative emotions are bad. Not only are they thought to be bad, but they are completely denied by those not suffering with them.
For example, how many times do we tell ourselves, or those we love, to “suck it up”, “pull yourself together” or “get a grip”? Pep talks rarely help the person they are delivered to. In fact, I would go so far as to say that not only are they of little help, but they truly just make ‘the sufferer” feel worse; as not only do they now have to deal with the primary negative emotion, but they must also now entertain the idea that they are somehow less than strong for even feeling said negative emotion in the first place.
So, having said that, I am now going to fully indulge my self pity.. I am going to lay it all out here for you to read – and hopefully, in so doing, I will have recognised it, named it, understood its source, and will therefore be able to “go with the flow” until it passes and I am once more my happy jovial self.
Okay.. so .. there are a few steps I have to follow in order to gain emotional intelligence over my current state:
Step 1. - Knowing your own emotions
Now this initial step can further be broken down into 3 sub-steps:
• Be aware of your emotion..
This one I have pretty much down, no problem. I am aware that I am filled with self-pity at the moment. There is no denying this step. I would venture out on a limb here and say that not only am I aware of it, but it is making me rather annoying to be around. (Excellent progress Kerren, the first step is the most difficult and now that you have it under your belt, you are free to move on to the next step).
• Identify the emotion…
Okay, another pretty easy one for me.. I am able to identify that I am feeling consumed by self-pity. The question is, where does the self-pity come from? See, pity is a secondary emotion, which means that it is a result of something else. So something has led me to feel this morosely sorry for myself.
So, why am I filled with this self-pity? And not only that, what is the source? What is the primary emotion that shoved me down this gloomy path?
Okay.. I have that one figured out too – the primary emotion (or source) is abandonment. Yes yes, I know how laughable that sounds, but it’s the truth! And remember, that the whole point of this blog is to not deny my negative feelings, but to rather understand and accept that they exist. Right.. so we have established that I am feeling abandoned.
So.. lets break it down and figure out where this feeling comes from:
1. Adam is in Dubai – it was a joint venture between my in-laws and me to send Adam on a surprise 10-day holiday to visit his brothers in Dubai. Adam has never been to Dubai, and his brothers have lived there for 3-years. Adam works his tail off for our family, and he is/was in desperate need of a proper vacation. He left last night.. Adam and I have hardly been apart in 10-years; add to that that I am usually the one who travels; being left alone is a completely foreign thing for me.
2. My closest friend is going to a party tonight that I was supposed to go to with her. She offered to stay with me tonight, but I could not let her do that when I know how much she wants to go out and paint the town red this evening…
3. Which brings me to 3.. The reason I am not able to go to this party with her, is because Mel (my mother-in-law) was supposed to have the boys so that I could go, but Mel and Mike, at the last moment, were offered a weekend away at a game reserve this weekend.. And there is nobody else to ask to baby-sit.
4. Most of my friends are now either living in other countries, or tied up with their own things and families this weekend..
5. I keep going through my phone pondering who I can call – but I just don’t feel comfortable phoning anyone telling them that I am feeling desperately lonely.. There is something so pathetic about it..
6. My mother does not live in the same city as we do, and I have hardly any blood family, and the ones I do have live almost an hours drive away..
* Just a note to those mentioned in 1 – 6: Please do not feel like I am blaming you in any way. I truly am not, for one thing you are not responsible for my happiness, I am; and for another I could have told any one of you how I am truly feeling tonight, but I chose not to, so you are not to blame. I only wrote this list to help my reader understand how I got here.
• Name the emotion:
The emotion is abandonment. I feel abandoned.. And completely alone.
Step 2 – Managing the emotion:
It is one thing to know the emotion, but a completely different thing to be able to manage it. I know that I cannot allow the emotion to dominate. I have the boys to think of first of all, and Caleb especially is struggling with Adam being gone. So I have to be strong for them.
Also, it is really not very productive for me to sit around moping. I mean for goodness sake, it is not like I am going to be alone forever… which brings me to step number 3.
Step 3 – Motivate yourself – Delayed Gratification!
Right.. soooo.. the key with this one, is that most people who are feeling blue are not motivated to do anything… and I have to say that is pretty much how I feel.. but.. The boys are in bed…the house is quiet, and I have absolutely no excuse for not getting on the bike!
I know that once I finish a 50km cycle I will feel better – it is so true that exercise releases endorphins… and so, on that note..
Hi ho hi ho it’s off to cycle I go!