In order to benefit from the vast pool of wisdom that is available to you in AA, and therefore learn the MOST you can about recovery, YOU NEED TO LEARN TO IDENTIFY WHO HAS SUCCEEDED IN KEEPING MAJOR SYMPTOMS OF THIS KILLER ILLNESS (such as Self Pity) IN REMISSION, AND TO WHAT EXTENT. A little? A lot? Self Pity is a SYMPTOM of alcoholism, which is a nasty, degrading, humiliating, killer illness. It's is a MASSIVE chunk of this illness. So its WELL worth learning to recognize.
For me I see Self Pity as characterized mainly by a DRAINED, APATHETIC, ENERGY-LESS state. It looks 'tired'. The more energy-less a person looks, the more I assume self pity is eating them up inside, and the more unchecked their belief is, that the glass IS half empty.
Poor me, poor me, pour me a drink. Complaining. Whingeing. Moaning. Hard done by.
Taking things for granted. Eg: I Complained because I Had No Shoes, until I met someone who had no feet. Believing the glass is half empty. Not half full.
Victim Mentality. Sympathy. Persecution complex
Apathy. Defeatism. What's the point? Drained. Weary. Energy-less. Lackluster. Heavy sigh. Everything is such an effort!
World weary. World weighs heavy on their shoulders. Sad smile. Sad.
Absence of things. Such as: No enthusiasm. No passion. No gratitude.
Ideally, Step 4 is where you get to identify where Self Pity has poisoned your wellbeing, (in the form of resentment). But until then, you still stand to benefit from recognizing degrees of manifestation of Self Pity both in yourselves and others. It will help you find the people who really have recovered from their Self Pity. They are the people who can teach you how to remove your own. Not unfortunately, the people whose Self Pity is still running the show.
Self Pity is incredibly painful, so if you do learn how to reduce or diminish your own you will have a very valuable skill to offer 'the alcoholic who still suffers'.
We ALL have Self Pitying tendencies. We will NEVER be perfectly free of it. But we CAN go to to ANY LENGTHS to not indulge our Self Pitying behaviors or attitudes, or alternatively, to ACT AS IF we are full of gratitude. (but describing gratitude is a whole other story!) So there is always something we can do to improve our lot. The less your Self Pity is running riot, the more peace of mind you will have! So there is a strong incentive to reduce our levels of Self Pity to an ABSOLUTE MIMIMUM.
- An Irish Friend of Bill
- I have recovered from the disease of Alcoholism. I believe there is only one person really,.. everybody. And that peace of mind is everything. -So treat your neighbor as you would treat yourself, because your neighbor IS yourself. I think most of recovery is what I would call common sense, but that learning to be ordinary is a true gift very few people acquire. My ambition is to accept everything unflinchingly, with compassion, and therefore be intrinsically comfortable in my own skin, no matter what. I am comfortable being uncomfortable and am willing to go to any lengths to improve my life. I believe the Big Book was divinely inspired, and is extraordinarily powerful. Unfortunately AA's best kept secret a lot of the time. (In my opinion). I just try to do what works, no matter what it is.
Friday, October 27, 2006
Recognizing Self Pity in its unflattering forms! It's not pretty!
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I came upon this because I recently lost a very close friend matching the description of self-pity. She is always tired, does not show enthusiasm for anything, everyone she meets is a jerk, and every failed attempt at anything is due to uncontrollable outside forces. My frustration comes from the fact that society, including myself, feeds this kind of emotion. No one wants to deal with a potential short term conflict when offering her pity is a simple solution to stop her from drowning everyone else in her bad mood. At the end of the day, this kind of comfort is but foam on top of water -- the effects linger only for a split second. Our relationship is no longer salvageable from my point of view because she has completely shut me out as she did with many people who once loved her. I've wondered if I should have drag out the conversation about self-pity during one of her many complaints about her relationship with others, but always refrained from doing so because I know she would simply antagonize me for doing so. I was greeted by messages of "welcome back to the bright side, that was the biggest favor she's ever done for you" after the falter and I keep wondering what I could have done to protect her, as well as myself, from this kind of hurt.
Pretty awesomely effecting way to put this.
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