Hello, my name is Ali Cross and I’m addicted to self-pity.
I didn’t want to type that. Because I don’t sit around going “wah, feel sorry for me, I hurt,” or whatever. I don’t like complainers and I never want to be one myself. So it felt like a lie when I considered writing those words. Then I realized … it’s not a lie. Self-pity keeps me tethered to my house. It keeps me from doing the things I’d like to do because I’m afraid of the consequences. Because pushing myself too hard will cause pain (fibromyalgia) or fatigue (chronic fatigue syndrome.)
“Self-pity is just as addictive any other drug, but it’s harder to throw away something that doesn’t come in a bottle. I’ve learned the hard way that it can be pleasant to be a martyr, but if you can capture the vision of gratitude, that’s a far more life-affirming obsession.” ~ Jaclyn Holland-Strauss
I recently started a class offered through my local hospital called Living a Life with Chronic Health Conditions (a program designed by Stanford University, with a companion book of the same name.) It’s teaching me how to be okay with the limitations I have, but also how to get the most out of my life.
Self-pity is married to fear, I think, and the two of them can rob us of the life that’s ours for the living. I don’t want to live in fear anymore. I don’t want to let my life pass me by because I’ve got a few challenges. Sure, I need to adjust my expectations of what I can reasonably do, but just because I can’t climb mountains doesn’t mean I shouldn’t enjoy the heck out of an afternoon walk along the river. Not being able to do everything shouldn’t excuse me from doing something.
I am grateful for the life I have. I want to be worthy of it, by treasuring every day and living my life to its fullest. Self-pity, be damned.