When is it Safe to Have a Pity Party?
This article was written by licensed Health Coach Trisha Artman (Coach the Cure). She often writes "articles that address the emotional ups and downs that come with chronic illness, but at the same time are completely relatable to the vast majority." We think this article can easily be applied to all of us in the Diabetes Community and beyond.
Calling all pajamas...You are cordially invited to attend the lamest party of the year. No need for gifts or even cheer, just draw the curtains closed and let's make some things clear!
Life is a wave of emotions that can sail us to the top and have us quickly crashing down to the bottom. Sometimes on this journey called life, it seems like we are faced with hurdle after hurdle. One can find themselves doing okay with these tasks until the hurdles become closer, higher and even more difficult to jump over. What do you do when life becomes overwhelming and you can see no relief in sight? After one hit you most probably can get up, dust yourself off, and chalk it up to "C'est la vie" ("That's life"). But after the second, third, and fourth hit, one may begin to check the positivity at the door and question, "Why me?".
Let's face it, we all know someone who seems to live under the umbrella of self pity. Labelled the "Debbie Downer" of the group with every sentence starting with "Woe is me". But what about us "normal" folk, who are going through a bout of misfortune and a realistically difficult time? Is there ever an appropriate time to sign yourself up for a pity party for one? Should we ask for an emergency prescription? Is it fair to plead for a temporary absence from rationalization, deep breathing and progressive relaxation? When is it okay to have a perfectly healthy, analytically approved, feel bad for yourself explosion?
"Kaboom!" Cover your head and take cover, because I'm going in and it's not going to be pretty! I'm equipped with my most trusted pjs, fully loaded tear ducts, and tipping teapot of emotions. Let's just say that I'm ready to "detonate" this party!
Just dressing the part seems to make me feel better. Is this me stripping my exterior armor off, and allowing myself the space and freedom to uncover my most vulnerable self? Being free in this moment makes me want to scream out in the loudest voice I know. The first things I scream are, "Why is this happening? Why me? What the hell have I done to deserve this? This is so not fair! I'm so angry! Ahhh! Ahhhh! Ahhhh!".
Why is it that screaming is so much better during a pity party? Talking it out is nice, but screaming is so much more powerful and gratifying! If this feels so good, why don't I plan these party's more often? Why am I always working so hard to maintain my composure and keep it all looking pretty, all the while stuffing every emotion inside and suffering? How exhausting and unhealthy! It feels sad to me that I have to consciously give myself permission to feel my feelings. The fact that I can't do this naturally makes me realize that I am so consumed with how others perceive me or how I pride myself, that I am willing to forgo my health and overall emotional well being.
The fact is, feeling happy and bliss is not the only emotion that comes in this life. I think that we go through life with a false expectation of how we should act and how we should feel. If any other emotion comes to the surface we tend to discard it, or stuff it for not even ourselves to see. If we stuff it down, does it not exist? Or does it build, grow and fester until we eventually implode?
What if we change the meaning of a pity party into a necessary time to release and reboot? Giving ourselves permission to be in touch with every aspect of our feelings. What will it look and feel like to face our fears of anger and disappointment in the face and not look away? Changing the patterns of self destruction and judgement into a celebration of awareness and self discovery. Imagine the impact of that!
I declare a call to action and a much needed meeting of the minds.
Could it be that we need to stop stuffing our emotions in and allow ourselves the pleasure of a much needed emotional coming out party? If living a healthier life, one in which we forgive our need to acknowledge even our most unpleasant feelings, disappointments and hardships, can be achieved with a simple invite, why wait?
I say we embrace our inner "Debbie Downer," with a warm "Welcome to the party!" May you feel empowered to release, nourish and validate your truth with no objection or judgement.
Now, get ready for your party...all feelings welcome!
Source: Trisha Artman