The Pity Party…

April 3, 2014

GloomAll of us have all been through some traumatic times in our lives. Some of us much more than others. It could be a health event, maybe a divorce, or a death of a friend or family member. One outcome that is almost assured from these events is a pity party. That is we question “why us?” or maybe “why did God do this to me?” I think having pity, even on ourselves, is just human nature. It is the extent of the pity that separates us. Do we get over it and face our new life challenges or do we wallow in it for weeks, months, or even a lifetime?

Everyone is different. We react to trauma in different ways.

When you have a pity party it is almost always means you are stuck in one place. You are fixated on that traumatic event. You can’t let go of it. It consumes your thinking and often your very being.

In order to break the pity party you got to get out there. You got to do something instead of wallowing in your pity. As shown in abbreviated version from Wikipedia there is a well know pattern to our grief/pity called the The Kübler-Ross model, or the five stages of grief

1.  Denial — As the reality of loss is hard to face, one of the first reactions to follow the loss is Denial. What this means is that the person is trying to shut out the reality or magnitude of their situation, and begin to develop a false, preferable reality.

2.  Anger — “Why me? It’s not fair!”; “How can this happen to me?”; ‘”Who is to blame?”

Once in the second stage, the individual recognizes that denial cannot continue. Because of anger, the person is very difficult to care for due to misplaced feelings of rage and envy. .

3.  Bargaining — “I’ll do anything for a few more years.”; “I will give my life savings if…”

The third stage involves the hope that the individual can somehow undo or avoid a cause of grief. Usually, the negotiation for an extended life is made with a higher power in exchange for a reformed lifestyle.

4.  Depression — “I’m so sad, why bother with anything?”; “I’m going to die soon so what’s the point?”; “I miss my loved one, why go on?”

Things begin to lose meaning to the griever. Because of this, the individual may become silent, refuse visitors and spend much of the time crying and sullen.

5.  Acceptance — “It’s going to be okay.”; “I can’t fight it, I may as well prepare for it.”

In this last stage, individuals begin to come to terms with their mortality or inevitable future, or that of a loved one, or other tragic event.

Don’t get stuck at level 4. It makes for a very miserable life if you do…..