gratitude/self-pity

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I’ll say it: I WISH WITH ALL MY HEART THAT I COULD BE AT WATKINS GLEN FOR MAGNABALL (Phish festival) RIGHT NOW. SO BAD. SO SO BAD. It hurts. It’s not even PHOMO (Phish FOMO) because I streamed the show last night and I know I’m missing out (says the ego). The music was amazing. Hundreds of my phriends from all over the country are there jamming out and dancing their butts off and staying up late singing to acoustic guitars at the sober Phellowship campsite and laughing and frolicking and having the time of their lives and I’m not there. Woe is me.

So I have two options: steep myself in self-pity and anger and sadness, or choose to be happy for what I do have instead. I wish I didn’t have several stress fractures and two torn meniscuses and a torn labrum and would be able to put that much stress on my body that Magnaball requires. I wish I had more spare cash and vacation days and the “fuck it, I’m gonna do what I wanna do” attitude I had pre-becoming-an-adult-in-sobritety. So how to get from point A of “I should have that” to point B of “but this is pretty sweet, too”? Meditation. And filling up my weekend with friends, amazing meetings, a beach trip (my soul and spirit live for the beach), a 1-hour ballet class en pointe (instead of the more irresponsible 5 days of walking around a campsite and 12 hours of my favorite live music I would just have to dance to), and some serious self-love. Oh, and not judging myself for feeling this way. Because I’m allowed to have the feeling, but I don’t have to marinate in it. A friend once shared that on the most basic level depression is anger turned inward. My upset over a trip I chose to sit out of (out of genuine self-care like a grown up) doesn’t have to suck the life out of my next therapy session.

In AA, I’ve heard it said that gratitude is an action word. That means just making a list of what’s awesome that I could be grateful for and thinking and fantasizing about all those things isn’t what changes my perspective from that point A to point B. I have to actually do them. And in doing them, in my experience, reality, thoughts, feelings, and attitudes change. And, come Monday morning, I won’t feel like I’ve wasted a weekend hollowed up inside my apartment. Life doesn’t have to just be bearable, it can be blissful. Even if I choose to just settle for “mildy enjoyable” it’s a hell of a lot better than self-pity. The choice is mine alone. A little meditation is great for when I sit back down on the pity pot. But the most satisfying results for me have come from acting my way into right thinking.

Now, go enjoy the crap out of your day!


Disclaimer Charlotte Grey does not claim any professional training in social work or psychiatry. The suggestions listed on this page and on this website are meant to inspire supplemental treatment options for self-help. It is recommended that professional treatment be combined with any solutions discussed herein for suspected or known psychological or psychiatric malady, and that the content of this website not be used as substitute for professional treatment.

writing © Charlotte Grey Writings

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