sometimes self care looks like self pity

Photo by Rakicevic Nenad on

Sometimes it feels good to feel sorry for yourself. Yeah, I said it.

You know it’s true. It’s like curling up under your favorite blanket in your favorite corner of the couch with your favorite flavor of ice cream; it’s familiar, and warm, and it only feels good when you’re the one pitying you, because we don’t want anyone else feeling bad for us, right? We want everyone else to understand how we’re feeling, and why, and to know just what to say, and what we need in that moment, but never, ever, to feel bad for us, because we are not pathetic, just sad and stressed and going through a lot at the moment, which may or may not look like our favorite television show being cancelled (but this is not to downplay that it may be something much more significant than that). Not too much to ask….right?!

Coping mechanisms are great – they’re important – but the occasional self pity session can bring some relief, too.

In my world, some days feel more overwhelming than others right now, and there isn’t always a good reason for it. Sure, it’s earth-shattering pandemic upending life as we once knew it that certainly casts a shadow over pretty much everything that brings me to tears, but it’s all those smaller un-shiny facets of life as it’s happening right now that manage to feel like molehills one day and really freakin’ huge mountains the next. Have you ever noticed how it all manages to pile up at once, too? Stress just loves to do that.

Yesterday I woke up and felt grateful for the chance to greet another day, but regardless I felt the pull towards evening and ending the day with quiet. This morning I woke up and felt the heaviness of the hours that lay before me, knowing they’d look like the hours the day before, the same grey weather, the same struggle to get one kid to brush his teeth and get the other to take a nap; by the time breakfast was over I was under a blanket on the recliner, watching a reality show and fighting back tears. Tomorrow I might make it all the way through with minimal thought – somehow – of how it’s another mirror image: make the coffee, wash the dishes, check for mail.

The in-between moments are the glimmering facets, the threads that keep you from jumping off the precipice, the moments that humble you and bring you back to gratefulness: how your baby’s laughter feels like summer rain in your chest, the way he stares at your face like he’s trying to decode the world, the smile your five year old slides across the kitchen table, the whispers you catch when he sounds out words on his own (after swearing he can’t do it). It’s in those moments you find your long lost sanity.

Some days feel like swimming through honey, others like riding a wave toward shore. It’s hard to know which flip of the coin we’ll be dealt tomorrow, but if it means I’ll be curled up in my favorite corner of the couch with my favorite ice cream….well then I’m just rolling with the punches. That’s this year’s theme, isn’t it?

2 thoughts on “sometimes self care looks like self pity

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