Recovery From Self Pity

18 November 2015 Written by 

For decades I was full of self-pity:

  • I felt sorry for myself when my husband would get drunk and pass out on the living room floor
  • I felt sorry for myself when he would come home after being fired from another job again and blaming it on the boss
  •  I would feel sorry for myself when I would open the fridge and see it full of beer and little food


Life was not going according to my plan, and it felt completely out of control. I would cry myself to sleep many nights wondering what had gone so wrong for me to end up in this situation. Also Read Leslie Glass on Leaving the Pity Party

One day I was feeling sorry for myself over some hurtful thing my husband had said, and I remember crying out to my Higher Power for guidance. A book fell open in front of me. The words ”Stop feeling sorry for yourself” seemed to jump off the page. That idea had never occurred to me, and the seed was planted. What would happen if I stopped acting and feeling like a victim? I knew I needed help with this. After attending a few Al-Anon meetings, I began to understand why feeling sorry for myself was  counterproductive for both the alcoholic and me.

  • It kept me focusing on myself and my problems
  • It allowed me to feel like a victim with no choices or options
  • It kept me from helping my husband or myself deal with the disease of alcoholism

 One of my favorite readings on self pity was from June 28th  in “One Day at a Time in Al-Anon.” 

 “Others nurse their grievances, resent their lot in life, seek scapegoats to blame for everything that happens to them, particularly the alcoholic. They have not yet learned to be good to themselves. They still have before them the joyous experience of letting go of a problem-the lovely adventure of shrugging off “hurts.”

 I always blamed my problems on the alcoholic and had never once thought of my life as a lovely journey.

Working with a Sponsor I came to see the self-pity in my life as counter productive. I was able to slowly turn my focus towards being grateful for the good things.

  • My children and I were healthy
  • The roof didn’t leak
  • The car ran, not great, but it ran
  • My husband was learning I had new boundaries

Overcoming any habit we’ve had for decades is typically not accomplished quickly or easily. I have had to continuously look at my tendency to throw a pity party. I remind myself this is one party I don’t want to attend. Gratitude is one of the best tools to stay in balance.

For more information about Al-Anon Family Groups

A Reach Out Recovery Exclusive By Madeline Schloop

Read 3070 times Last modified on Friday, 04 November 2016 14:52
Rate this item
(0 votes)
Madeline Schloop

Madeline is the widow of a man who died of alcoholism and the mother of 5 young adults whom she parents with the tools of Al-Anon. Her children continue to be affected by the disease of alcoholism. Her stories  deal with life's daily trials and what has and hasn't worked.
Click Here For All Of Madeline's Articles