What is self-pity?
When we pity ourselves, we tend to dwell self-indulgently on our own sorrows or misfortunes. While you were in active addiction you may have felt so much guilt and shame that you disliked yourself. It’s natural that you harbor strong feelings of self-pity if you feel that addiction has stripped all the good things from your life. But now that you’re working on your ongoing recovery, you’ll need to learn to let go of the past and start working on rebuilding a positive life in the present. Working the Twelve Steps will help you regain sanity and embrace a new, healthy life that you can feel good about. In your new, sober life, gratitude will eventually replace self-pity.
How can you rid yourself of self-pity?
Relief from self-pity is one of the Twelve Promises of sobriety. The Twelve Promises describe the benefits you will gain if you work hard on the Twelve Steps. They describe the joys of living a healthy life of recovery—a joyous state that is the reward you will earn for ongoing abstinence and hard work.
The Fifth Promise says: Feelings of uselessness and self-pity disappear.
You may have heard the phrase “working a good program” in treatment
or in your Twelve Step group. What exactly does that mean? How do you know when you’re working a good program? You’ll know it by how you feel. When you feel centered because you aren’t acting out of ego and selfishness, when your interior life is steady, and when you can respond to daily living with maturity, you’ll feel that you’re working a good program.
If not dealt with, self-pity can become a trap that is very difficult to get out of. Success in the Twelve Step program is found when you deny your self-will and self-pity, and begin to focus on your Higher Power’s will and the needs of others.