Breaking Up with Self Pity

It’s taken me ten months to admit the truth to myself — I am drowning in self pity. I haven’t been dipping my toes or gingerly wading in the pools of self pity. No, I have been diving in deep, pouring buckets over my head, in self pity.

I did not mean to end up here; it just sort of happened. Somewhere around month 5 of our NICU stay I began to shower my hurts and shattered dreams and fears with heavy doses of self pity. I would nurse my angry, irrational feelings. After all, I have had a difficult pregnancy. Who wouldn’t feel a little sorry for themselves in this situation? These tiny, seemingly harmless excuses would flutter through my raging brain and heart and without knowing it I was soon bathing in a sea of self pity.

Now, almost three months post- NICU life, I’m still wallowing in it. Why do we have to be the ones to work so hard? Why us? Why me? Why Uriah? The whys and the whines and the wishes eat up hours of time, energy, and emotions. I didn’t really know the extent of my wallowing until this week when Uriah got his (awesome, amazing, incredible) stander and specialized chair.

In one sense I was thrilled to receive equipment that would help his posture and muscle tone but, in a far more honest sense, I looked at my son strapped in the contraption and wanted to cry. Cry in rage because it feels so unfair that we have to go through this. Cry at the injustice of my baby boy not being able to do what others are doing at his age. Cry in frustration over (get this) having another (awesome, amazing, incredible) piece of equipment fill my house and take up precious space. Cry in, I admit, exhaustion because what if I’m not doing enough therapy to help him catch up?

I know my feelings are to be expected; after all, I am only human. But being human isn’t an excuse for living in self pity.

I want to share 5 ways I plan to overcome my habit of wallowing in self pity. This will not be an overnight experience; choosing thanksgiving over pity and joy over grief takes time and practice.

  1. Admit and repent of choosing self pity instead of rejoicing in the Lord always

Humbling myself and agreeing that I have been focusing more on myself and what makes me feel good (pity partying) is the first step to breaking the habit of self pity. Plus, my LORD promises to help those who humble themselves and give grace when in need.

2. Stop repeating the same story over and over and over and over again

It’s so basic. To stop wallowing in self pity I need to stop talking bout what makes me want pity. Instead of focusing on my woes it would be healing to focus on what’s current in my life. Like, instead of telling a friend my horrific birth story, I should spend the time talking about the great milestones Uriah is accomplishing or the hilarious joke Dalton told me or a  yummy recipe I just found.

3. Serve others by becoming interested in their needs and stories

I have become so self-absorbed. Self pity does that. To break my habit I will become more involved in others than in myself. I will ask about their stories. I will take time to pray for their hurts and grievances. I will be active in meeting needs when I am able.

4.  Get a fresh perspective of my situation and find the blessings in every storm

Instead of focusing on how far behind Uriah is I will start focusing on the amazing gains and milestones he has accomplished, the incredible joy he brings us, and the awesome blessings our situation surprises us with every day. Sometimes to break the habit of self pity we have to take a step back, get fresh perspective, and enjoy the blessings that every storm brings.

5. Start over every day

To really conquer the habit of self pity I have to start new every day. I will feel down, I will fall back into self pity, and it’s very possible that I will grouch and grump and whine and complain. But I will start over every day. I will rely on my Lord’s present grace to overcome my habit of focusing on myself.

And I’ll print this powerful (adorable freebie) and place it where I can read its truth every day.

Have you ever experienced a time of self pity? How did you overcome it? And if you are currently in a wallowing season of life would you like some prayer? Leave us a comment below and I’ll do my best to respond and bring it to the Lord in prayer!

Also, follow this Dropbox link to get your own 8.5×11 copy of the cutie above. 🙂

With lots of love, blessing, and coffee,


5 thoughts on “Breaking Up with Self Pity

  1. Avatar

    Frannie, if anyone deserves to have a few quiet self centred moments, it is you. You have had all the hard things happen to you, but, you have been amazing in the way you have coped with everything. However it isn’t easy to show your real feelings to the world.
    I do empathise, as in a way coping with a very disabled husband has many similarities with what you are going through. Yes, we too have the house full of equipment and I am grateful for it all. But yes, I do get to a point where I need to go in my garden and Breathe!
    Take time for yourself, my friend.

    1. Avatar

      Miss Barbara, I thought of you while I wrote this because I knew you had a situation that is not always easy. <3 Thank you for your sweet words and your encouragement. It is true — we do need to take times to rest and breathe. I appreciate you reminding me that!

      With love, Frannie

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    So so good frannie! And very relevant to even me too. I also recently was convicted that I was so focused on Noah and how this was all affecting our family that I was not even aware of those around me. People would come up and smile at Noah and conversation would automatically commence on how Noah was doing and how I was feeling and I would leave the conversation having never asked the other person how they were doing! I felt so awful when the Lord showed this to me and I’ve been trying so hard since then to not dwell on Noah and to become more involved in other people and their days and lives. When someone asks how Noah is doing anymore I try to just settle at “he is doing really good – how are you doing?” instead of going into a long detailed story about his newewst struggles and accomplishments and what the last drs appoint resulted in. I don’t want to let Noahs problems and successes become the only thing I focus on in life even though it is still a huge part of my life!!!!

    1. Avatar

      Sweet Charity, hello my friend!!

      Thank you for sharing from your heart — yes, you do know what hardships are like and how easy it i to let them be our focus. It’s so good for me to hear a fellow NICU momma understands. <3 And isn’t God good to show us these things? I really had no idea but could sense something wasn’t right; it took some time for the light to show me what was really going on. I like your advice of saying that Noah is doing good but then asking the other person how they are. Very practical and useful!!

      I hope you all are well. I wish we could see each other. I’m going to FB message you soon so I can ask how you all are!!

      Love and blessings to you!


  3. Avatar

    I definitely have been struggling with self pity a lot lately. One big trigger for me is lonliness in my situation. I want people to really understand how hard my life is and to show me perfect compassion. I have to remind myself that God is the only one who can fill that hole. He is the perfect comfortor and he has a plan of action to help me through my hardship. Any compassion I recieve from imperfect humans is a gift from him, not something i need to manipulate.

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