This is an extract from Living Sober, a book I got at my last AA meeting. This chapter made me smile at myself and thought it might be useful to others who don't go to AA. Haven't typed it all out, just some of it.
22. Eliminating self pity
Hanging over us long after detoxification is the comfortably familiar feeling of suffering. Self-pity is an enticing swamp.
One form of self-pity takes in some of us when we first get sober is:"Poor me! Why can't I drink like everybody else?" (Everybody?)
"Why do I have to be an alcoholic? Why me?"
Crying over this unanswerable question is like weeping because we were born in this era, not another, or on this planet, rather than in some other galaxy.
Some people show real zeal for pressing salt into their own wounds. A ferocious proficiency at that useless game often survives from our drinking days. We can also display a weird flair for expanding a minor annoyance into a whole universe of gloom.
It's as if we carried on our back a large duffel bag stuffed with unpleasant memories, such as childhood hurts and rejections. 20, even 40 years later, there occurs a small setback only slightly similar to an old one in the bag. That is our cue to sit down, unshoulder the bag, and pull out and lovingly caress, one at a time, every old hurt and putdown of the past. (Laughing out loud by now at myself!)
Its essence is total self-absorption. We can get so stridently concerned about me-me-me that we lose touch with virtually everyone else. Instead, we need to pull out of our self-absorption, stand back and take a good, honest look at ourselves. Once we recognize self-pity for what it is, we can start to do something about it other than drink.
It spoke to me. I have developed self-pity into an art form at certain stages of my life. Just thought I'd share it.