Through my time being a part of the brain injury community I have heard people whine and complain (engage in self-pity) about being a traumatic/acquired brain injury survivor. How dark and how bleak it is for them. And to make matters worse these individuals seem to surround themselves with other individuals who justify self-pity.
Individuals who engage in and encourage self-pity unknowingly undermine hopes and dreams..
Self-pity only fosters and reinforces a stereotype and a stigmatization. Self-pity gives credibility to people with in various sectors of society who are all to happy to use that to minimize, marginalize, dismiss and discount who we are as individuals living with brain injuries. Self-pity abdicates our responsibility (to be a part of the solution) and keeps us focused on the what we can not change.
Self-pity needs to stop with in the brain injury community and among the leaders of our community; to empower our community.
Self-pity offers no solutions. Self-pity only focuses on the problem. People who promote self-pity are your enemies. People who promote self-pity have hidden agendas. People who promote or use self-pity do not have your best interest in mind. People who promote or use self-pity to engage you in their plans or purposes are using you for their own gain. People who use or promote self-pity with in the brain injury community are doing so to control and manipulate you.
People who use or promote self-pity do not have the capacity to offer you the hope that you are longing to find as an individual living with a brain injury. People who use or promote self-pity are doing so to keep you dependent on them. They are promoting misery to keep you trapped.
“Self-pity is never useful. It tends to distort like a fun-house mirror.” Anne Roiphe
“Self-pity will parch your attitudes, it will paralyze your abilities, and it will put off your achievements. It prohibits excellence and prevents expansion.” Author unknown
“Self-pity is easily the most destructive of the non pharmaceutical narcotics; it is addictive, gives momentary pleasure and separates the victim from reality.” John W. Gardner
“Self-pity is our worst enemy and if we yield to it, we can never do anything wise in this world.” Helen Keller
Some Things that I have Learned about Self-Pity
When we stay in self-pity or find ourselves whining, we give away our power and our ability to create a good life for ourselves. When we stay in self-pity and find ourselves whining, we dis-own ourselves and give away our power to the enemy of our souls. When we stay in self-pity and find ourselves whining, we engage in self-abuse. When we engage in self-pity and find ourselves whining, we minimize, marginalize and validate stereotypes.
When we engage in and communicate how bad our lives are because of a traumatic brain injury, we play into the limitations given to us by a societal stigmatization. When we stay in self-pity and whining, we play into agendas and plans that seek to keep us dependent and we abandon ourselves.
“In life, you can blame a lot of people and you can wallow in self-pity, or you can pick yourself up and say, ‘Listen, I have to be responsible for myself.'” Howard Schultz
“Bad things do happen; how I respond to them defines my character and the quality of my life. I can choose to sit in perpetual sadness, immobilized by the gravity of my loss, or I can choose to rise from the pain and treasure the most precious gift I have—life itself.” ~Walter Anderson
When we stay in self-pity or find ourselves whining we do ourselves a great injustice. When we stay in self-pity or find ourselves whining we squander away precious time focusing on what we are powerless to change, instead of considering the possibilities of what we can do with our time. When we stay in self-pity or find ourselves whining we blind ourselves to discovering what we can do, with what we have, where we are in life.
When we stay in self-pity or find ourselves whining we deny our dreams and give up experiencing our destinies in the moment. When we stay in self-pity and whining we sabotage ourselves. When we stay in self-pity and whining we undermine our lives, to live in discouragement, disappointment and self-defeat.
Self-pity and whining stymies our ability to act in our own best interest while making some one else, through guilt and manipulation; responsible for why our lives are not… Self-pity keeps us trapped in the delusion that we are victims of our circumstances and our lot in life. Self-pity clouds our judgement and interferes with our ability to realize that we have choices.
Self-pity acts like a cancer that eats away at our ambition and drive to succeed. Self-pity weighs us down and drowns us under the waters of contempt. A contempt prior to investigation. A contempt that steals our motivation to succeed and lends itself to the notion that who we are does not really matter. A contempt that keeps us focused on what we can’t do, instead of believing in ourselves. A contempt that resigns us to a negative resolve, instead of considering the possibility. The possibility that our lives can take on new meaning, as we learn how to use what we have in ways that work for us. The possibility that we can create hope in our lives by moving from awareness to acceptance to taking the action that will empower our lives.
“Trust yourself. Create the kind of self that you will be happy to live with all your life. Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement.” Golda Meir
“Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.” Bruce Lee
“Insist on yourself, never imitate. Your own gift you can present every moment with the cumulative force of a whole life’s cultivation; but of the adopted talent of another you only have an extemporaneous half-possession… Do that which is assigned to you, and you can not hope too much or dare too much.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Self Pity is a very powerful emotion. When we are caught in self-pity, we rarely name it or express it to others. Have you ever heard anyone say, “Today I’m experiencing self-pity.”We do tell about feeling sorry for ourselves, about the story or the situation or circumstances which causes us to feel sorry for ourselves, which provokes the feeling and the misery, and our over-riding self-pity encourages the listener to collude, or join together with us. Collusion in self-pity is like forming a conspiracy together. The self-pity that needs to be fed in order to exist, so it requires complicity and agreement, both from within us and from others, in order to stay alive. This in turn, fuels our sense of pity for ourselves, keeping us trapped.” What is Self-Pity?
Self-Pity needs to stop with in the brain injury community for you and I to be taken seriously by the system that seeks to control and keep us dependent on a system that says that it desires to empower us; and then minimizes, marginalizes, dismisses, discounts and ignores us. Sure we need to grieve our losses, losses related to sustaining brain injuries; but then we need to move from that awareness, to a place of acceptance so that we can get into action. Action that will serve to empower and give meaning to our lives. Action that will cause a contradictory system to sit up and take notice to see us as beyond a way to make money, only to be tossed aside once settlement money dries up or a trust fund is no longer accessible to them.
Action that will help us to overcome being minimized, marginalized, dismissed, discounted and ignored so that we are brought to the table to encourage, motivate and empower fellow brain injury survivors. Action that will make credible our message of hope.
See my article, by clicking on this link Coming Out of Isolation to Create Hope in Our Lives to discover how to stop self-pity and create a good life for yourself as an individual living with a brain injury.
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