How do you stop feeling sorry for yourself?

feeling sorry for yourself


I really hate this.  This feeling sorry for myself business.


Another baby announcement pops up in my feed and I want to feel the joy I used to feel when I read those.   I want to feel happy for the new parents-to-be.


But instead I feel the fresh stab of heartache as it makes me remember that there will be no November baby for us.  No number 3.


This is usually immediately followed by guilt.  How dare I feel sorry for myself!  As if everyone else just needs to just stop procreating until I can pull myself together again.


I find myself feeling paralysed in social situations which are inevitably filled with new babies and pregnant bellies, as is the stage of life everyone in my circle seems to be in right now. I try not to feel jealous of all the growing bellies around me and often find myself fighting an internal battle about feeling self-conscious of my still-bloated middle.


Despite my best efforts to steer conversations elsewhere they seem to always end up somewhere in the realm of “so are you having more?”  Which is then usually followed by an extremely long awkward pause, where I either cry or try to swallow the tears while working out what to say. Meanwhile the other person is internally thinking shit. what did I say? backtrack. backtrack. 


Needless to say I haven’t been to many social things recently.  And those I have been to involved hours of angst over whether I really should even bother going, or whether I should just get under a blanket on the couch and watch more netflix.


I am trying hard to come back to gratitude for what I do have, rather than getting stuck in the feeling sorry for myself. For asking why me? why us? why our little boy?  But in all honesty it’s really bloody hard.


But if it wasn’t me, it would be someone else, right?  It already is someone else.  It is my sister, and my cousin, and my best friend, and a lady at work and the woman at playgroup and all of you who have emailed me your stories.  We’re all hurting.


But the question is… how do you learn to carry the hurt without feeling sorry for yourself all the time?  How you let the hurt change you in the way it needs to, without letting it completely alter who you are? How do you hold hurt and happiness in your heart at the same time?


I’m not sure, but I think the answer might be to just be brave and to feel my way through it.


To not be afraid to say… I’m hurting and though I’m happy for you, this is really hard for me.


To be brave enough to talk about it here, with you, even though I worry sometimes that maybe I share too much.


To not be afraid to cry in front of others.  To not feel like I have to hold it together for the sake of everyone else.


To not worry about what I should be doing or what grief should look like or how long I should be feeling it.


To be brave enough to connect with others who have been there, who still are there.  Because even though this hurts the most, I think maybe that’s how we heal. Together.


Just a little FYI, I plan to release a book mid-2017 on healing from loss. If you’d like to be the first to know when this book is available or if you’d like to contribute your story, please add your details here.

7 Responses to “How do you stop feeling sorry for yourself?

  • Yes u have to feel it all, allow whatever….
    And if it means feeling sorry for yourself give yourself a week, wallow in it… Feel sorry for yourself, tell yourself what u want/need to hear, soothe yourself, give yourself what you need,, but have a time limit…
    You might be sick of it in a few days or a week ….

  • I’m so sorry for your loss.

    My thoughts are, it’s OKAY to feel sorry for yourself. To mourn. To recognize that your loss is real and tangible and valid. There are those who surely believe that you should move on and buck up for x number of reasons. Don’t be one of those people. Instead, be gentle with yourself, and allow your emotions to be as they are now.

    After I lost my first, there were so many reasons people gave me that they thought should make me feel better or help me move on. “At least you know you can get pregnant now.” “At least you weren’t further along.” “At least you didn’t have a baby that would have had something wrong with it.” And so on. None of those are helpful. They only accentuate the eviscerating heartbreak that is the loss of a child.

    Years later, I don’t cry all day, I don’t think “what if?” all the time, but there are still sore reminders and tough dates- the anniversary of my baby’s due date, the anniversary of the loss, and so on. And on those days the grief is raw and new again.

    But after all this time, what I’ve learned is what I’ve already written- let yourself feel as you’re feeling in this moment. The only feeling to push away is shame, because it is the only feeling that is unfounded. Be brave, talk about it if you need to, be silent if you need to, scream if you need to. But honor yourself and your grief in this difficult time, above all else.

    Bless you, mama.

    • Bettina Rae
      8 years ago

      Thank you beautiful Jess. Your words are comforting to me. I am doing my best to allow myself to feel and go gently. Namaste.

  • BMurcutt
    8 years ago

    Trust that there is a you beneath all the feelings – let the feelings come and go – you will still be there underneath. You might be more worn and less sparkly but you are still there – a strong rock that the waves of emotion break over.

    • Bettina Rae
      8 years ago

      That’s such a beautiful way to put it Bianca. Thank you. xxx

  • Remember surrendering to your labour and birth? Surrender to this too. I was afraid to feel the true depth of hurt, to cry…as if ignoring it made it easier to deal with. Then I thought about how all this pain is just the true depth of my love for my daughter, and it made me feel closer to her by embracing whatever I was feeling.
    Losing a child brings pain like nothing else…but also love, and life!
    Thanks for sharing Bettina, I’m glad we have all been able to connect in our love and grief.

    • Bettina Rae
      8 years ago

      Yes this is yet another lesson in surrender isn’t it? I’m glad we’ve connected too. You’ve helped me a lot.

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