Endigar 381 ~ The False Comfort of Self-Pity

From Today’s Daily Reflections;

Self-pity is one of the most unhappy and consuming defects that we know. It is a bar to all spiritual progress and can cut off all effective communication with our fellows because of its inordinate demands for attention and sympathy. It is a maudlin form of martyrdom, which we can ill afford.  (As Bill Sees It, page 238)

The false comfort of self-pity screens me from reality only momentarily and then demands, like a drug, that I take an ever bigger dose. If I succumb to this it could lead to a relapse into drinking. What can I do? One certain antidote is to turn my attention, however slightly at first, toward others who are genuinely less fortunate than I, preferably other alcoholics. In the same degree that I actively demonstrate my empathy with them, I will lessen my own exaggerated suffering.



Huge relaxed dog is lying upside-down on her back on the bed with handmade patchwork quilt

In order to forestall accountability in some real area of my life, I would embellish some sad saga in which I could present the strength of my endurance.  It was a form of protective pride.  I would say “Look at what is happening to me, and I am not sure how, but I have endured it.”  The benefit was its ability to distract from areas of defect in my life that I needed to address.  Without this belly-up manipulation, I would become vulnerable to some painful accountability.  All of this happens on such an instinctual level that I was unaware of the pattern of behavior until I set down with the moral inventory and discussed it with another person in recovery.  Now when this short-coming manifests, I start asking myself, what is the real story here.  It is a warning sign that needs to be heeded.



I must qualify this with the reality that some of us have dealt with co-dependent situations that causes us to feel guilty about everything.  That broken guilt-o-meter is something else that has to be addressed with the support network.  That is probably a better topic for Al-Anon.

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