When I was about 12 or 13 years old we had a family meeting and my older sister announced that she was an alcoholic. This was not a big shock, and it's not extremely sensitive private news. She's been open about it and told people that she's an alcoholic with no duress on multiple occasions. But one of the cool things for me was this idea of the Plom award. It's an acronym that stands for "Poor Little Old Me". In my sister's counseling she learned about this special reward because many alcoholics, it seems like to complain that they are victims of circumstance and nasty situations around them that make them drink alcohol. I'm not here to argue about that.
Over the course of my sweeping breath recollection of my past, it came to light that I perhaps was the biggest winner of the award. There are so many memories that I look at and we experience and feel sorry for myself. My sadness is almost overwhelming sometimes. But it all comes from a sense of self-importance. I feel important and this situation should not be happening to me therefore I feel self-pity. And it's a vicious spiral. The more self-pity I feel the more inclined I am to feel self-pity the next time around. For reasons I can't explain, it seems like this vicious downward spiral breaks once in a while and I go on an upward spiral. Life is good. Then I go back down again.
The Downs seem to be getting deeper and deeper every time. I think I've broken that trend, and perhaps even crushed it. I still feel the downward spiral once in a while but I can put an end to it. What's more by getting rid of a lot of emotional baggage I think I've taken the fuel out of the fire. Every time I feel the beginning of that downward spiral it's weaker, and weaker. But part of the point that I wanted to make is that a lot of my problems were self-made. I've had a pretty hard life here and there, yet if you look at it objectively it wasn't a hard life, or rather it didn't have to be. Somewhat unconsciously drawn by the allure of self-pity I made my own life worse and worse. And along the way I've blamed many other factors outside of myself.
That's one of the most amazing things about the self: this house has an amazing capacity for self-deception. I would make my own situation worse but I would never look at myself objectively and see it. I would lie to myself and convince myself that all my problems lie outside of me. There was always some part of me some small nagging doubting part that felt something wasn't right with this explanation; things didn't wash. Once I started objectively going back and reviewing my memories listing them up, and visiting each one and trying to remember the physical situation the scene, the people, and even the dialogue if possible, and then using that as a springboard into my feelings I was able to start seeing those situations slightly more objectively.
That's how I've come to the firm and inescapable conclusion that I am the king of self-pity. Or rather, I was. Slowly, but surely I'm putting an end to that. And one of the things that I find happening is that my life is starting to come under some semblance of control. I don't control the exterior situations or events or people's responses or feelings. But I find a strong inner core in myself that is stable and somewhat easier to reach than it was before. I don't use remarkable self-discipline to control my emotions. I just stepped back into my core, take a few breaths. It's kind of like having a little bit of space which gives you a chance to make a choice rather than responding unconsciously.