You know the expression When it rains, it pours? Well it has been raining excrement on my head for the past couple of weeks. I was already dealing with depression when I recently had to be rushed to the emergency room in horrific pain. Pain so bad I thought for a minute I was dying. The kind of pain where after it was over I had bloody fingernail marks in the palm of my hand from clinching my fists so tightly. I sat in the emergency waiting room for over 2 hours crying uncontrollably. Apparently the nurses employed in the hospital didn't see me as an emergency. After two and a half hours the pain went from a horrid 12 (on a scale of 1-10) to about a tolerable 6. I convinced my father to take me home and I waddled out to the car and into my house. I slowly made my way into my room and collapsed on my bed. I was still in pain but the thing that immediately came to my mind was that I was worthless. I know that sounds really odd now that I think about it. I mean, I guess the normal reaction to such an ordeal would have been anger and frustration at not having my needs met. I instead took it as my level of importance in the world. I let that idea roll around in my head. I let it nest there and there was no surprise really how the rest of my week and the following week turned out because I was still focusing on how and why I was so worthless. More pain issues the rest of the week and the following week had me thinking that I somehow deserved it. These pains were a penance of some long over due wrong doing or sin I had committed. When my car decided it would no longer take me where I needed to go I began to think I obviously didn't get punished enough the first time. I was attacked by mosquitoes in the five minutes it took for me to walk to my car to get something and bring it back into the house (don't laugh and call me petty at this one) I'm allergic to bug bites and it looks like I have chicken pox all over my body. A close friend of mine and I have a drastic and awkward change in our relationship all of a sudden. My father decided that once more I was one of the biggest disappointments in his life because … because...who the heck knows this time! I just am! I think I kind of know how Job felt. For those not familiar with the bible he was tested and lost all his riches, was struck with boils and lost his family and his wife told him to curse God and die. He didn't and I'm not going there either. I remember looking in the mirror (I usually avoid doing that if I don't have to) I saw my body with all the infected sores and I lost it. Sometime back I had burned the word worthless on my forearm I still see the faint outline of that word every time I look at it and I started to think that maybe I should have made it permanent. Maybe then that would be full on proper penance. Maybe then I will have paid for being such a horrible person. By this point I knew my issues with self esteem had turned into daily subscriptions. I was left to sit in the middle of my living room surrounded by my dirty laundry, bills, and ridiculous car repair estimates and throw myself an immense pity party. I know what you're thinking... Okay, I don't really but now that I look back on the situation all I can think is “Wah! You cry baby! Stop blubbering, put on your big girl pants, build a bridge, and get over it!” (as you can see I'm not very nice to myself a lot of the times). But at that moment I let myself feel bad and let myself say “Woe is me.” (not really but you get the point) I let myself cry and throw the biggest pity party I could. Afterward, I must admit I did feel a little better. Sometimes you just have to do it. Sometimes you have to throw yourself a pity party. Now that I have finished my wailing and wringing of hands I consider myself a bit of an expert and have put together these helpful tips on how to throw yourself a proper pity party (try saying that 5 x fast).
- Comfy clothing. The last thing you need is to have something else to whine about. Throw on those sweat pants or pj's in case you literally decide to wallow around in your sorrow.
- Call someone you can trust. Better yet, invite them over and have them bring ice cream, wine, enormous slabs of chocolate cake, anything that is a comfort food or drink. You gotta have refreshments for a party and this is no different. (When talking with a friend over food the sad moments aren't sure to last and it's hard to stay gloomy when spending time with a good friend)
- Pull up some of your favorite tunes on your listening device. They say music soothes the savage beast and the name of your beast is gloom and despair. (I would avoid Leonard Cohen's “Hallelujah”, Billie Holiday's “Gloomy Sunday”, and David Bowie's “Space Oddity”) avoid anything that may make you want to swan dive off a cliff.
- Find a good movie, a favorite, better yet a comedy. Nothing helps squash the blue's like a good belly laugh. Use the above discretion and avoid heart tugging dramas.
- Get some paper. If you are an artist grab some paint. If you're a writer grab a pen. Sometimes things aren't so bad if you write them down or express them artistically.
- Grab the tissues. Sometimes you just have to cry.
- Stay away from Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, or any social networking site. It's okay to reach out but a pity party is a private party. Send a personal e-mail or note if you need support. (One sad post is okay 10 is a bit much)
- Prep for an early night. A good night sleep does wonders. Things always seem a little better in the morning after all it's a fresh day with no mistakes in it.
- Don't party too long. The point of a pity party is to be in that moment and recognize that you are feeling sad and that is okay. It happens to all of us. It's one of the annoying parts of being human.
With all that said. Party on and enjoy your humaness!