It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want too…
Remember that song? There’s a new song out too, you can search for it on YouTube if you’d like. It’s a little dark for my liking but I relate none-the-less! Who hasn’t thrown their very own pity party at least once in a while?
Pity parties are one of my least favorite types of parties, but there are just times in your life that you just want, no need to, throw yourself one. There are all sorts of reasons and I get into that a little later but first we need to define what a pity party is.
So, what is a pity party. I think the Urban Dictionary has a great definition that you really need to read here. But in short, it says a pity party is a “way of experiences grief, in which you spend your time feeling sorry for yourself and whining endlessly about how crappy your life is…” To be clear, I am not talking about the way you experience grief after a major life event. View the stages of loss and grief here. I’m talking about the feeling sorry for yourself & whining type of pity party. You’re with me on that right?
Why do we throw a pity party?
We have many reasons or excuses to have a pity party. Perhaps we think we were treated unfairly at work or school. Maybe there was a break up or suddenly our BFF was a complete jerk out of the blue. Many times we can have a pity party because of the cards we were dealt in relation to our health or wealth!
As the mom of a child with several chronic illnesses, I have had my own pity parties when I am overwhelmed by it all. Why my kid? Why don’t the doctors understand and fix her? Where did all my “leave” go (doctor appointments, staying home to support her when she’s too sick)? Why can’t I have a big vacation (no money, no leave)? And on and on. These pity parties don’t take too long. I cry it out in the shower, then dry off and put my big girl panties on and deal with it. I love my children and this is what a mom does.
As the mom of a teenage mom (other daughter now 21 and a mom of 2), I know I have had many pity parties related to this whole situation. Again, why my kid? Didn’t I teach her better than that? People are going to think I am a terrible mother! Ha! I’m now raising her oldest child while she is finishing cosmetology school. Some might say I am enabling her to use me. But in reality I am enabling her to do well in her life and be able to get a decent job to help raise her kids. But I digress, this is about me and my pity parties. I can have some because this is a time in my life when both of my girls are older (the younger one is 15) and I should have a little time to myself right? Not so much with a four year old. I get feelings of selfishness once in a while and whine about it. But I cry it out, create some art or crochet something and get over it.
My husbands aunt shared with me how she and her daughter (then a teen) would occasionally throw themselves a pity party when the daughter was in a serious car wreck and hospitalized for some time. They would have cake and ice cream and a good cry during their pity parties. And why not, it sucks recovering from injuries in a hospital! But they would have their pity party and then get on with the business of healing.
I think a pity party can be a healthy thing. Not necessarily eating the cake and whole tub of ice cream, but letting your emotions out is very healthy mentally. Sometimes we just need a good cry. Sometimes we need to vent.
But I’m of the belief that we shouldn’t hold long pity parties and I don’t think we should invite too many people to the party. You know when someone is having one and they want to invite you in because they are posting about it on social media. I’m all about giving a hug or an ear where it’s needed but please, don’t drag me into a rage or depression over what has got you down. Let’s keep it to sympathy or empathy! It can’t get ugly destructive when the wrong folks come to your pity party – what if all of you were having a pity party at the same time about different things and you all just added to each others piles. Not cool, especially if you can’t end your pity parties when they need to be ended.
Pity parties that last too long can turn into depression. If you have trouble ending your pity party you should probably seek help. Talk to a trusted friend about why you are feeling this way and ask them to help you! Go to your pastor if you are religious, pray about things and give it over to God, ask for help. Go to a psychologist or other counselor and get help. There’s even online help (Here’s one potential source of help).
So go ahead and have your pity party. Cry, scream, eat a tub of ice cream if you want. But then say a little prayer, count your blessings, and blow out those candles on that party cake. Now go have some fun.