During the time I’ve been separated from my husband I have been fortunate enough to receive some amazing advice. I have some unbelieveable people in my life and their support has brought to light how lucky I ultimately am despite some recent events. A few months ago someone gave me some of the advice I’m speaking about. At the time we sat down, though I understood what this person was saying (and completely agreed with it) I could not know how often it would come up as beneficial for me. They said ‘it’s okay to be sad but you cannot let self pity come into play.’ I thought, sure, totally makes sense, I had had moments in the recent past where I’d let self pity play a role in my sadness, I thought I wouldn’t be doing that anymore. She explained self pity as kind of a dark shadow in the room, a comforting presence waiting to hold you when you feel you have nobody else. I have come to realize since then that self pity for me continues to be a force waiting in the shadows for when I am at my weakest. Being sad is normal, and can be healthy. It’s crying and letting out emotion and sitting in it for what it is. Self pity takes a strangle hold of sadness and tells us that things are much worse than they seem. The darkness is incredibly easy to lean into. I still, very often, find myself letting SP wrap its cold arms around me when I am sad. It’s there in the evenings when I’m alone, it’s there when I talk to people about my situation, it even lurks when I write. It makes me say and think things that only SP would. “You’re never going to be able to do it on your own” it whispers in my ear. “In fact, most of this is your fault, you’re a failure. You poor, poor thing, I don’t know that anybody has had it worse than you.” When you’re deep in your emotions SP is easy to believe, it makes you repeat these phrases and blow already dark feelings out of proportion. SP masquerades as a friend, it feeds off your bad energy and tries to strangle you when you’re in tears. What I’ve learned is SP can be beaten, it takes strength and it takes knowing. When you hear SP, when you feel that dark grip and realize you’re hearing a truth not all of you believes you’ll know it’s there. SP as it turns out, is weak in itself, you need only to tell it that it is wrong. You need to remind yourself that yes, you’re sad, things may actually be terrible and it might take a long time to get past it, but, SP is not your friend. Push it back into the shadows and don’t let it bring you down further into the depths.