And why you should throw one.
The question I get most often about the Speaking Bipolar Positivity Club is, “Don’t you think positivity is toxic?”
As I’ve written before, the positivity train can be a toxic ride depending on how you view it. Many have the false idea that pursuing a positive mindset means you can never feel sadness or other “negative” emotions.
That’s absolutely untrue.
In fact, taking time to grieve, cry, and feel sorry for yourself can have a tremendous impact on improving your mental health. The key is to do it the right way.
So, for today’s positivity post, you’ll learn how to throw a good old-fashioned pity party.
Let’s get started.
Set a Time Limit
All parties have an end time.
At a certain point, everyone has to go home and return to their normal lives. The same is true for your pity party.
Whether you choose an evening or a weekend, you’ll want to set an expiration for your pity party before you start. If your party kicks off on Friday night, then vow you’ll get back to your regular daily routine no later than 8:00 Monday morning.
There’s a potential danger in getting stuck feeling sorry for yourself.
If you stay there too long, it will be increasingly hard to see any light in your world. So make sure you commit to an end time and tell all the guests in your head, “This party will end.”
Get Good Food
I love food, so my biggest draw to attend a party is if I know they’ll have tasty treats to fill up my belly.
For your pity party, it’s okay to throw your diet out the window and eat the foods you normally deny yourself. Remember, this is only a brief break, not the end of a healthy eating routine.
If I can, I order a meal from a favorite restaurant, something like Cajun chicken, pasta alfredo or pollo con queso. I’ll also pick up some favorite sweet treats, whether it’s an Italian cream cake or a Reese cup Blizzard.
When it’s time to party, you might as well have what you want.
Choose Your Favorite Entertainment
The right entertainment can make or break a party.
We’ve all been to those parties featuring a garage band who should have stuck to playing in their garage and nowhere else. You want your party to be better than that.
There are two schools of thought on choosing entertainment for a pity party.
If your goal is to cry your eyes out, pick your favorite sad movies or TV episodes. I hate crying, but I’ll usually start with something sad to match my mood. Then, as the party continues, I’ll usually try to switch to lighter content or movies I know will make me happier.
There is a danger to watch out for when choosing your pity-party entertainment.
While some movies and series episodes can be immensely validating, others can trigger you and even damage your mental health. Be careful not to pick something that will push you off the cliff when you’re already teetering on the ledge.
Feel Your Feels
Humans love to bottle up emotions, and that’s especially true if you have a mood disorder like bipolar.
A pity party is your chance to get all the feelings out. So cry, scream, tear a pillow to pieces. Grab a pen and paper and write out all the painful thoughts swirling in your head. Then rip the paper into tiny pieces and toss them around the room.
It’s your party. You can cry if you want to.
Every party must end, and so must your pity party.
When you reach your predetermined time limit, it’s time to get back to your normal life. Dry your eyes, pull up your big-boy or big-girl pants, and get back to the business of living.
Some people will tell you to never feel sorry for yourself. They will never understand that part of coping with a chronic illness includes taking time to grieve for the losses illness brings. But it’s an essential part of your self care.Start Today!
Throw Your Party
When you need to shut down for a while, throw yourself a pity party.
Use it as a time to eat your favorite foods, enjoy validating entertainment, or to feel your feels. Invite close friends to join you or party alone. Whatever you choose, take some time to reconnect with you and get the noise out of your head.
Then, get back to life again. Taking care of you is always the right choice, and sometimes, a pity party is the best way to do it.
Do you throw pity parties for yourself? What’s your favorite pity-party tips? Please share your thoughts in the comments.
Journal Prompt: When was your last pity party? How did you feel afterward? Can you schedule some downtime in the next few days? If so, write about your experience afterward.
Creative Writing Prompt: Your character has been living alone for a long time. Determined to start living again, they decide to throw a lavish party. Do they invite anyone? How does the party go? Does the party change their life? Write their story.
Until next time, keep fighting.