I’m emerging from a Pity Party… and from this side of it, I feel quite silly for wasting the day on ice cream and frowny faces. So, to redeem myself, I’d like to tell you about it, just in case my experience might help you – the next time you put together your own pity party.
To be completely frank, I had a very severe pity party about 25 years ago. Luckily, something (a disembodied voice) that I cannot explain – pulled me through. And you’d think that the stunning power of a voice outside of my body guiding me to save my life would have been enough to keep me happy for the rest of my life… well, no, I still blubber sometimes because I forget to remember how lucky I was – and am. That every day is a gift.
Today, I was feeling sorry for myself. The reasons are not important; they never are. It was just life – it happens to us all… – and perhaps being tired or not eating right or whatever – I felt the need for romantic movies, ice cream and tears.
As I was savoring my ice cream, I happened to pick up a PEOPLE magazine (another pity party guilty pleasure). Inside, I read about a 22 year-old girl who happened to go zip-lining in brackish water a few years ago and ended up with a flesh eating disease that took all four of her limbs. The article explained how she has reinvented herself and is seemingly very, very happy.
(Me sitting in my own stew…) Hmmmm. No flesh eating bacteria here. Just the one in my own head…
And, as the day moved on, I glanced at the news headlines and saw the horror of 50 killed in Orlando. Trapped in a nightclub.
No words. Those families…
And then, as I was snuggled in my bed during the middle of the day, power watching LONGMIRE, one of the show characters said something that zinged me straight in my pitty patty heart.
You see, this character was the town drunk. His son, who was a good kid, drove into town to pick up his drunken father and got distracted for a moment and hit a parked car. That parked car slammed into a person changing a tire on the opposite side. Long story short, the drunken father felt horrible that he was such a unappreciative person that had wasted his life on drink and then asked his son to drive him home – none of this would have happened if the father hadn’t been drunk and needing his son to help him.
Well, his speech, begging the sheriff to take him (the father) to jail instead of the son…
I was so moved, I looked up the script on the Internet. Here are the words from that scene. The actor really gave it life because I was bawling at the end of it.
“When I found out When I found out you arrested When you arrested Billy, I had to do something! I had to do something! I mean, this whole damn thing was my fault! If I wasn’t such a worthless drunk, Billy wouldn’t have even been in the same place! He wouldn’t have even been there! Oh, God.
And so I broke a bottle.
I cut myself up because I wanted to convince you that I did this to your daughter, Walt.
I did it.
I may not have been driving the damn car, but I did this! It was my fault, and I should be punished! Not Billy! Please, God, Walt! My life is over.
And I have wasted it.”
The delivery of that speech ended my pity party. Sure, you had to see it to feel the tears I shed… but that last line zapped through my heart.
“And I have wasted it.”
Here I had a lovely day and I wasted it.
I should have done what my excellent Counselor told me 25 years ago… She said, ” Remember this: The very best thing you can do for yourself if you feel helpless, alone and lost, is to force yourself to get up, get out and help someone else.”
It does work. In fact, it works every time. So, during this late hour, I’m writing to whomever might need to hear this.
Someday I will tell you about the voice that saved my life…