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Emotional Resource - Handbook for PH Patients
Self-pity, Entitlement & PH
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Self-pity and entitlement want you to befriend them, put your arms around them, and treat them like long lost buddies. It is a trick; both are devious, their plan is to isolate you and intensify your sense of aloneness. They want you to have unrealistic expectations of others so that you are unsatisfied and feel alienated by those in your life. Self-pity and entitlement both have loud voices and they like to repeat themselves. Here are some of the phrases they might say:
If other family or friends had pulmonary hypertension I would always be there for them— how come they are not there for me?
Life is not fair—how come I got this illness, why am I the only one that has to suffer?
How come I don’t get the help that I need?
Can’t people see how much I am struggling?
Why don’t people ask me questions about how I feel and help me express myself more easily?
Look at all I have to deal with in a day! I should be getting more support and help!
The above are some examples, and there are many more because both self-pity and entitlement are creative in how they worm into an everyday situation. For instance, it may be a tough day with your illness making it hard for you to breathe and move around freely; you are feeling fatigued already and the day has just begun. It is as if you are dragging a heavy backpack full of stones on your back. You feel helpless and overwhelmed. This is when entitlement might slip in that you are owed support, that someone else should make your life better in some way. Entitlement says someone else should take over: “it shouldn’t have to be my entire problem and so I will just wait for someone to fix me.”
Entitlement is wrong; every human being is invited to take full responsibility for their situation in life. It is a hard choice but the best choice we can make as it is only from a place of full selfresponsibility that we can grow and heal.
When we blame others or wait for them to fix us, our healing is frozen. We can then experience a lifetime of disappointment waiting to be fixed by someone else whether he or she is a friend, a family member, or a therapist.
No one else can heal us, not even the best therapist in the world. Only we know our inner world and only we can effect change by choosing to grow when the suffering is high. It isn’t easy, in fact it is unbearable at times, but in essence it is the only way forward if we don’t want to be stuck in glue for days, months, years, and even decades of our life.
Compassion for Self and Others & PH