I won’t go into it, except to say that it more-or-less ended a moment ago with an 11-year-old prank calling me and pretending to be my ex-boyfriend.
Okay, now I’m officially cool. I just wish I could be having this experience when I was 11 instead of right now. Right now it's just chapping my hide.
But what I really want to write about is how feeling sorry for yourself is really an art form. And, not to brag or anything, it’s one I’ve mastered.
But you can master it, too!
There are several steps to follow, but none of them are hard. And you can change up the order if you want, except for step one.
You need to make a list (it can be mental or physical—whatever makes you feel more in touch with your sadness). This is a list of things that are going wrong for you. They could be things that happened today. For instance, you could think about how someone was really rude to you in the Target parking lot (even though her giant SUV was parked outside of the lines and your more modest ride was parked inside of them. Or how you then went into Target and promptly got your period). The list could also be more general and broader in scope: things that haven’t panned out in your lifetime. Thwarted dreams, unrequited love, and money problems are all good places to start.
|Where things start to go wrong: Carrie gets her period; all the girls laugh. Carrie (Brian De Palma, 1976).|
STEP TWO (OPTIONAL)
Play a sad song. This could be a song that used to be “our song” with one of those idiots that dumped you (or never loved you in the first place). I find it’s better if the song is epic and performed by a really solid band or singer, but sometimes a power ballad will do just as nicely. In a pinch, you can play something really trite and awful. Here are some examples of all three:
1. “It Must’ve Been Love” (Roxette)
2. “Rain Song” (Led Zeppelin)**
3. “When You’re Gone” (The Cranberries)
4. “How Am I Supposed to Live Without You?” (Michael Bolton or, if you prefer, Jessie and Slater from Saved By the Bell.)
5. “She’s Gone” (Darryl Hall and John Oates)
6. “It’s Only Love” or “This Boy” (The Beatles. Okay, so I know most people would say “Yesterday” but frankly I find that song cloying and overrated, but I’ve always been more of a John than a Paul. Also, perhaps, given as it’s “the most covered song of all time” I’m just bored with it.)**
7. “Taxman” (The Beatles. This one is only helpful if you’re sad about money.)**
8. “Does He Love You?” (Rilo Kiley)
9. "They Can't Take That Away from Me" (George and Ira Gershwin. Fred Astaire's version is my favorite.)**
10. “Why You Wanna Break My Heart?” (Tia Carrere as performed in Wayne’s World. Actually, I can’t figure out who wrote this song. If Tia actually wrote it, I would die of joy.)
11. “As Tears Go By” (The Rolling Stones. This song pretty much covers depression in any form.**
|"I think we both know there's no film in this camera!" Tia's music video in Wayne's World.|
Take a “rape shower.” That’s the thing of where you sit on the floor of the shower (while it’s running, of course) and wrap your arms around your knees and cry while you rock back and forth and the water cascades over you. You may know it from many Lifetime Original Movies where a character is somehow violated sexually and “can’t get clean”. Eventually, you will not know the difference between the hot water and your salty tears: this is good. This is the goal. It’s best if you do this with the lights off. More dramatic that way.
|I made you an illustration of a "rape shower."|
Now you need to put on something stretchy and comfortable and ugly. Extra points if it’s black or stained.
Use your sadness as an excuse to drink something alcoholic.
After you’ve had something alcoholic to drink, you should start writing in your journal about whatever thing is going the very worst in your life. If your tears are staining the paper and smudging the ink, you’re on the right track. This step could also segue into writing a poorly considered letter or email to someone who did you wrong by not understanding you or loving you hard enough. This letter should only be written under the influence of alcohol, so that you can later blame the alcohol for every dumb-ass thing you said.
Start feeling hungry because you’ve had a drink (or four) and see if you can’t find comfort in the fridge. Maybe there’s ice cream in there (this is cliché, but ideal). You see, ice cream is good because it has sugar and it’s cold. It will wake you up a little bit so you can finish all the other things you have to do while you’re feeling sorry for yourself.
If you have a change jar, dump it out and count it. Be sad about the amount of money in there, no matter how much there is. That money is in coins, and therefore does not add to your fortune unless you're willing to a)buy coin wrappers, b)let Coinstar take 8% or c)be the person everyone at the bank hates despite the fact that counting money IS THEIR PROFESSION.
Accidentally spill something (coins?) and then have a lot of trouble cleaning it up. This should feel like one of those improbable scenes in a movie. Maybe, in your attempt to clean, you will make the mess even worse. This is good. The frustration will contribute to your sense of helplessness. The fact that it feels like a movie will make your life seem more epic and therefore your problems will seem more important and unsolvable.
Look in the mirror. Notice your flaws and really concentrate on them. This really helps you to feel bad, especially if the ice cream made you stop crying for a while. Think about how fat you probably are now that you’ve had ice cream. Think about how alone you will always be because you are a fat, crying, ice cream eater.
Crawl into bed. Be sure to lie in the fetal position. Wait for sleep. You've earned it! If sleep doesn't come immediately, consider playing one of your sad songs on repeat until it does.
That is all. But you can add more if the spirit moves you. Things like reading your horoscope, weighing yourself, lighting candles, watching romantic comedies, getting a cat, and lying on the kitchen floor can always help, if you feel like you aren’t quite getting where you need to be.
|Guaranteed to make you sob: Wuthering Heights (William Wyler, 1939).|
If you have any trouble with this plan, you are obviously not concentrating hard enough on how bad things are. Refocus. Go through the steps again. It’ll happen with effort and time.
I am available to answer any questions or to field suggestions on other songs that can aid the self-pitying.
[Disclaimer: Weak people piss me off. So make sure you get over yourself when you wake up in the morning.]
*This quote is from my personal icon, Eeyore (Winne the Pooh, A.A. Milne).
**These are examples of sad songs that get extra points because they were written by bad-asses back before it was "okay" for boys to cry. Now boys cry all the time. And I say: good for them!
Oh yeah. Two more things:
1. I will probably add more songs to that list. My brain is foggy from feeling so sorry for myself.(That, by the way, is also a sign that you're doing it right. Fogginess is good.)
2. Please subscribe to and/or follow my blog! Please! If you don't that's okay. I'll just feel sorrier for myself.