I’m feeling pretty ragged this week. My sleep experiment continues, but it seems to be in a ‘it’ll get worse before it gets better’ phase. I’m tired. And tired is compounding on tired.

I’m still relatively cheerful, but with each morning that comes without me feeling rested, I’m also starting to feel sorry for myself.

I used to shut those feelings down.

I had an internal voice telling me to stop it. That feeling sorry for myself is self indulgent, and I should suck it up, override it and ‘get on with it’, whatever ‘it’ looks like.  

There’s an internalised message that it’s not okay to feel sorry for ourselves (or to feel sad, to grieve, to feel depressed or down). Look on the bright side, find the positive, it could be worse, at least you’re getting rest, at least you can work around your tiredness, at least you don’t operate heavy machinery, at least you’re not an astronaut, at least, at least, at least.

And so feeling sorry for myself used to get pushed aside, but pushing it aside didn’t make it go away. It just added another layer of shit on top for me to feel bad about – I shouldn’t be feeling how I’m feeling.

A while back I got curious – what would it look like to OWN feeling sorry for myself?  

Yes, I AM feeling sorry for myself, and why is that bad?

Feeling sorry for myself means I care for myself. I’m sorry that insomnia is my experience right now, I’m sorry that I’m so weary. I’m sorry that my dreams feel a little further away, because I’m so tired.

I used to tell people ‘never say sorry’ when people said sorry to me. ‘You have nothing to be sorry for, it’s not your fault’. I used to equate ‘sorry’ with ‘accepting fault or blame or responsibility’. Until for some reason I looked up what ‘sorry’ actually means, and found a definition that turned all that on its head. I LOVED the definition I found – sorry is ‘an expression of regret’.

There’s a softness to that for me. A tenderness. A gentle empathy. And so when I’m feeling sorry for myself, I’m expressing regret for the struggle. And something in that feels like love.

So, for me, feeling sorry for myself means I am feeling my feelings. Feeling sorry for myself means I’m giving myself the space to feel them. 

Feeling sorry for myself means there’s a desire for something better for myself – I want more than this. I deserve more than this.

Feeling sorry for myself means there’s tenderness and care being directed inward. Feeling sorry for myself means I’m treating myself as worthy of care, of attention, of softness, of love.

So yes, I am feeling sorry for myself today. And that’s completely okay.  And full permission for you to own feeling sorry for yourself, too – whenever you need to 😉