I’m in the middle of a pity party. While trying to find my way out, I’ve realized pity parties are important.

There are five stages of grief.

  1. Denial
  2. Anger
  3. Bargaining
  4. Depression
  5. Acceptance

One of the stages of grief often triggers a pity party. It’s a necessary part of the grieving process, and you reach the acceptance stage by passing through depression and its associated pity party.

When most people think of grief, they think of death. Death isn’t the only thing that causes grief. A person can grieve many things. Whether you realize it or not, your pity party is likely part of your grieving process. If you’re stuck in a rut and can’t seem to move forward, assess your life and identify the source of your grief. It will help you move toward the acceptance stage.

The bleak outlook of the depression phase can cause you to feel sorry for yourself. This is normal. This is necessary. A pity party is okay because it’s important to sort through the various emotions related to grief. True acceptance requires experiencing and coming to terms with every emotion. Your pity party allows you to grieve the emotional impact on your life.

At the moment, I’m hovering in the depression stage with one foot in the acceptance stage. My pity party has greatly affected my productivity, and that realization triggered a desire to work toward acceptance. It is pushing me to find ways to cope with how my life is being affected. It’s allowing me to identify ways to accept it. This pity party is forcing me to move forward in order to reclaim my life. I may not have arrived at acceptance yet, but I see it on the horizon and I’m moving toward it. This is why a pity party is important. A pity party is draining. You reach a point where you’re tired and want out of it. It’s a nudge in the right direction, and we need it. When you decide it’s time to leave the party, you move torward acceptance.

Skip the pity party, and you’re skipping emtions that might resurface later and throw you right back into the grieving process. Grief can come back to haunt you in a major way if you don’t confront every emotion. That includes sadness and despair, and that is indeed what a pity party is—sadness and despair. That’s why pity parties are important.

If you’re currently stuck in a pity party and you’re looking for the door, try discussing your feelings with a trusted friend or a counselor. For many, this unburdening is needed. You can try writing it all down to sort through your feelings on your own. Setting a goal can also help you find ways to cope in order to meet that goal. That’s what I’m doing, and it’s helping me move forward. If these suggestions don’t help, you may need more time. That’s okay. Take the time you need to grieve properly. If you feel overwhelmed, seek professional help. Medication can be a tremendous help in relieving the depression and allowing you to deal with your grief in a more constructive manner.

Pity parties aren’t a bad thing. They’re an important part of grieving, so don’t feel bad about feeling sorry for yourself. It’s completely normal. Seek help if your pity party leads to suicidal thoughts or your depression is affecting your ability to perform everyday tasks. Just don’t beat yourself up for going through a common stage of grief.