From where I sit now, I see that it's a claiming of victim status. In self-pity, I have no responsibility, only rights. I have the right to complain and be miserable and make others miserable because I am martyr extraordinaire. Life is harder for me than anyone. I am stretched to my limits but unwilling to stop. I have the desire to complain and no interest in the business of correcting what's amiss. I "have to" do this and I "have to" do that. All is burden and heartache and weight of the world. I seem to want sympathy, but I don't really. I only want whining entitlement. You would too if your life were like mine. That's the way the thinking goes. It's stuck in the problem and has no interest in the solution. It's the perfect excuse for whatever kind of misbehavior I may covet.
Even writing about it gives me the heebie jeebies. It's sick and infectious. Poor me. Especially when with only the slightest twist of the head I can see the other side of the coin. While self pity is blind and petty, it's antithesis is visonary and abundant. All is well, all is possible, and blessings abound. Getting stuck seeing only the one side is maybe just something that happens in life. Possibly I am too quick to dispell judgment and make myself bad or wrong. I am simply human. I got stuck in self pity and now I am restored to gratitude and the fact that my life is my responsibility. If I am miserable, there's something for me to look at, and an attitude adjustment may be beneficial to my peace of mind. And that's that; nothing grandiose or dramatic: problem identified, peace restored.
I remain on guard for self pity. It comes silently and lingers. It looks for its opportunity to grab me and hold me down. I see it coming and refuse to engage. I choose gratitude instead.