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I know I’m being U - how to stop being bitter

(29 Posts)
FifiVoldemortsChavvyCousin Tue 13-Mar-18 18:56:12

I am eaten up by bitterness
About things an ex did 20 years ago
Various injustices
Missed opportunities

People say ‘practice gratitude’ but I find that hard. ‘So I don’t live in the black hole of Calcutta, whoopdee doo’

I can’t be happy for friends when good things happen. I say the right things but inside I’m thinking ‘that’s so unfair, why not me’

How do I stop being unreasonably bitter?

biscuitbasket Tue 13-Mar-18 18:58:44

Stop trying to be not bitter. Try to consciously think 3 nice things a day. Your focus needs to be on the positive thing you are trying to do, not the negative thing you want to stop...

Eighttimeseight Tue 13-Mar-18 19:01:45

Can't remember the exact phrase but something like 'being bitter is like eating poison and expecting your enemy to die'...

Concentrate on you - what makes you happy?

And investing in counselling.

Don't spend the next 20 years like the last 20.

Blackteadrinker77 Tue 13-Mar-18 19:04:51

Why give the ex that power over your life?

20 years of negativity for what?

hotcrossbunsandtea Tue 13-Mar-18 19:06:50

Why are you wasting your life thinking about an idiot ex from two decades ago?

Stop letting him live rent-free in your head!

PerfectlyDone Tue 13-Mar-18 19:07:15

"Allow" yourself to be cross/upset/angry/exasperated/disappointed/upset or whatever (delete as appropriate).

Just because there is somebody worse off than you, does not make your problem/loss any less bad for YOU to bear - acknowledge that.

When you are ready, LET IT GO. Really buy in to the concept that none of us can go back in time and change what's in the past but we do have power over shaping our future. Focus on that.

If you find you cannot get past thinking about past events in a kind of circular manner, you know, going round and round in circles, making yourself feel ever worse, see your GP and see what kind of service is available for CBT counselling in your area. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is really successful to address unhelpful thinking.

It IS a learnt skill, the more you do it, the better you get at it smile

FifiVoldemortsChavvyCousin Tue 13-Mar-18 19:23:40

I’ve just started cbt but it seems a bit useless. I’m going to try though.

Boxingdaydisappoints Tue 13-Mar-18 19:27:10

Some great advice here. I suffer with negative thoughts and will try some of these. Thank you!

VladmirsPoutine Tue 13-Mar-18 19:31:47

Write it all down like a letter to him and then burn it.

Keep refocusing your mind when you find it wandering off. It takes time but practice is necessary.

Talk to yourself out-loud if you have to. Just keep telling yourself that you are your most important person.

Write a letter to yourself advising what you'd tell someone feeling a similar way to you.

Just keep going. Sometimes the bitterness is all-encompassing but with concerted effort, you can get through it.

bluebells1 Tue 13-Mar-18 19:38:24

"the black hole of Calcutta"

What the fuck is that?

FifiVoldemortsChavvyCousin Tue 13-Mar-18 19:55:10

It’s a prison they had in India in the olden days which was just basically a hole or something.

PerfectlyDone Tue 13-Mar-18 20:10:18

* ‘that’s so unfair, why not me’*

V good question.
I have found it helpful to counter that with 'well, why the hell not me?'.
I don't mean to be flippant, but I find it useful to not consider myself any more special or entitled to good luck than anybody else.

Ask yourself how your thinking affects you and if it is not helpful challenge it every time you find yourself doing it. It feels very unnatural and counterintuitive but the more you do it, the better you get at it.

Even the most unmusical person can learn to play chopsticks on the piano - even the most entrenched thinking patterns can be changed, even if it does not come natural to you smile

PerfectlyDone Tue 13-Mar-18 20:11:24

Lots of online support for your kind of problem, try the following websites:
MoodScope - my favourite. If you sign up to it (only email address required) they send you a bit of 'homework' every day smile

FifiVoldemortsChavvyCousin Wed 14-Mar-18 20:23:04

Thanks for the suggestions. I’m going to try them.

Lifeisabeach09 Wed 14-Mar-18 20:53:18

Volunteer or travel far-flung places.
It's not about seeing folks worse off. It's about shifting the focus (from your ex/self) and broadening your horizons. Meet new people, experience new things.

RedPanda2 Wed 14-Mar-18 22:23:09

CBT should help, but by god it made me angry with the world. I was bitter about the past and so angry after every session, that I thought I'd never get past it. I did though and I'm so glad I persevered. You will be too and I wish you luck

PerfectlyDone Wed 14-Mar-18 23:10:04

Angry is really different from bitter - angry can be entirely appropriate and a necessary step to move to acceptance and then moving forward.

The 'Tasks' of grieving - they apply to lots of other difficult adjustments life sometimes forces on us.

Rowenaravenclawsdiadem Wed 14-Mar-18 23:15:59

I feel your pain. My exh raped me. After I left him he raped me. I didn't report him to the police and because I didn't he now seems to have been afforded things happen to him in life that would not have happened if he had been reported. It eats me up inside. I confided in a police friend recently who told me, it was very unlikely that I would have been believed anyway. So in a way I'm glad I didn't get to experience that.

MiddleClassProblem Wed 14-Mar-18 23:19:19

CBT can help but it takes a little time as you are learning to re train your thought processes and reactions. It can also take a while for you to open up to a therapist/yourself and get to the useful bits to tackle.

FreudianSlurp Wed 14-Mar-18 23:26:22

Fifi I write three things I'm grateful for every evening. They aren't things that I'm grateful I'm not, or gratitudes for other people's achievements. In fact, to anybody else they may seem like really trivial things and are things that other people may take for granted. They are things that I had a hand in, or had a knock-on positive effect on me. For example, some recent ones include 'went to Asda' (I hadn't been out for over 2 weeks, and right up until I got in the mall door my head was telling me to go back home), 'heard a collared dove' (first one I've heard this year, and I'm grateful that it wasn't just lost in the background noise of living in a city).

That's not to say that I ignore the shit other stuff that's happening, or that I avoid dealing with it (as much as I can, anyway). It just means that for a few minutes, whilst I'm thinking of what I'm grateful for and writing it out, my focus is on positivity without my usual "yeah but what if..." thoughts creeping in.

FifiVoldemortsChavvyCousin Thu 15-Mar-18 06:43:43

Thanks for sharing.

Rottweilers Thu 15-Mar-18 07:51:39

Agree with the CBT.
It won’t be easy to start with but cognitive behavioural therapy does wonders with changing how you perceive certain situations. You deserve to be happy, OP.

FreudianSlurp Thu 15-Mar-18 09:15:56

I'll assume good faith, but just wanted to explain how it works for me as you said you find it hard. I did too before I didn't (I'm not in the least an earth-mother/tree-hugger type, and thought it would only work for people like that!). It's not the only way though, of course, and it doesn't solve all other problems. Hope you find a way to alter the way you think about things too.

snewsname Thu 15-Mar-18 09:19:34

Well done for trying to find help for yourself. I know several women whose whole lives were ruined because they just couldn't move on. You are worth far more than that. . No man should have have that power.

YesitsJacqueline Thu 15-Mar-18 09:27:56

Hi op
My mum is like that, she goes on about things my dad did 30 or 40 years ago ! Constantly . And she has remarried!
She has become a bitter and miserable old lady. My brother barely speaks to her because she started slagging our dad off to his oldest daughter who is just a child.
I feel sorry for her that she can't let go. Please don't become that person.
I know it is hard as I am going through a break up myself and some days I'm so angry with the unfairness of it all...but you have just got to forget the past and move on

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