Stop Apologizing for Your Mental Illness

By Sarah Wylde

“I’m sorry for having panic attacks.”

“I’m sorry I haven’t talked to you in a bit.”

“I’m sorry for being like this.”

“I’m just, sorry.”

It is exhausting dealing with a mental illness, and it makes me feel like I am affecting those around me and that I am always apologizing. Mental illness is not something you can see physically; it is often referred to as an invisible illness. Everyone experiences and goes through their anxiety, depression, bipolar, etc. differently. It has taken a long time for me to realize that I don’t have to feel sorry for it. And neither should you.

How many times have you apologized when you have not done anything wrong? Something that we have no control over, so why do we feel this way. With that much apologizing can also bring up guilt, mental illness can make you sensitive to emotions so, you feel like you have done something wrong and feel guilty. Don’t get me wrong, apologizing is a good thing when it is sincere and if you are in the wrong.

It is challenging to stop this habit, but there are ways to work at it. By making a mental note or writing it down of all the times when you said sorry and why, when you look back at it at the end of the day ask yourself if it was something that you should have apologized for. Try doing this for a few weeks to see if it makes a difference.

Practicing mindfulness, which is the process of bringing your attention to experiences happening in the present moment. In mindful practices, our thoughts should be on what we are feeling in the moment, rather than remembering the past or thinking of the future. It is a struggle, but I try to pause before I speak, so I am not always saying sorry.

The important thing to remember is you are not alone, and we do not have to apologize for having a mental illness.

Until next time!

Sarah Wylde

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