I’m Not Sorry About My Mental Illness

I apologize a lot. I mean, a LOT. I’ve done it so much that it’s like a reflex now – I say sorry without even thinking why I’m doing it.

And I apologize for everything. If I’m running late, I say sorry. If I misunderstand what someone said to me, I say sorry. If I don’t do as good of a job on something as I think should, I say sorry. I know it’s not what I should be doing, but I do it anyway. I don’t even consider whether or not I am actually sorry – it’s out of my mouth before I have time to think.

The one thing I apologize for constantly, and above all else, is my mental health. I say sorry when I can’t meet up with a friend because I’m depressed. I apologize that I wasn’t more social when I’m out because my anxious mind is doing cartwheels. If I have a panic attack in front of someone, I’m more concerned with whether or not that person is okay instead of trying to calm myself down. It’s not good for me – and I want to stop.

I want to stop because of all the people who have told me not to say sorry. They don’t want me to apologize for my mental illness – they just want me to be okay. And over the years, I missed that. I prioritized things incorrectly, and it stopped me from dealing with my mental illness in a healthy way.

Yes, apologize for the mess-ups. For the mistakes you make. But don’t apologize for who you are. I was ashamed of my mental health for a long time, and it held so much power over me. Now that I’m not ashamed, that power is gone. Yes, it’s still something I deal with, but I’m not afraid to deal with it. I’m not sorry. Hope that’s okay.

ann patchett


5 thoughts on “I’m Not Sorry About My Mental Illness

  1. Brooke January 24, 2019 / 12:17 pm

    YES! Love these words, and couldn’t agree more! I’ve also found myself apologizing countless times when I have no need to.


    • Nathan Smith January 26, 2019 / 12:01 pm

      Isn’t it so annoying? It definitely took me a long time to stop saying sorry all the time, but once I did it was totally worth it.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. AnxiousAmy January 24, 2019 / 1:43 pm

    I am an excessive apologizer as well- I think it has to do with my anxiety. But I agree with trying to stop apologizing for things that aren’t my fault or things that are due to my anxiety. It’s something I want to work more on this year. A co-worker overhearing a conversation with a client once told me “don’t ever apologize for things that aren’t your fault- you can apologize for their experience but not for things that are not your fault. I have been able to easily apply this to work but it’s time I applied elsewhere now.


    • Nathan Smith January 26, 2019 / 12:02 pm

      It’s good that you applied it to work! Mental health in the workplace is something I’m very passionate about – you spend so much time there! Good luck applying it in other aspects of your life. I know you can do it 🙂


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