Don’t Apologize for Existing

By Dragon Harris

This month, we’re looking back on the top 10 blog posts of 2016. This post was originally published on June 20.  




Excuse me.


With the onset of my depression and anxiety, “sorry” became my favorite word. Sorry for bumping into you, even if you hardly noticed. Sorry my hair sticks up on one side and I’m not wearing makeup. Sorry I’m so thin when you’re trying to lose weight. Sorry for thinking about how hard it is for me to maintain weight when you’re trying to deal with your own problems. Sorry the gift you bought me doesn’t fit. Sorry.



Sorry for being as smart as I am but not pursuing a career in medicine or engineering. Sorry that my leg bounces up and down and it distracted you. Sorry you feel you need to stop wearing your perfume because I’m having breathing problems.

Sorry for taking up space. Sorry for being sad or scared. Sorry for not smiling as brightly as you expect me to, or for not paying you the attention you deserve when you tell me about your day. Sorry for needing a ride instead of growing up and getting a license. Sorry for finally getting a license and not always parking perfectly or taking turns smoothly. Sorry for drawing instead of looking at you because I’ve become too anxious for eye contact.

I didn’t realize how much I was doing it until my dad said, “Stop apologizing for existing.”

“Sorry,” I said, proving his point.

Depression and anxiety told me I was worthless. They told me that I was responsible for fixing everything wrong with the lives of my loved ones. They told me I needed to stop making mistakes. They told me I needed to participate in conversations and get a social life (but they also told me not to hog the spotlight). I always needed to become better or smarter or something. Depression and anxiety told me I was never enough.

They’re still telling me that. And some days, I still believe them.

But on those days I remind myself that depression and anxiety are lying. No one is perfect, and even if I’m not good enough (or so they tell me) I still have value; I can contribute in a positive way to the lives of those around me.

If depression and anxiety are lying to you, that’s OK. Just remind yourself what’s true. And most importantly, don’t apologize: for taking up space, for living your life, for being you.

You are worth more than that. You don’t have to be sorry.

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Comments (9)

  1. Lauren Carter

    Still one of my favorite articles, it is so true. You don’t have to be sorry for being here. You’re trying and that is enough.

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  2. Myriah Treaster

    I really needed this today. Thank you!

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  3. Taylor Wiley

    this has really opened my eyes and actually helped me. this is really powerful and i can’t thank you enough

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  4. Celeste

    Everyone always tells me I say sorry too much but I hadn’t even noticed because I’d gotten so used to it. It just became a reflex. I really love and appreciate this and it’s comforting to know that some people do understand.

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  5. Sydney

    Thank you.

    Reply  |  
  6. Pingback: Don’t Apologize for Existing | This is not a journal

  7. Kendra

    That was so true and was me to a T. Thanks

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  8. Brandon

    It’s an interesting habit, definitely something I do. But is it wrong? I’ve seen by how people treat me and avoid me that my existence is a burden to others.

    Reply  |  
    1. Becky Ebert


      You are definitely not a burden. You may feel that way, but you are not. If you need/want to share more of your story, please email us at We would be honored to read an email from you. And we will respond as soon as we can. Sending hope.

      Reply  |