Blog

Dec5
2016

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, 2016.

Sorry.

Sorry.

Pardon.

Excuse me.

Sorry.

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.

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 (38)

  1. Tiffany

    All the time people tell me to stop apologizing all the time, and I see why.. Thank you for this post.

    Reply  |  
  2. Bed

    Thank you for this

    Reply  |  
  3. Lauren Carter

    This is exactly what I needed to read. Thank you.

    Reply  |  
  4. Anonymous

    Hi, I read this and it looks like as if no one but I have posted this. This has been my story as far as and as long as I can remember. Though if I still have to recollect the exact amount of time. It will be almost seven years – the day I graduated. I have always known that something is not correct in the way I keep apologising but I always blamed lack of self confidence to be the root of this problem. I mean who is sorry for trying so hard to be a pillar of strength in a loved one’s life!
    Naming the cause as depression and anxiety is enough to turn the insides of my gut. What can be the cure? Or is it even curable, realising that it has prolonged since so long? In seek of answers.
    With hope,
    Anonymous

    Reply  |  
    1. Anonymous

      Please don’t publish my name.

      Reply  |  
  5. Courtney

    I apologize for everything. My friends have even made rules that I’m not allowed to apologize without permission because it was getting ridiculous.

    Reply  |  
  6. Kristina

    I always apologize and people are always saying i need to stop apologizing but i can’t help it. Sorry.

    Reply  |  
  7. Kathy

    Thank you

    Reply  |  
  8. Pingback: I’m Sorry – Multicatable

  9. Samantha

    I apologize for everything because it seems to be all I know. Thank you for this.

    Reply  |  
  10. Desiree

    I really needed to hear this today! Thank you 💓

    Reply  |  
  11. Desiree

    I really needed to hear that today! Thank you 👍

    Reply  |  
  12. Anna

    Thank you.

    Reply  |  
  13. Sarai

    what if you are told negative things and can’t break the habit .

    Reply  |  
  14. Jennifer lozada

    I never told anybody about my feelings and how I’ve dealt with things growing up. After few losses in my life, I just know I need help because I honestly feel like I can’t control my emotions. I can go from happy to laughing to angry to crying in just a matter of minutes. Now that I am a adult, I decided it times to speak up and get help before I do something to harm myself. July 14,2016 is the day I will speak with a psychiatrist to determine if I need meds for my depression and if I bipolar. All my life, I’ve been telling myself I am bipolar and I am crazy until 5 years I’ve met my fiance and he has helped me come to term with this. And also the one that told Mr I need help because he had help when he was younger. Anyway, I want to thank you for posting this blog. It helped me understand that it is okay to make mistakes and it okay to be me. Thank you

    Reply  |  
  15. daniella

    Thank you for that….I do the same thing and have both anxiety and depression as well, I try not to let it bring me down or run my life and just live but it’s a struggle and I am trying to do better and have hope that someday ( soon hopefully) that I will be able to say ” I love myself and my life and yes things do get better”

    Reply  |  
  16. sally

    I sincerely admire you for having the courage to share this with others; I can identify completely. Thank you for sharing this. 😇

    Reply  |  
  17. Sharon

    So often others seem to need to devalue a person to make themselves feel better or more important often because of their own inadequacies. Often, the one who feels that they need to keep apologizing is continuing to reinforce to themselves that they are less that worthy. We must all realize our own individual worth and let it shine. We must remember that God never created any trash. We all were created in His image. You are valuable, worthy and infinitely important.

    Reply  |  
  18. Sidney

    This really helped me. For the past 8 or 9 months I have not been able to stop hating and critiquing myself over every little thing I do. The way I look, walk, talk, write, the things I like, how I’m not good at socializing. But after I read this I finally began to stop listening to that negative stuff. Thank you soooo much.

    Reply  |  
  19. Kaytee

    Thank you for this.

    Reply  |  
  20. Daria Zagorski

    I don’t want to say only Thank you for Twloha,
    cause that would mean I say Thank you and Bye together.
    In your Twloha Work every Thank you in our world shall become a Thank you
    in the meaning of Hello and Hello again.

    Reply  |  
  21. Sydney Wilson

    I apologize for everything because I feel like I mess up everything. I apologize for upsetting people because I upset people every day. The thing is, I don’t believe myself when I say that my Depressed and Anxiety are lieing to me. I don’t believe anyone. I don’t know how to prove it to myself that its lies because everything I do proves it to be fact. I don’t know what to do.

    Reply  |  
  22. Gracie

    Wow. I really needed that today..

    Reply  |  
  23. Haley

    I don’t get how to live without being sorry…

    Reply  |  
  24. ocean

    Powerful words of wisdom Rach. oceans of love to you – up xx

    Reply  |  
  25. lia

    Thanks!

    Reply  |  
  26. Katie J

    Thank you so much for writing this piece. I’ve only recently been able to admit to myself that I suffer from anxiety and depression, that the self-harm and constant apologising for things that had nothing to do with me were symptoms of something much bigger. Although I’ve been in therapy for a few months now, it’s still so difficult to articulate my experiences to others, particularly to those closest to me. I still feel ashamed to tell people about what I think of as my ‘monsters’ – I feel like they’re either going to judge me for being ‘broken’, or downplay what I’m going through. Mostly, though, I’m afraid of causing pain to my family by revealing to them just how much I’m suffering. I hide my scars because I can’t tell them about my self-harm without simultaneously feeling the need to apologise to them for not being the perfect, happy person I feel I’m supposed to be. Your post sums up so much of what I’m feeling and knowing that I’m not the only person experiencing these thoughts and feelings gives me the strength to face the next day and the next, and to remember that I don’t have to be perfect to be loved, that the voice telling me I’m ‘broken’ and unlovable is the ‘monster’ talking and not a reflection of reality. Thank you for making the world a little less lonely.

    Reply  |  
  27. 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.

    Reply  |  
  28. Myriah Treaster

    I really needed this today. Thank you!

    Reply  |  
  29. Taylor Wiley

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

    Reply  |  
  30. 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.

    Reply  |  
  31. patricia

    but still i feel like I need to apologise for existing. it is horrible

    Reply  |  
    1. TWLOHA

      Patricia, our hearts hurt to hear that you still feel this way. You absolutely do not have to apologize for existing. Even admitting that you’re hurting shows strength and courage, and we want you to know that you are not alone. We would love to talk more and offer you some encouragement. If you feel comfortable, please email us at info@twloha.com

      Reply  |  
  32. Sydney

    Thank you.

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

  34. Kendra

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

    Reply  |  
  35. 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

      Brandon,

      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 info@twloha.com. We would be honored to read an email from you. And we will respond as soon as we can. Sending hope.

      Reply  |