When Anxiety Makes You Apologize for Absolutely Everything


This piece was written by Kirsten Corley, author of “But Before You Leave

“I owe you an apology…” I said. He asked “Why?” while laughing. And as my fingers began to type and I tried to explain everything that been going through my head in the past 48 hours, I realized how ridiculous I sounded.

But the truth was it might have been ridiculous, but they were still things worrying me. They were still thoughts keeping me up.

And as I tried to explain all of it logically, I came to this realization that nothing about my anxiety is logical.

Anxiety plants these black seeds of doubt in my mind, making me question everyone and everything. It makes me doubt really good people because anxiety tells me they aren’t. Anxiety tells me, “You should wonder if they are lying.” Anxiety tells me, “You’ve done something wrong.” Anxiety is what makes me question my self-worth, not people. Anxiety makes up these scenarios in my head and I have no choice but to follow the destructive path it will lead me down.

Next thing I know, I’m apologizing for something that didn’t even cross someone’s mind, but my overanalytical skills think it’s something.

Anxiety creates solutions to things that aren’t even problems — except in my head.

Anxiety makes me feel like I have to apologize for everything.

Apologize for thinking too much.

Apologize for talking too much.

Apologize for texting too much.

Apologize for trying entirely too hard.

Apologize for caring too much.

Apologize for showing it.

Apologize for coming on too strong, if I did.

Apologize for the fact I apologized.

Anxiety makes me feel guilty for being myself because I constantly wonder if people are going to take something I’ve said or done the wrong way.

Then I beat myself up over the, “What if” scenario.

It’s hard enough accepting who you are and embracing it when the world rejects everything about you. Everyone knows that battle. Everyone has fought it at some point.

But it’s harder when it’s you vs. yourself, in an internal battle that’s all in your head, a battle you want so desperately to control.

You try to control something that’s been controlling you for as long as you remember.

It’s every person I doubt when I shouldn’t.

It’s every worse case scenario that never comes to life.

It’s ruining things before they begin because in my mind I’ve already said or done something to end it. Or I will say or do something eventually.

Anxiety makes me look at my reflection and question everything I see.

Anxiety makes me want to hide who I am because I truly hate it sometimes.

I hate staring at a phone wondering why someone hasn’t answered and rereading every word to my previous text and wondering what they are thinking.

I hate wondering if I’ve done something in the past because anxiety doesn’t let me forget my mistakes.

It brings them up every so often, reminding me of the time I messed up. And even when people have forgiven me, I still haven’t forgiven myself, regardless of how much time has passed. Anxiety makes me want to say sorry a hundred times just so the person knows.

I hate staying up at night questioning things I’ve done in the past and worrying about things that haven’t happened in the future.

I hate always worrying about things.

I hate being out in public because I’m in my own world sometimes.  Physically I’m there, but in my head, I’m not.

I hate the moments when I need to break down, only it isn’t the appropriate time to.

And I hate not knowing when something really little will set me off.

I hate the anxiety of being late even though I know everyone said not to get there on time.

I hate the worrying what people think because as much as I try and play like I don’t care, I really do.

Anxiety tells me no one likes me and here are 50 reasons why.

Anxiety makes me want to apologize for all of these things.

And when you first meet me, you won’t notice this is what I’m like.

I’ll hide it behind nail biting and tapping and excuse myself in public. I’ll hide it by listening instead of speaking. I’ll hide it behind a busy schedule and always doing things. The truth is if I’m busy I’m not thinking too much about anything other than the task at hand. At first, I’ll do everything to hide it.

Hide the fact it took me 30 minutes to make a decision weighing out every pro and con. Hide the fact it takes me two hours to get ready because in my head everything looks awful on me and anxiety tells me so. Hide the fact I have minor panic attacks if I’m late to something or if I’ve overslept. And how something so little can change a day that’s hasn’t even begun yet.

I’ll hide the fact I’m exhausted because I didn’t sleep last night thinking about something that may never happen.

And as you get to know me, you’ll begin to see how much anxiety plays a major role in my life.

And when you realize the truth, you’ll realize what I’ve had to live with most of my life. I’ll apologize for being this type of person.

I’ll apologize if it’s something you can’t second-hand deal with because there are times I can’t deal with it myself.

But at the same time, I can’t change it.

At the same time, I know I’m always going to live with this thing that dictates a lot of my life.

So I’ll always say sorry.

I’ll be sorry for the things I do and the things I don’t. But through your acceptance and understanding of something I’m still struggling to understand myself, comes a love for you and all you are.

Only lately I’ve begun to realize, you don’t have to love everything about yourself before someone else does. Sometimes it takes someone loving those bits of yourself you reject, sometimes it takes hearing someone say it’s OK to be like this. It’s only then you begin to accept yourself for all you are but more than you realize, you don’t have to be sorry.

This story is brought to you by Thought Catalog and Quote Catalog.

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Thinkstock photo via nathings.


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