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The 3 Words I Say Too Much as Someone With Anxiety

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Three words, eight letters: I am sorry.

These three words flood my thoughts and flash before my eyes like bright fluorescent lights. These three words are permanently held on the tip of my tongue. This cluster of words cling to me, refusing to let go. Determined to be used time after time, these words won’t release me from their hold.

I am sorry.

Rationally I tell myself I am allowed to have emotions, and that there is not a single person who expects me to be an emotionless robot. Yet it seems like I continuously forget that I am human. These three words spew out of my mouth every time I breakdown or fall apart. I am sorry that no matter how many times you reassure me, I still feel like a burden and overflow with anxiety that causes me to say these three words we both dread.

I am sorry.

When I am feeling anxious or struggling with my depression, my go-to’s usually have an effect on you in some way. I either isolate myself or lash out on those around me. Neither of these coping mechanism are ideal for myself or those around me. I truly apologize I am not always the friend I try so hard to portray myself as. When this facade breaks I am not the supportive, approachable, kind person you are usually surrounded by.

I am sorry.

That I have used these three words an immeasurable amount of times. I say this phrase so often, these three words no longer hold the genuine meaning they once held. I constantly apologize, out of fear that with one wrong move, you’ll leave me. No matter how hard I try, my anxiety convinces me I have done something wrong. I am sorry that I have overused this phrase to the point where it is no longer holds the meaning that once encompassed it.

I am sorry.

I do not understand why these three words are at the top of my vocabulary. Nor do I understand why I continue to apologize for the feelings and actions caused by my mental health disorders. Why would someone apologize for something they don’t have control over? My anxiety is not a choice and is something I have little control over. Apologizing to those around me for my anxiety is pointless, as it holds little meaning and does not leave sufficient room for growth. I will no longer use these three words in context to my anxiety — instead, I will thank those around me.

Thank you for reassuring me and making sure I am OK.

Thank you for understanding that my anxiety causes me to do things I usually wouldn’t do

Thank you for listening to me, even though we both know my thoughts are irrational.

Thank you.

This new phrase is how I — and in my opinion, everyone else — should address others concerning their mental health. Not only is it genuine, but it opens new doors for growth. Stop apologizing to people for the things you cannot control and begin giving thanks to these people for their constant support.

Getty image via ksuklein

Originally published: April 9, 2019
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