The Mighty Logo

Why I Want to Say Sorry to Anyone With a Chronic Illness

The most helpful emails in health
Browse our free newsletters

People say a lot of things. Some human beings have the capacity to talk forever, it seems. They complain, they rant, they get mad, they explain themselves. They go on and on, but very rarely do you ever hear the words that most need to be said… and heard.

“I’m sorry.”

I came across a quote which suggested if we accept we will never get an apology — a sincere apology, I assume — life will somehow become easier. When we accept the apology we never got, life becomes easier? I don’t how true that is because they also say, “better late than never.”

But sometimes, it is too late — too late to save the marriage, too late to cure the disease, too late to repair a broken relationship, too late to see that dream come true. This isn’t meant to be discouraging — no, it’s just one of the realities of life — but I think it’s healing to hear someone is sorry for what you are going through, especially when that person knows what it is to go through what you are going through.

So, here it is…

I’m sorry for all the ways society stigmatizes you and puts you in a box you don’t fit in. I’m sorry you get treated so shitty by doctors and medical professionals who are supposed to be caring for you and helping you.

I’m sorry your family misunderstands you or has abandoned you when you needed them most.

I’m sorry you are not always taken seriously.

I’m sorry for all the harsh remarks and unkind words you receive on a weekly basis.

I’m sorry you often feel invisible and left out.

I’m sorry you grieve over what you have lost, things that can never be and things that never were.

I’m sorry people label you as “negative” when, in reality, you are fighting for your life and sometimes it gets too much to bear.

I’m sorry people forget your birthday when they seem to remember everything else rather easily.

I’m sorry your life did not turn out as planned.

I’m sorry it often feels that everyone has forgotten about you because people are too busy dealing with their pain to notice yours.

I’m sorry that so many people place so many expectations on you.

I’m sorry you place so many expectations on yourself.

I’m sorry that all of your extra money goes to prescription costs, doctor visits and medical tests.

But, most of all, I’m sorry I had to write this because it shouldn’t have come from me, but instead from that person or those people you needed most to hear it from. And I’m sorry that even if you got that apology, it would be too little, too late.

And for everything else… I’m sorry.

Follow this journey on the author’s blog.

Photo by Afa Ah Loo on Unsplash

Originally published: August 1, 2019
Want more of The Mighty?
You can find even more stories on our Home page. There, you’ll also find thoughts and questions by our community.
Take Me Home