Things I Won’t Apologize For…

I won’t apologize for being sarcastic.

This is my social coping mechanism. It is a part of my personality that has built up in layers over the years as a way to safely interact with a world that can be scary and hurtful.

I won’t apologize for laughing inappropriately.

It’s a reflex. It’s my escape hatch. It’s a way to throw people off of their game and get them to potentially laugh along with me. If they are laughing with me, the aren’t laughing at me.

I won’t apologize for spending my money.

I know I’m not good at saving money. The mania doesn’t help but it’s not a blanket excuse. I work hard. I am single. I have nobody to support other than myself. If that pretty patent leather purse or that trip to Morocco help me feel better,  then let me have them please.

I won’t apologize for not talking about my childhood.

It sucked. I’ve talked about it enough. I’d rather talk about the future and the things I can change, not those that I can’t. My past has made me who I am today, for better or worse. I prefer to leave it alone.

I won’t apologize for not having children.

Children, for many reasons, did not fit into my life story. I’m ok with that. You should be too. I refuse to buy into the misconception that this makes me any less of a woman or any less of a whole, successful person.

I won’t apologize for having to take meds.

I have to take them, I do not have a choice. No, I can’t “taper off of them over time” or “practice mindfulness instead”. They are a permanent fixture in my life whether I want to take them or not. And trust me, I hate it way more than you hate it for me.

I won’t apologize for my independence.

My independence was forced upon me. Not in a literal way but in a way to keep me from going over the edge. If I have built walls, they have been to keep me in, not to keep you out. Ok, maybe a little to keep you out, but only because letting you in scares me.

I won’t apologize for the way I look.

Yes I am a work in progress and yes I care about the way I look, but if I’m not up to doing my hair or wearing makeup today, it’s because I have a good reason. If I’m in inappropriately comfortable shoes it’s because I want to be appropriately comfortable, not because I don’t care about being feminine. If I hide behind what’s left of my extra weight, don’t take it personally. I’ll come out eventually.

I won’t apologize for being angry right now.

This post may read as defiant and defensive. I don’t let it out often but I’m learning that letting it out allows me to let some of it go. I’ve experienced what happens when anger is kept inside and it is not a healthy thing.

And most of all…I won’t apologize for my mental illness.

If I could wish it away, I would. But I’m stuck with it and it with me. Don’t let my “highly functioning” lifestyle fool you. I struggle daily. I struggle along with everyone else who has ever been judged or pre-judged by the label of their disorder. I struggle to get out of bed. I struggle through the work day. I struggle to maintain my close and not-so-close friendships, and I come home at night and struggle to fall asleep. Then I do it all over again the next day. We are all climbing our own mountain so let’s not push each other down. I will keep my illness a secret from you if I feel it is necessary. If you know about it, then you are a trusted confidant.

What I will apologize for is if any of the above traits have caused you pain or sadness.

I do not wish those on anyone, even the ones who have hurt me. At the end of it all, I’m just trying to get through the day and find what joy I can find out of life. And there is joy to be found, I have seen it.

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