Apologies & Recognition

Yesterday I went out with one of my relatives. While I did become slightly anxious and needed their help coming and going, I think that all and all, I did pretty well. I got through the experience and for a long time, that was something that seemed impossible.

Even though I ended up doing okay, once I was back in the car, I found myself apologizing that I struggled a little. Now, sometimes, even much later on, I realize how difficult my anxiety might have been to deal with. However, later on yesterday after I had calmed down, I realized that I really didn’t do too horribly. I went out, I stayed the entire time, and I even enjoyed myself for a little bit before I became anxious. All in all, I did an okay job. The thing is, though, that for some reason I still felt guilty.

I think part of the reason that I feel guilty so often is because I wish that I didn’t struggle at all. I wish that I could do things without feeling so anxious – without asking at times for help from others. The thing that I have to remember though is that I have made progress and that the journey to get through anxiety is often one that takes a lot of hard work. It doesn’t happen over night.

Also, while I’m not trying to play the blame game, there are some people who seem to try to make us feel guilty. They come off (and might well be) as embarrassed of our struggle. Sometimes their feelings are quite obvious and this can be hard to deal with. After all, it’s hard enough for us to go through this let alone witness our loved ones being embarrassed of our issues.

We need to remember to count on ourselves for approval and recognition. Yesterday after apologizing to my relative, she said, “Sometimes you just need to push through”. While this may be true, I also think she tends not to realize how hard ‘pushing through’ anxiety can really be. Sometimes it is so strong that it doesn’t just allow you to step through its hold.

Instead of apologizing yesterday, I should have simply told myself that I did pretty well. I should have just mentally assessed that while I could do better next time, there was a time when I would have struggled even more. If my relative couldn’t see that, it’s too bad. Relying on her to tell me how well I did was pointless – especially when she tends to only see the mistakes I make or struggles that occur.

Apologizing isn’t always a bad thing. Sometimes when I really feel like I’ve caused a lot of frustration because someone had to deal with my anxiety, I think apologizing is the right thing to do. However, there are times when no matter what, you can’t satisfy the person who you’re dealing with. Sometimes no matter how hard you try, if you’re not absolutely struggle-free, they’ll grow angry.

The bottom line is this – we are not burdens. While our anxiety might be frustrating for both ourselves and others, we’re not burdens and it is not our fault that we struggle. As long as we are trying our hardest on a consistent basis to get better, this is what matters.

There may be times when others try to make us feel guilty for struggling with anxiety or other issues. There may even be times when others grow embarrassed of our struggles – maybe you’ve been embarrassed of your struggle yourself. I know I have. I hate to admit it, but it’s true.

Please know that you don’t have to be embarrassed of your struggle. You are not alone. We all go through things. While we may all struggle in different ways, we all deal with hardships. Whether or not it always feels like it, there are people whom you can trust and who will support you.

11 Replies to “Apologies & Recognition”

  1. Hi, just wanted to thank you for making this post. I can certainly relate to feeling like a burden on my family when my anxiety is particularly bad. Thank you for making me feel like I’m not alone. I just found your blog and will definitely be sticking around to see more!

    1. I’m happy I could help and I’m sorry that you sometimes feel like a burden – you’re not. Sometimes there are just people who find it hard to understand what we’re going through. You are never alone and if you ever need someone to talk to, I’m here!

  2. Sometimes – maybe even most times, but especially when you’re struggling – you have to say to heck with what other people think. Their embarrassment isn’t as difficult as your struggle, nor are they trying harder than you.

    It’s actually good advice for the person feeling embarrassed too. What other people think won’t affect your life as much as dealing with your anxiety & facing your fears.

    By making your issue about them (they’re embarrassed by your struggle), it helps no one. It can only make it harder on you. ❤

    1. Thank you so much for your comment, Ariel! While it’s hard not to become upset at the fact that others might be embarrassed by our struggles, we have to remember that as long as we’re trying our hardest, that’s what is important. Trying to impress everyone 100% of the time will only cause more anxiety!

      1. Also, remember that another person being embarrassed, especially if someone hasn’t said anything about it to them & they’re pre-emptively embarrassed, is their problem. You can’t work on someone else’s issue – they should work on it as hard as you do your anxiety!

  3. Apologizing is a major occurrence with anxiety and a slew of other mental health issues. It’s learned from a young age (especially if the issues manifested then) when people become frustrated with something you can’t control. It’s also, unfortunately, a sign of emotional abuse and gaslighting. We learn to apologize for our emotions, feelings, and seeming deficiencies. It’s kind of infuriating that we feel the need to apologize for things that aren’t our fault, but it’s kind of a survival mechanism.

    People who don’t have anxiety really don’t understand how hard it is to “just push through.” Whenever I hear any phrase that starts with “just,” I prepare myself for a dismissal and/or an inadequate assessment of a complex problem. If I could “just push through” easily, I wouldn’t struggle so hard. This is not to say you shouldn’t try, but I’ve found that I do much better when I *don’t* feel pressured from someone else, someone who might be impatient with me. Knowing I have reliable support makes it much easier to deal with my internal problems, because I know I won’t also have to worry about embarrassing or holding up someone else.

    1. Thank you and I completely agree! It’s much easier and more relaxing when you’re around people who you know will be patient and supportive. We may still feel anxious, but there’s not as much pressure to be ‘perfect’. Unfortunately, there still will be times when we have to deal with less understanding individuals, which is why we need to remember that if we’re trying our hardest to get through our anxiety and over our obstacles, that’s all that matters. Thank you for your thoughtful comment!

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