Before you continue, I already know what you’re going to say—that I don’t have to apologize.
But as I sit here, moments after a fight, and you’ve left for work, and I am left alone to my thoughts, all that comes to mind is how sorry I am. So, here goes:
I shouldn’t have to apologize for my depression, but I am sorry.
I shouldn’t have to apologize for my anxiety, but I am sorry.
I shouldn’t have to apologize for needing you to support me, but I am sorry.
I shouldn’t have to apologize for overreacting emotionally, but I am sorry.
The truth is: I hate that I am this way. I hate that getting out of bed is a struggle most days. I hate that I have an anxiety attack at the beginning of most weeks. I hate that I hurt, and that my hurting hurts you. I hate it all.
I also hate that you hate it.
We can tell each other until we’re blue in the face that we love “all” of one another, but I know that you, just like me, hurt from my depression and get frustrated with my anxiety.
But most of all, I hate that sometimes, I can’t be there for you the way that you need me to be.
I wish I could shut off my brain and tell my depression to go away for a few days. I wish I could stop an anxiety attack to tell you that everything is okay and that we will be fine. I wish I could hold you when we’re both feeling sh*tty instead of waiting for you to put your own emotions aside. I wish I could calm your stressors while mine simultaneously disappear.
We both know that I am terrible at these things, and I am sorry.
I’m also sorry that I love you too much to let you go be with someone else.
You could probably find someone with a perfectly healthy mental state. You could so easily find someone who doesn’t take 20 minutes to get ready for a date because tight clothes won’t make them uncomfortable. You would have no problem falling for someone who is able to take care of you 100 percent of the time, who can put aside their pain to help you deal with yours.
But I can’t let you go, so I’m sorry.
In addition to an apology, I also offer you a promise.
I promise you that I will keep trying. My mental health is a demon that I will battle every day. Some days, I won’t win, but I promise that I will get up and try again the next day.
It may take me years to understand my anxiety, but I promise that I will keep trying to take the necessary steps to prevent anxiety attacks. I may slip up and say things that I don’t mean when I’m upset, but I promise that I will keep trying to slow down my racing thoughts and stay in control of my emotions.
I promise to work through my moments of weakness, to process through my anxious thoughts, and to find the positives of life when depression storms through my day.
I promise that I will love you.
I promise that I will love you, even when I find it impossible to love myself.
I promise that I will love you for staying.
I promise that I will love you for making me feel safe enough to break down.
I promise that I will love you for every second you hold my hand and breathe with me during panic attacks.
I promise that I will love you for helping me out of bed, even if it may not seem like it. Honestly, getting me out of bed is one of the best things you could do for me.
I promise that I will love you for being strong for me. I know how hard this is, and you do it so gracefully.
I promise that I will love you in every season, through every high and low, and in every moment of every day.
You may not realize it, but by loving me, you are showing me how to love myself. And by forgiving me, you are showing me how to forgive myself.
We can do this together. We will beat this together.
Author: Kelsey Canalin
Image: Antoine K/Flickr
Editor: Travis May