3 Things You Should Never Apologize For

Most of the time, I fit in just fine.

Nothing about my disorder—well managed, well medicated, well closeted—causes disturbance others would recognize. Even last week, when I dipped down into despair because of medication management issues, I somehow smiled my way through my pain in public before sobbing into my pillow once I got home.

At a bachelorette party in the Hamptons this past weekend, my mood had improved considerably and I was able to enjoy myself. But because just a few days prior I’d been suffering, I wanted to be vigilant about self-care. It can be hard to assert your needs when those needs are different than everyone else’s.

That said, here are some things none of us should have to apologize for or explain.

1. Not Drinking

I can’t drink more than a glass or two of wine. More than that interferes with my medication and I start to feel depressed. I haven’t been a teenager since the 90s, and yet I still experience peer pressure to drink from well-intentioned friends who want me to have fun. “I really can’t drink,” I tell them. No apology. Just fact.

2. Sleeping In

If I could have a superpower, I think it would be not to fly or to freeze time but to simply be a short sleeper. Unfortunately, I need 8-9 hours to feel rested. In relationships or on vacations with friends who are early risers, I’ve found myself apologizing for sleeping late in the past. But now I’ve come to accept that this is just part of who I am.

3. Feeling Sad

Over the weekend, I spent time with an acquaintance who is always upbeat, cheerful. I so admire her disposition. But I am not her. These days, smiling takes effort. Optimism is hard; crying is easy. I’m not particularly proud when I feel this way, but I understand that this too shall pass. And I’m not about to apologize for my feelings.





8 thoughts on “3 Things You Should Never Apologize For

  1. As a soon to be medicated student at university I’m definitely finding the prospect of not drinking the most daunting. Not necessarily because I’ll miss the alcohol, but more because I’m worried about having to explain and defend my reasons as to why! It’s really supportive to know that it’s a problem shared and that it’s nothing to apologise to others for, after all, I’m sure they’d prefer a sober and more emotionally-stable friend than a drunk and depressed one. Thanks for sharing!


    • That’s a really good point about “having bipolar disorder.” And I agree that bipolar disorder is only a part of us. Sometimes, it feels life-consuming. But most days it’s just in the background as part of the truth that I live with.


  2. I love this post. It’s a good reminder that we are our own best and most important charge, and that taking care of ourselves is our business, no one else’s.

    I have finally learned to say no to alcohol, because it puts me so easily right under the table, and I don’t like the way that feels. Harder for me is saying goodnight to everyone before the party’s over…I’m an early riser, and a morning person, and I have decided that getting my shut-eye is more important than yawning through a late evening just to be sociable. My friends know not to call me after 8 pm, because I’m winding down with a good book and giving myself the downtime I really really love and NEED!

    Feeling sad, mad, lonely, bad…whatever! It’s all MINE and if I don’t own it, it only gets worse. Thanks for sharing. I’m with you all the way here!


    • I have the same problem with saying goodnight before the party is over! I’m actually just about to write something about this because I think my not-sleeping enough over the holiday weekend really put my mood out of whack. Thanks so much for sharing.


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