I apologize for everything. I apologize for apologizing. I hate feeling like someone has had to take time away from themselves to focus on my problems. My anxiety tells me that I’m annoying and my problems are petty and stupid. It tells me I overreact and I’m just causing problems for the people around me by spewing my sob stories onto them. I didn’t tell my parents about my mental illness until I was a senior in high school. Even then, my friend had to tell them for me. I would have panic attacks in school at a young age, but I wouldn’t let nurses or guidance counselors call home. The thought of one of my parents having to interrupt their day to worry about me was so horrifying and riddled me with so much guilt. I began to feel ashamed for having problems. I felt this need to protect my family from me. They had so much going on in their life they didn’t need my stuff on top of that. I convinced myself this was for the better; that I was doing something good. It was a horrible decision and I continue to regret it. I feel disconnected from my friends and family. I mention some of my problems, but never tell them the true extent. My parents always tell me how proud they are of me for making progress, so how could I tell them that I still stay up at night wishing I wasn’t here? They’d be disappointed. Ashamed. Worried. I don’t want that. I’d rather lie to them and have them think I’m okay, then have them have to worry about me on top of everything else they have going on. I apologize for everything. Expressing any sort of emotion or opinion I feel is too intrusive to the listener. I hold back so much and only speak when asked. If I’m asked, I still try to be as vague as possible. Who wants to listen to me complain? I’m sure everyone is sick of me talking about my blog by now. I feel so guilty when I bring it up. It still doesn’t feel like an accomplishment to me. My blog post was the first time most people new about my struggle with body dysmorphia. I felt so embarrassed that I couldn’t do basic human activities, like sleep and eat, normally. My anxiety told me I was a failure. I still have to fight with it, and say that it’s not true, but it’s hard when you don’t really believe what you’re fighting for. I don’t want to think of myself as a burden. My life is as important as anyone else’s and I have a right to have emotions and have my needs met. Talk to people in your life. Don’t be afraid of the people close to you. There are so many people out there who love you and would do anything to help you if they knew you were hurting. You aren’t fighting this battle alone.