I didn’t have any plans of turning ‘Sorry Not Sorry’ into a two part blog until the experience I had Friday night. If you haven’t read the original blog, you can do so here.
‘Sorry Not Sorry’ has become such a popular phrase that it has even inspired Demi Lovato to do an entire song around it—it has sparked countless social media post—and it has even motivated me to write a two part blog about it.
I know! It’s crazy popular, right?
Why is it so popular, though?
First, let’s take a look at the meaning of the phrase.
The statement, ‘sorry not sorry’ is typically used, sarcastically, to express a lack of guilt for one’s behavior which is usually considered intentional.
Perhaps its growth in popularity is because in the politically correct world we live in, people became tired of constantly apologizing for every little thing they said, did, or felt. To counteract that apology fatigue, so to speak, the collective internet came up with a phrase that would enable people to say and do what they wanted while letting the world know they don’t really care who they upset in the process.
The phrase has sense grown as the anthem of empowerment for people who are tired of apologizing for being who they are. Stay at home dads, overweight women, nerds, goths, working mothers, gays have all adapted this statement to tell the world that they don’t care about the opinions of others because they are going to do what is right for them.
Though the original blog post was born from the need to quit apologizing, that was only half of it. The phrase ‘sorry not sorry’ is typically used when a person can control their behavior but chooses not to.
I wanted to illustrate for people with chronic illness, however, that we can’t control our “behavior” for lack of a better word. We didn’t ask to be sick, we aren’t choosing to be sick therefore we should stop apologizing for being sick.
That last paragraph makes me laugh. Why, you ask?
Oh, don’t worry. I still believe those words with every fiber of my being—but believing and putting into practice are two entirely different things.
This brings us to why I decided to write a part two to ‘Sorry Not Sorry’.
Recently, I had a procedure done to help my violent Meniere’s episodes which are accompanied with debilitating and terrifying dizziness and vomiting that last for many hours.
For a month, I received relief from these bi-weekly episodes I had grown accustomed to experiencing.
During this month, I experienced some dizziness that ranged in severity but would usually go away once I would lie down for an hour or so. I began to worry less and less the more days that passed without a major episode—that is, until this past Friday.
Every Friday, my husband goes to play Magic—not the magicians pulling rabbits out of a hat type of magic. It’s a card game called Magic the Gathering. It’s a nerd thing…
Anyway, he does this every Friday night except on the nights when I am far too sick for him to leave me alone. Since my procedure had seemed to be helping, we thought that this Friday would be a guarantee.
While eating dinner, I began getting light headed. I still wasn’t worried, even when the light headedness morphed into full blown dizziness. My husband kept asking me if I needed him to stay home. My response was always the same. “No, I’m sure it will pass”. Ever since the procedure, my dizziness had been ‘passing’ so I had no reason to believe this would be any different.
He had his stuff packed up and ready to go but before he left, I asked him to help me to the bedroom so I could lie down. He asked once again if I wanted him to stay home—again, I declined his offer.
I went to the bathroom before making my way to the bed and as soon as I opened the bathroom door to exit, my husband took one look at me and knew he couldn’t leave me.
That’s right. Meniere’s was attacking me—and hard! I apologized to him that he couldn’t go to Magic. One apology doesn’t seem so bad…but it didn’t stop there.
The entire night, I apologized for ruining his evening. I apologized that he had to take care of me. I apologized for being sick. I apologized when I needed help to the bathroom. I apologized while vomiting over my designated vomit pan—hey, who said chronic illness was glamorous? I apologized for things I had no control over. The entire night, I apologized.
Never once did he make me feel like I had anything to apologize for—but guilt is a funny thing with many layers. Something doesn’t have to be your fault for you to feel guilty about it.
‘Sorry not sorry’ was not in my vocabulary that evening.
How could I write a blog post telling others to stop apologizing for being sick when I wasn’t able to do it? Maybe I did it out of habit. Maybe I truly felt guilty about ruining his evening. Whatever the reason, I couldn’t apologize enough.
My husband was able to tell how sick I was before I even knew how sick I was. If anything, I should thank him, not apologize to him.
I did thank him that evening, many times. However, that didn’t prevent me from saying those two words that implies I am at fault for my circumstances. As many times as I uttered “I’m sorry” is as many times as I was told to stop apologizing.
I guess it’s true what they say. It is easier to give advice than to take it—for that reason, I am revising the ending to my original blog post.
I am not in any position to tell people to STOP apologizing for the illnesses they have no control over.
Instead, I am going to issue a challenge if you choose to accept. A challenge is more of a goal. Instead of demanding you stop apologizing, I will challenge you to make it a goal.
I challenge all chronic illness warriors, myself included, to create a mindset that will enable them to be ‘sorry not sorry’ from here on out. If you accept this challenge, copy the pledge below and paste it in the comments with your own name. Let’s be SORRY NOT SORRY together!
I, (insert name), hereby promise to work on the mindset that will enable me to be sorry not sorry. I will remember that my illness is not my fault, therefore, I have no reason to assume guilt. I will no longer apologize for things that are outside of my control. I will continue to maintain the stance of sorry not sorry as it pertains to my disease. I am a chronic illness warrior and I am sorry not sorry!