I'm Not Sorry I Have Bipolar Disorder

July 12, 2018 Natasha Tracy

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I'm tired of feeling sorry that I have bipolar disorder. I don't mean feeling sorry for myself -- that's a different thing -- I mean feeling sorry for the very fact that I am sick. I mean feeling sorry for the very fact that I am the one with the serious mental illness. And this feeling sorry about bipolar disorder is wearing on one's being. I, for one, don't want to feel sorry that I have bipolar disorder anymore.

Why Would You Feel Sorry You Have Bipolar Disorder?

I think the reason why I feel sorry I have bipolar disorder is because of me really feeling sorry about the negative effects bipolar disorder has on me, my environment and the people around me. These deleterious effects include me not keeping a decent living space, me not being the best friend and me not taking care of myself enough.

All of these are common problems for those with mental illness and it's also common to feel bad about them. And all that feeling bad about the issues surrounding bipolar disorder rolls up into just feeling sorry about having bipolar disorder. 

I Feel Sorry for Having Bipolar Disorder and It Sucks

Because I have the tendency to feel sorry I have bipolar disorder I sort of feel like I owe everyone an apology (Bipolar -- I'm Sorry I'm Sick). I'm sorry to my kitties for not washing our their food bowls more often. I'm sorry to my friend for the wedding I couldn't attend. I'm sorry to my mother who had to walk into my apartment and see a dirty mess beyond all dirty messes. It's not that people such an apology is demanded, it's just that I feel it deep inside. It's guilt, I suppose -- guilt for having such an unbearable illness.

And, of course, feeling this guilt and feeling sorry that I have bipolar disorder is really crummy for me (Bipolar Disorder and Guilt Over Sunny Days). Bipolar disorder takes up a huge amount of time and a huge amount of me. So I feel like I'm apologizing for me. "I'm sorry this is me. I know it sucks."

Sorry, I'm Not Sorry I Have Bipolar Disorder

But today, I want to declare that I don't want to be sorry I have bipolar disorder. I want to state that I'm not sorry for having bipolar disorder.* I'm not sorry it's in my brain (Losing a Fight with My Bipolar Brain). I'm not sorry that I'm sick. I'm not sorry for the illness in me.

This not-being-sorry thing is tricky because of the guilt I seem to have internalized, but that said, I want to work on it. While I'll always be sorry if I hurt another person, that sorry need to be separated from an intrinsic "sorryness" that results from me simply having an illness that isn't my fault and that I didn't ask to have.

So today I proudly say, "I'm sorry, I'm not sorry I have bipolar disorder."

I'm not going to feel guilty about it.  

This conviction might only last for today, but I'll take it. 

* By the way, this isn't the same thing as wishing I didn't have bipolar disorder at all. Oh no, I still feel that. This is about guilt and not my preference not to have a serious mental illness.

APA Reference
Tracy, N. (2018, July 12). I'm Not Sorry I Have Bipolar Disorder, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 13 from

Author: Natasha Tracy

Natasha Tracy is a renowned speaker, award-winning advocate, and author of Lost Marbles: Insights into My Life with Depression & Bipolar. She's also the host of the podcast Snap Out of It! The Mental Illness in the Workplace Podcast.

Find Natasha Tracy on her blog, Bipolar BurbleTwitter, InstagramFacebook, and YouTube.

Steven B. Uhrik
July, 14 2018 at 9:29 pm

Dear Natasha,
I'm awed that you are so transparent and up front about yourself!
Imagine a world where we would stop playing games and admit to who we are! Ok, here is my transparency; I have battled major depressive illness, MDD, since I was a child. No shame, no blame, but it held me back until I admitted it and began my recovery!
It set me free to accept it and made me stronger. No one can shame you when you are transparent!
We all work to conquer the stigma when we are honest and humble about our personal issues and we also gain an extraordinary amount of positive self regard in the process!
Steven B. Uhrik, LCSW, CEAP
I greatly admire you!

July, 17 2018 at 4:16 am

Once again, you have given me hope and a little self esteem. Excellent article!

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