Parkinson’s symptoms – No need to apologise

I used to apologise a lot and not because I was always making mistakes. I would apologise constantly because I felt bad. ‘Sorry to keep chasing you’ (at work), ‘Sorry I can’t help you’ and the classic – always apologising when someone wasn’t looking where they were going and bumped into me. Some time after I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, I read an article about how people with low self esteem are always apologising. I was never super-confident, but I hadn’t thought of myself as having particularly low self esteem before. But I realised that I definitely apologised a lot for things that weren’t my responsibility. Once I recognised this, I made a conscious effort to break this habit. I believe this helped to increase my confidence.

It’s not that I stopped saying sorry completely. I have always believed that when you make a mistake, it’s best to accept responsibility for it, apologise, and fix it where possible. I continued to apologise in those instances and I still do.

More recently, I found myself apologising when I felt bad for not being able to do things – because of my Parkinson’s symptoms. “I’m sorry, I’m a bit slow”, “I’m sorry to have to ask you to write”, “I’m sorry I can’t make it”. When I thought about it, it’s as though I was apologising for having Parkinson’s! I decided (again) to break this habit. Instead of apologising, I now say things like: “I’m struggling a bit, do you mind helping me please?” “Please bear with me, I’m a bit slow right now as my meds haven’t kicked in yet.” “One of my Parkinson’s symptoms is less energy, so although I’d really like to come, I need to pace myself and have a rest this weekend. I hope you understand.” Those around me are always understanding and are always willing to help. I don’t feel as bad for not being able to do things now. It seems my previous constant apologies for things that I wasn’t responsible for – including my Parkinson’s symptoms – were unnecessary.

When it comes to apologising, I try to apologise when it’s appropriate. I’ve learned when it comes to my Parkinson’s symptoms, there’s no need to apologise.

*About the photo in this blog: Thank you to my friend Karen for the photo of her beautiful Cavelier Maisy. Maisy was a very special dog and I’m honoured to have her feature in one of my blogs.


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