I am sorry.
I am sorry for misunderstanding, for minimizing, for suggesting that you should "relax" or find a way to distract from what is making you anxious.
I am sorry for being impatient, for getting frustrated, for feeling as if your concerns were trivial.
I am sorry for being ignorant of your pain.
I am sorry for being dismissive of your needs, wants, fears, desires, and concerns simultaneously.
I am sorry for letting myself believe I was compassionate and understanding of your situation.
I am sorry that it has taken a global pandemic, economic malfunction, and widespread panic to make me understand even the slightest sliver of your daily experience.
I am sorry that you must have gone through nights of unexplained insomnia.
I am sorry that while you've watched Netflix movies with your family, your heart has fluttered inside your chest and your stomach has dropped out of your body and everything has felt like it's in a haze for no apparent reason.
I am sorry if you have felt afraid driving in the car with the windows shut or taking a trip to a crowded store or having a conversations with strangers in the park.
I am sorry for ever using the phrase, "we need to talk later."
I am sorry for thinking that my nail-biting and cuticle-picking and knuckle-cracking were manifestations of something similar to your experience.
I am sorry for ever judging those with a Xanax prescription, those who use essential oils, or melatonin to simply get fifteen minutes of peace, of rest.
I am sorry that you need those things to achieve peace, to rest.
I am sorry for making things seem small when in fact they are large, for identifying the problem with no solution, for suggesting deep breaths and meditation as the end-all, be-all of treatment.
I am sorry that none of those things actually work when the panic has bubbled up to the surface and dizziness threatens to make you faint.
I am sorry that I had to experience it myself before I realized how much of a fool I have been.
I am sorry for all of it.
Can you forgive me?