It was a hungover brunch like any other.
After waking up with mascara on our pillows and a collective, seething need for coffee, my friends and I gathered around a table-for-four at the place with the shortest wait. We rehashed stories of the night before, each of us filling in pieces of the timeline that were unclear to others. Finally, the conversation shifted to me and the visibly heated conversation I apparently had with a guy at one of our go-to bars. By heated, I just mean I was yelling. We’ve all been there, right?
It was a hazy memory, but I’ll blame that on my desire to forget the night’s events just as much as I’ll blame it on my fourth vodka water. I cringed, and I whipped out my phone to see the slew of text messages I had sent to the guy in question the night before. I’d been seeing this guy for two months, so I asked him on my date function. He said he couldn’t go because he had an exam the same night. While pregaming said date function (which I took a platonic friend on) at the bar, I saw him slinging gin with his hand on another girl’s thigh. I’m no finance bro, but I’d guess that’s no way to prepare for an accounting exam.
Hence the yelling. And the texting.
I started typing three little words that I’ve typed during many a hungover brunch: “Sorry I’m psycho.” But before I pressed that blue arrow and sent my condolences to his cracked iPhone, I stopped myself.
I wondered, why the hell am I about to apologize for being a living thing with emotions, which were in response to a guy’s shitty actions? And better yet, why am I using the term “psycho” — as in psychotic, as in suffering from psychosis, as in a lost contact with reality which often includes hallucinations or delusion — for acting like a person who is not that?
Until now, the quick fix for any mess-up in the man department was easy. I basically had a script:
Facetimed you six times after you left me alone at a bar? “Sorry I’m crazy.”
Accidentally texted you a screenshot of a text conversation I was having with you? “Sorry I’m insane.”
Got kind of upset you completely forgot about our plans to hang out? “Sorry I’m psycho.”
Okay, some of these situations probably do warrant an “I’m sorry” text. But we have to stop blaming our mistakes on mental states that most of us, thankfully, are not experiencing. By saying “sorry I’m psycho,” we’re also saying “I had nothing to do with my choices,” as well as “you had nothing to do with my choices.” Low-key, both are usually false.
Why blame it on the alcohol when you can blame it on the crazy? A few reasons. Using mental illness, which affects millions of people, to casually cover for our questionable behaviors is not cool, for one. Two, by using these terms with such ease, we’re subconsciously subscribing to the notion that we’re just the “crazy girls” we were all created to be. We’re gas-lighting ourselves, and shows like “Crazy Ex Girlfriend” and songs like “Blank Space” don’t exactly help. Neither do well-meaning “Relax! You’re being crazy!” lines our friends use on us. We’re told by the world, both subliminally and obviously, that women are biologically less sane than men. Now we’re telling it to ourselves, too. If that’s not enough, we’re telling it to people who have upset us—in the same breath as we apologize to them for feeling our feelings.
I’m no longer apologizing for “being psycho.” I’m done with the narrative that we’re all just bitches who have no chill. Let’s start phasing out this kind of talk from the brunch tables, texts, Snapchat messages, and Twitter DMs from that time you deleted their number so you wouldn’t feel tempted to text them. Whoops.
Next time you find yourself typing that “Sorry I’m -” message, take a breather. Rethink the situation and decide what you really mean. Apologize for going a little overboard. Apologize for letting your valid feelings of disappointment cloud your judgement. Apologize for accidentally liking that picture of his ex from 133 weeks ago. But do not apologize for being human..
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