‘Sorry, not sorry’: Learning to apologize less for my life with PH

Apologizing for illness isn't fair to yourself or good for mental health

Jen Cueva avatar

by Jen Cueva |

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Do you find yourself constantly apologizing for being sick? Do you also neglect to share on social media your feel-good days or your progress to avoid upsetting others in the pulmonary hypertension (PH) community? Take a moment to track how often you hold back this way over a week. You may be surprised by the answer!

I’ve felt the shame of living with a body that isn’t always functional or healthy. It creates a lot of tension and internal conflict. No one should ever be made to feel that they have to apologize for their health. Instead, recognize the strength and resilience it takes to make it through a single day of living with PH. You are strong and capable.

Don’t let apologies for things beyond your control dull your shine. You’re not alone with PH. There’s a supportive community that can relate. Come check out the PH News Forums, where I’m proud to be a co-moderator. We’d love to have you join our conversations about various topics.

Trying to control the uncontrollable will only cause further psychological distress. Instead, it’s essential to focus on what we can do. Start asking for help when needed, set boundaries, and find ways to practice self-care. If you missed it, check out my previous column on the subject.

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Let the sun shine

Even on better days, I hesitate to post on social media when I’m out doing what I enjoy. My husband, Manny, captures picturesque moments of us enjoying the Southern California lifestyle, but I often ask him not to share much online. This reticence may seem unusual to some, but it’s my way of not upsetting someone who’s not feeling their best.

I often share bits and pieces of our personal life when writing my weekly column. I want to make sure readers are aware of the ins and outs of my everyday life. Being a relatively private person, I keep certain things to myself. That said, keeping my feel-good moments or progress hidden from view isn’t fair. Managing PH can be overwhelming. Everyone deserves to bask in some sunshine daily, regardless of their health condition.

Learning not to apologize for having PH or an unwell body is a continuous work in progress. But I’m also determined to share more pictures and details of my good days, not just the difficult ones. And I love the social media accounts of those of you who do the same.

Celebrate your successes, big or small, and enjoy feeling healthy on your good days. You deserve it!

Do you ever feel that you must apologize for being sick or keeping your happiness to yourself? Please drop a comment below and let me know. Remember, you’re not alone in this feeling.

Note: Pulmonary Hypertension News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Pulmonary Hypertension News or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to pulmonary hypertension.


Ashley Buschardt avatar

Ashley Buschardt

Great article, Jen. This one really hit home with me. The struggle is real, and we shouldn't feel guilty about it! Love ya! Miss you in TX♥

Jen Cueva avatar

Jen Cueva

Hi Ashley, thanks so much for taking the time to read my column. We can work on this together, it's a constant struggle.

I miss my TX PHriends, too, not that heat and humidity. We are coming down there for the 4th weekend. But we will be with family and probably not too much time in between resting, in the AC, I'm sure. Who else leaves 73 degrees and still no AC on to the Houston summer heat? Hehe.

It means so much that you took the time to leave a comment, too. Love, hugs, and feel good vibes are coming your way.💜

MamaBear007 avatar


Just a thought on sharing your brighter moments when you're having a good day... I've found it gives hope to those having their bad moments that there just might be a silver lining in the cloud that is their life. At least this is what I've been told who have been blessed enough to read about the happy days of others. 💜

Jen Cueva avatar

Jen Cueva

Hi Mamabear, thanks so much for taking the time to read my column. I'm grateful that you feel the need to leave a comment. You make an important point, some need the joyous feel good moments to look at when they are in a dark season. I am one who is inspired by watching others do well. We all need those silver linings when we are struggling.

Thanks again for reminding me of this important fact. In general,most would agree, or, so I would hope so.

Take care and enjoy the rest of your week. 💜

John Nightingale avatar

John Nightingale

Good on you Jen for saying what a lot of us are feeling
Well put, as a fellow PH person it is hard for other people to understand what we go through
New Zealand

Jen Cueva avatar

Jen Cueva

Wow, thank you for taking the time to read this column, John! While writing this, I thought many out there can relate. We shouldn't need to apologize, others should be accepting. Unfortunately, they don't always get it, like us with experience.

I'm grateful we have each other to support. Hope to see you in the forums this week.


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