This is a transcription of my podcast episode on ANDWHY. Media about toxic relationships. If you want to hear the episode instead, click here.
This article today is taken from ANDWHY. Media’s podcast. I felt that this episode was valuable enough for me to repost on this blog. I hope this helps you on your personal journey in living your best life, especially one that involves good relationships, with yourself and others.
“Today’s episode is me opening up on the toxic relationships that I had over the years. This goes without saying, I’m sure if you’ve pressed on this episode, you probably have someone in mind that you feel was toxic, whether it was a friend, family member, or someone you’ve dated. And in certain cases, maybe the person who is toxic, is yourself. Whether you’re the toxic person to yourself or to other people.
As I was writing this episode, all those relationships crossed my mind but to my surprise, I’m actually very grateful to have experienced them. I easily forgive people and generally I know toxic relationships play a vital role in my life because not only did I recognize what was toxic, I recognized what wasn’t. It was easier for me to identify all the amazing friends, family, and romantic partners I have once I can distinguish what wasn’t right for me. It also taught me the value of boundaries and the art of being kind to myself.
Now, I do have to point out that what defines a toxic relationship is different for everyone. For me, toxic relationships are anyone, including yourself, that no longer serves to help you be the best version of yourself and all they do is dim or dampen who you are. Of course, this is different for everyone. And I do want to say that I’ve been both the toxic person and the not toxic person. I think most, if not all of us have. Toxic relationships, for me, are also just two people who just bring out the worst in one another. This is where I learned that two amazing kind people can come together and still be poison for one another. Accepting that fact was hard cause I think we’d all like to believe that kind people = kind friends but life is rarely that simple and our lives are rarely a straight line.
I won’t get into details about who my toxic relationships were or how they mistreated me but I will share a general story of how all of them kind of play out. They all start amazing…none of them were bad at all. There was chemistry and everything felt like fireworks with them. This applies to friends or people who are more than friends. It’s never endingly beautiful and you want to be with them for a long time or however long the universe and God allows. Things rode steady until things didn’t. One person decides for themselves that they want to walk alongside you but at a distance or they don’t want to walk with you at all on this path of life. Blame, guilt, manipulation, heartbreak, all seem to happen at once. You want to get them back and you want to remain closer to them but nothing is ever enough for them. You change yourself for them, pretend like you’re someone else for them, question yourself for them, and at the end of the day, you lost yourself to them. And there’s no leaving this time without what feels like endless suffering cause not only did you lose them, but you also lost yourself.
I remember the endless nights crying and waking up hoping a car crashes into me just so my heart would stop hurting. I remember lying to my family that I’m ok and I’m just super stressed out with school, which wasn’t necessarily a lie, if I had to be honest haha. And lastly, I remember having a toxic relationship with myself for almost a few years afterwards, which ended pretty recently.
A toxic relationship with yourself is not really talked about but I do want to emphasize it today in this episode that you could be a toxic person to yourself. What this can look like is extremely critical of yourself, put yourself in toxic situations, and fall into an endless cycle of negative self-esteem and self-care. This could be different as you have different circumstances.
Recently, I made peace with my toxic self. She is a part of who I am but I learned that I can coexist with her. Doing that helps me acknowledge that I’m imperfect and that’s completely ok. AND THAT to me, if how I knew and felt like I had a much better relationship with myself overall. But getting to this point doesn’t mean all the work is done. Now the job is maintenance. How do you keep that good relationships with yourself? Does that mean boundaries with certain people? Does it mean putting your needs first? How do you continue to grow within yourself? Does that mean trying something new? Throwing away objects of reminisce? I wouldn’t have gotten to this point without my toxic relationships though. Because it does really takes pain to know joy. It takes sadness to know happiness. And if you ever watched the Inside Out movie, you know exactly what I’m talking about.
I’m not saying you should go seek pain now but when it does happen, understand that pain is temporary but it’s up to you how long you’re welcoming its stay. But also understand that pain is OKKKK. I see a lot of people talking about happiness and books on happiness and you see people on social media, think they represent happiness. But guys!! Being sad is OK! Having broken pieces and holes in your heart is OK! Not feeling happy all the time is OK! Experiencing something BAD is OK! Being hard on yourself sometimes is OK! Having anxiety and depression is OK!! You’re not an outcast for being human with your human feelings and experiences. You are exactly where you need to be, experiencing things you need to be. Now knowing that, toxic relationships look different for everyone but it’s really up to you what you do with it and what you decide to learn from it. But I hope this episode enlightened you on the strength of embracing your past and current broken pieces and how that can turn into your art, your story, and ultimately, make your life meaningful. Be kind to yourself and be kind to others.”