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Coping With The Aftermath Of Toxic Relationships

‘Lovers in Seperation’ by René Magritte

Something we often hear from our friends when we’re crying in bed at 3 AM about

someone who has left us feeling completely broken is, “don’t worry, time will make things

better”. No no, time only makes you forget!

Let’s think about this, do you find yourself going back to the same toxic people or finding new toxic ones with the same old habits or behaviors? Why do you think that happens?

Well, some may say it’s because, “We only accept the love we think we deserve” - hint

(Stephen Chbosky), I mean we should most definitely know better than that right? Than to put someone else’s need before ours, someone who we’ve spent only a small amount of time with, because, let’s face it, no matter how long you’ve been with someone you have definitely been with yourself way longer and will continue to do so till the end.

So if you re-evaluate now you could say its because, well, we forget. We forget what it

was like to constantly worry about the other person and their problems, the crippling fear

and anxiety; we forget what it was like to cry ourselves to sleep all those nights, going

completely unnoticed; we forget what it was like to watch the person you love the most

hurt them-self; we forget what it was like to feel powerless.

It’s easier to get swept up by the nicer things, to always see the brighter side, to relive the

moments that brought a smile, to genuinely see the best, and only that in somebody. It’s

easier to tell yourself to follow your heart, that love deserves more than three shots, that

this time maybe this time it will be different. It’s easier to be hopeful. 

Hope isn’t a bad thing, neither is love. And isn't love all about patience and compromises?

About being there with someone through their absolute worst? Surely people deserve that,

don’t they? But isn’t that the very thing that makes it so difficult to establish boundaries, to

realize when that thin line that you’ve drawn so closely around yourself has been crossed

over and over again? 


How then, does one learn to know when to stop, when to reestablish those lines, and more

importantly how?  

Well through a lot of therapy of course! And a little beyond that. I think it’s easy to get sucked into the vortex of pain, into that void that we all try hiding or filling up, instead of embracing. Sometimes it can feel like you’re destined for pain because that’s all you’ve ever known for the most defining parts of your life, that somehow pain gives you all this meaning, and that feeling of making it out alive from all that damage can be addicting. But it's important to remember that that is not what life should be, how relationships should be! Instead of chasing pain why not just search for something better altogether where meaning doesn’t come from the pain but by simply just being?  Life only feels complex because of the simplicity of it. And trust me, humans are not wired for simple.

So to sum up, we forget, we hope, we complicate - but let’s forget the pain and learn to

remember what those feelings taught us instead; that hope is important but so is being

realistic; Let’s learn that nothing will ever be in our control except where we draw our

happiness from and that it can never come from anybody else but you. Let’s learn to

believe that we are not destined for pain, that pain is a part of your existence, not the

purpose of it.

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