“Respect yourself enough to walk away from anything that no longer serves you, grows you, or makes you happy.” – Robert Tew
This article was originally posted on The Odyssey on May 30, 2016.
Relationships can be tricky sometimes. When it’s good, it’s good, with problems that can be solved in a mature way and memories you’ll never want to forget. However, when you realize you’re stuck in a messy and bad relationship, it can be difficult to end things or escape. If you are confident in your self-worth and know attempting to fix something broken is a waste of time, this article probably does not apply to you. This article right here is for those who aren’t quite sure how to delete toxic people and break out of a toxic relationship. In this article, I will discuss my journey with toxic relationships, how I was able to escape them, and how others should go about deleting toxic people from their lives.
When I was a junior in high school, I became involved with a plethora of people that had all sorts of problems. I was that friend that everyone always went to for advice or to vent. I thought that this was a good thing at the time, and I thought it meant that people trusted me and depended on me. That is, until I realized that they were doing more than depending on me, but rather, leaning on me. They were latching onto me, asking me to fix their problems, not help them fix the problems by themselves. They were clinging to me for survival.
If I wasn’t able to succeed in “helping them,” I would instantly feel as though my self-worth was equal to zero. I felt as though I did not deserve to live because I could not even be there to help my friend who was on the verge of ending everything. I wasn’t trying to help them, simply because they weren’t asking for help. I was trying to fix them, to cure them, because they made me feel like I was the only one who possibly could. Those friends put me under a spell that I could not break, and so I fell into the negativity cycle that made me consider ending my own life.
Thankfully, I was able to overcome that consideration and realize that my life is valuable. I was lucky. I know others do not have the same luck that I do. Toxic people are like leeches; they will latch onto you and try to take you down with them. It’s not always intentional, and sometimes they are oblivious to the pain they put you through. While this explains the terrible way they treat you, it does not excuse it.
During this terrible year of high school, I was faced with several toxic relationships, that I dug a hole deeper into every time I was unable to fix a friend’s issues. Sometimes the separation you require from a toxic person is easy; sometimes all it takes is one last straw to be broken, and you decide that you are finished with all the negativity. Other times, it is excruciatingly difficult. Manipulative people will always try to rope you back into the situation, no matter how many times you try to leave. They will make you think that you are the problem and that everything is your fault. They will try and trick you into staying and continue to serve them. I am telling you now, right here, that you are not the problem.
Finally, I realized that I could not possibly help the toxic person and that they were beyond my help. We as people are not built to fix other people. We are built to hold other’s hands while others figure out how to fix themselves. We are built to support other people while they embark on the journey of recovery. Asking someone to be your only crutch in this world is not only selfish but harmful for both of you. Support systems should always be made up of more than one person. One person will not be able to handle the pressure, the overbearing anxiety, or the disappointment that often accompany recovery.
If you find yourself in a toxic relationship of any kind, whether it be a romantic or sexual relationship, a friendship, or literally any other kind of negative relationship, know that you are better than that, and you deserve better than that. Know that there are so many people willing to help you, and lend a hand. Remember that you are never alone, no matter how many times you fall down, fail, and don’t feel like getting back up again. You can get back up again, and you will.
I cannot tell you how difficult it was to cut off and delete all the toxic people in my life. I am going to be a sophomore in college and I am still in the process of it. Toxicity is sneaky, it will hide behind the nicest smile, the most soothing hug. The minute you start feeling like you are the only one responsible for someone else’s life, mental health, and safety, is the minute you need to wake up and realize that you are not in a healthy relationship.
All relationships should maintain positivity, happiness and love. Even through all the bad stuff, you should never have the fear of having someone’s blood on your hands for something you could not possibly fix. Mental illness does not disappear with love. Mental illness is something that needs to be survived by an entire team of people, supporting and encouraging baby steps of success. Toxic people often bloom under the duress of their mental illness and tend not to operate under the love and positivity aspects one would usually expect from a healthy relationship.
Sometimes it is not their fault, and like I said, they are not always aware. Remember that if you are unable to handle someone’s mental illness and the anxiety of the whole situation, you are not a failure or a quitter. Mental illness is hard, and if it begins to affect you negatively, you know it is time to leave. The other person may hate you for leaving. They may not understand, and they may try to put you down in any such way that they can. If this is the case, just hope that one day they understand why you left. If you find yourself bereft of hope, remember that you did not give up, you just let go.
While the deletion of toxic people is a long and emotional process, the aftertaste of freedom is amazing. The weight that will be lifted off of your shoulders will be extreme. You may not know who you truly are without that toxic person and you may get lost finding your way back to yourself, and that is absolutely OK. There are many bad people out there in this world, but believe me when I say that there are so many, if not more, good people out there as well. You deserve to be free, happy and healthy.
If you feel that you are anxious or depressed as I once felt, I encourage you to reach out to someone for help. Just as that toxic person should not have depended solely on you, you should not depend solely on yourself or another. Life is precious, and we were all put on this Earth for a reason. I believe that we were all put on this Earth to change the world in some way, shape, or form. Whether it be on a large scale, or simply changing someone’s world, you are here to make a change, so before you think about ending your life, remember that there is an entire world out there with an infinite amount of possibilities willing to help you make that change. Remember to put yourself first. You deserve it.
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