Once I kicked my toxic ex out of my life, I started to breathe again.
I was totally clueless of all the ways my ex was poisoning my life. He would twist my words so skilfully that I would end up apologizing for the things I hadn’t done. I was always the monster and he was never the one to blame.
I loved the attention he gave me from the start, I loved that he listened but as we went further on in the relationship, he misused my words and my thoughts. He preyed on my weaknesses and insecurities and made them deeper.
Like a fool, I made excuses for him as I didn’t think he did that on purpose. But it only got worse as time passed by and I became a mere shadow of the woman I once was.
I didn’t recognize my voice anymore because it was so silent. The volume of my laughter turned down almost completely. All that kept screaming were the self-doubts in my head and the sobbing sounds at night when I was all by myself.
I knew I had to do something or I would lose myself completely. I had to walk away from him to save myself.
Once I broke loose from him, I felt like I was free from the mental cage he had kept me in. I was free from the shackles of insecurities he imprinted on me.
Finally, I started hearing my voice again, I started laughing again, I started breathing and living again. Because my relationship with him wasn’t life.
Once I started listening to all the mean voices, I thrived.
Snarky comments wrapped up like pieces of heartfelt advice have toxic written all over them. People who try to put you down to lift themselves up are the absolute worst thing that can happen to you career-wise and life-wise.
Don’t allow that. Smile in their faces and keep doing what you’ve been doing and your hard work will pay off eventually. Mine did.
What I learned here is that not all of your co-workers have to be your friends; you are immensely lucky if they are. Time always tells you who you can trust and get closer to, who you should keep at arm’s length and who you should base your relationship on a professional level with.
I surrounded myself with people who have my best interests at heart, who are not envious of my successes, who don’t feed their broken egos on my sufferings and I started rising from the ashes that toxic people put me in.
Once I said goodbye to some people I had thought were my friends, I made firmer bonds with the ones who are true.
A toxic friend is just like a toxic boyfriend, they suck the life out of you. All the energy and love you invest in them, they never invest back and when you just keep on giving, you are left empty.
True friends never do that. They never use you, they meet you halfway. They never belittle you, they lift you up because they believe in you even when you start doubting yourself.
They are not there just through the calm seas, they are there through the worst tempests too. They hold your back no matter what. They are happy for your happiness and empathize with your pain.
I really started appreciating true friends once I compared them with the toxic ones. All the ways that they were different spoke to me. They are the absolute best thing that could have happened to me and I make sure they know just how grateful I am.
Once I stopped trying to make everyone around me happy, I started being happy.
It’s almost like I had a subconscious mission in life to make everyone happy. I would go above and beyond to accommodate them and it would just backfire on me.
The nicer I was, the crappier they would treat me. Regardless of whether it was my ex-boyfriend, friend or even a family member, the process was the same; the more I tried to make them happy, the more they expected from me. They took me for granted.
I would ditch everything I was doing or everything I planned to do. It’s like I didn’t know how to say no because I was afraid that they would get offended.
After a long time of putting up with that, I changed. I couldn’t take it anymore. So, I started putting myself first for a change.
Some people left, some stayed and adapted to the new me. Either way, that was the best decision I ever made.
Once I started ditching toxic people out of my life, I realized that was the best form of self-care.
Once I said goodbye to all the toxicity in my life, I suddenly started to bloom. I wasn’t as worn out as I used to be. I had more time to attend to my own needs. I had more time for the people who inspire me to grow.
After I tossed all the negativity out of my life, positivity found its way to me. My life got a whole lot better with the absence of some people. So you see, this self-care method wasn’t selfish, it was long-overdue and necessary.
Leah Lee – Writer. Dreamer. Adventurer. Eternal Optimist.
I am an English language and literature professor and writing came naturally alongside that. It was something I did for me until I decided to share it with the rest of the world.
I write about love, emotions, relationship issues and ways to solve them and most importantly about empowering women to become the best versions of themselves.
My inspiration comes from all that I’ve been through in life, and it was a bumpy road but full of valuable lessons. I hope that my experience will do some good to all of those who like to read my work.