How to heal from a toxic relationship?

Have you ever attempted to breathe when immersed in water? Doesn't that sound similar to be in a Toxic Relationship?

Learn how to heal from a toxic relationship...

Toxic relationships can feel like a never-ending cycle. Reach the shore and being greeted with ecstasy. Then, submerging and being engulfed in misery. Allow already broken promises to wrap their arms around you. And tug restlessly on the chains that keep you from escaping the strong embrace.

The waves around you whisper to you to take a deep breath. Just take a deep breath.

And once you do, you're up against an even bigger battle. Heal from the hidden bruises, loaded with indications of both trauma and remorse. You feel the waves of the past coming up with you every time you try to dive into the deep sea with someone else, leading you to believe that you're doomed to drown no matter what.

It’s hard to turn the page when you know someone won’t be in the next chapter, but the story must go on. - Thomas Wilder

To start a wildfire, all you need is a fire spark from a cigarette bud, but to put one out, you'll need a lot of courage and commitment. Breaking up with someone does not release you from the consequences of the relationship; only healing can accomplish that. It is, however, easier said than done. Keeping in mind that everyone heals differently, this essay will be worded as loosely as possible to allow for the interpretation.

1. Accept the Broken


How to heal from a toxic relationship. Accept the Broken. Man's hand in Grey.

Your significant other isn't an onion, and they're not meant to make you cry at least once a day. Find the nearest escape if they do.

Numerous psychological researches have shown that people's reactions to breakups are similar to their reactions to death. The first reaction is shocking, which is quickly followed by denial. False perceptions are widespread in problematic relationships, and they are most often associated with having an idealised version of the other person. For example, assume that your significant other treats you with contempt like it's on their daily to-do list, but you rationalise their behaviour by convincing yourself that they'll one day morph into your idealised version.

The harsh reality is that they never will. You'll keep overlooking their flaws while they go out of their way to find yours; it's a never-ending toxic loop that will only end in heartbreak. Accept that your relationship with the other person is shattered, or at the very least crumbling and that the glue is wearing thin. Any partnership requires two people to work, and if one of them isn't doing their due diligence, the other is bound to part their way. 

It's not that you miss them; it's that you miss who you thought they were.

In a shattered relationship one person is left to heal on their own, and let's say that person is YOU. It doesn't imply you're the one who lost. You might not be able to see it right now, but you will, eventually. They had lost someone willing to go to great lengths to help them. They lost someone who could have left for a million reasons but chose to stay and rarely complained.

What exactly did you lose?

2. Feel

To feel emotions after a breakup has a strange stigma attached to it. It's okay if you have not fully recovered from a relationship, even if it has been years. It's not pathetic; you spent time getting to know this person, learning about them, opening up to them, falling in love with them, and then being hurt by them. It's not typical to forget them in a single day. If you have strong feelings for this person, even if they deeply upset you, chances are, you will continue to care for them. Wish for their well-being because you do not want to see them suffer. That's something you'll have to accept, and it only goes to show how genuine you were.

Being authentic should not be an embarrassment. It's terrible how society valorises being a "player" while demonising being “played.”

Many people are afraid of feeling emotion. Therefore they have rebounds, binge drink, and so on. Being able to feel emotions is a crucial part of the healing process. Every person has a way of expressing pain. Art can be therapeutic for some people. Physical activity might help others. It's all done on a case-by-case basis. Whether it's a movie night with pals or a solo road trip, everyone has a pastime or chore that helps them feel better. The aim is to let all of your feelings out and to not be afraid of being vulnerable.

3. Cut Contact

Don't spend time with your ex while you're trying to mend. Don't bother calling them. Don't text them. Don't talk about them behind their backs. Unfollow them on social media. You don't have to stay friends with an ex, contrary to popular opinion. Especially when the relationship was unhealthy. And when you don't want to be reminded of that merely to have them in your life.

4. Practice Self-care and Self-kindness

Practice self-care and self-kindness. Image containing a tree bark with a board on it with the text You are Worthy of Love

It may sound cliched, but you must love yourself to know what you deserve. Never set yourself on fire to keep someone warm if they aren't willing to do the same for you. Unhealthy relationships are difficult to recognise since they frequently begin on a positive note. This person may have pledged not to injure you, yet he or she did not hesitate to do so after only a few months. Maybe they did not just do it once, but repeatedly put you through it, yet were too preoccupied with their self-interest to realise that your colours were fading. Maybe you've been accustomed to the lies and believe that every relationship will go in the same manner. They aren't going to.

Make self-care a priority; it is necessary. Don't start any new relationships until you've resolved the one you already have with YOURSELF.

5. Be Patient with Yourself

After a while, you could feel like you've made some progress. You might realise that you think less about your previous relationship. As much as you used to do earlier and that you want to start dating again (with someone else, of course). You might go on a few dates with someone and develop a strong liking for them. However, you might realise that the prospect of being attached to this person makes you nervous because of your past experiences. You may fear that this person may harm you in the same way that your ex did. You may feel insecure and unworthy as a result of your ex's influence. You might even begin to believe that everyone you meet would harm you in the same way that your ex did.

It is difficult to forgive someone who has never expressed regret but has moved forward. But do understand that you must let go and set yourself free. Thank your ex for the challenging but worthwhile experience that you completed on your own. Bring the novel to a close. Take a new one, open it, and flip to page one.

Cherish Mundhra has written this article 


Suggested reads - 

Is there any means to forget the person you loved? | Part 1

Is there any means to forget the person you loved? | Part 2



Image sources:

Amine M'Siouri & Tim Mossholder on Pexels



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