Moving on from a toxic relationship can seem challenging at least and even impossible. However, it can and should be done and I hope you are inspired by Susanna’s story.
“Five years ago, I was about to make the biggest mistake of my life. I was about to marry the wrong guy. The venue was booked, the dress was ordered, and the invites had gone out. Yet something felt off. I couldn’t tell what it was so I just tried to ignore it. That only made it worse. I struggled to eat, sleep, or focus. I felt nauseous most of the time and my mind struggled to stay with me. It wasn’t until I caught up with a friend I hadn’t seen for a while that I realised what was wrong. As she asked me how the wedding plans were coming along and if I felt excited, I simply mumbled “It’s funny how you think you want something until you don’t”, half hoping she wouldn’t hear it. Luckily, she didn’t let me off.
She pushed me to explain myself and that’s when I burst into tears. It was exactly then that I knew what was wrong and what I had to do next. I had to break the engagement, leave the relationship, and cancel the wedding. I had to get out of this toxic relationship that was stopping me from being the real me. So I did. It wasn’t easy but now that I knew the truth I knew there was no other way.
In hindsight, I can see all the warning signs that I missed. His disapproving comments were everywhere, from what I ate to how I dressed to how I worked and even to what my hobbies were. He blamed me for his angry outbursts and his jealous streaks made it hard for me to have friends. He was trying to change me into someone else and keep me all to himself. Worst of all, as it happened gradually over years, I totally missed it.
That’s why I made a plan on how to ensure I would never miss these signs again. For starters, I committed to building a more positive relationship with my intuition. I had shut it off for years so that it barely even spoke until when it really mattered. I started to journal, meditate, and take mindful walks in nature to better connect to myself and my intuition. Now I do it regularly and feel much more in tune with who I am and clear about what my heart is saying.
Secondly, I made more time to reflect. I started to reflect on a weekly basis on my achievements, learnings, and most beautiful moments. These helped me to stay connected to my life and highlight what was going well and what was most meaningful to me. It also helped me to really understand what were the learnings that I had to stay on top of.
Thirdly, I started to practice gratitude. The toxic relationship had really put me down and I was in a really negative place. I had to get into a more positive place so that I could not only see the world from a better angle but also see myself from a more positive angle. I started the gratitude practice by finishing every day by writing down three specific things that I was most grateful for in that day. Once I’d done that for a couple weeks, I adapted it so that I finished every day by writing down three things I appreciated about myself in that specific day. This was a lot harder but as I had already started to make a positive mindset shift I managed to push through it.
I kept working on these things, as well as nurturing myself from every angle, for months. Bit by bit I started to feel more whole again. When I met my now fiancé, I was in a much better place and open to the opportunities of love again. I was nervous and fearful at the start, but having these practices alongside me helped me to take the leap and consciously begin a new, more fulfilling relationship. This time I didn’t lose who I was. Instead, I only became stronger.”
For more positive mindset tips, visit Susanna’s website Happyologist.co.uk and grab a copy of her new book Happiness is Here: A 30-Day Guide to Joy and Fulfilment.
Are you in or have you experienced a toxic relationship?