toxic relationships

Letting Go Of Toxic Relationships

Articles, Australia, Education, International, Malaysia, Treatment, Understanding Addiction, United Kingdom, United States

This is part one in a two-part series about letting go of toxic relationships.

As A Human Being, You Have To Have Relationships With Other Human Beings

Relationships are an integral part of the human experience. Whether you like it or not, you cannot live your life without having relationships with other people.

Even if you consider yourself a loner who doesn’t need to surround yourself with people, you have at least a few friends, relatives, and co-workers that you interact with regularly. You simply cannot live your life alone. Very simply, you need other human beings to survive. However; you get to choose what kind of relationships you are going to have.

There are two types of relationships – healthy relationships and toxic relationships. The key is to invest in healthy, positive, uplifting, supportive relationships. The problem is, many people who enter recovery are so accustomed to chaotic, destructive, and unhealthy relationships. They truly don’t know how to identify whether a relationship is toxic or not. This is not uncommon.

Having Healthy Relationships Is Vital To Recovery

You can’t recover alone. You need a support system of caring people who are going to support your new way of life – people you can call on when you need help, support, advice, guidance or a shoulder you can cry on.  What you DON’T need are people in your life who will tear you down, create unnecessary drama, bring you negative energy, abuse you in any way, or do anything that will put your recovery in danger.

After years of engaging in self-destructive addictive behavior, it can be difficult to forge healthy relationships and let go of toxic relationships that no longer serve you. Nevertheless, this is something you must do if you want to learn how to live a recovering lifestyle.  

Toxic Relationships Vs. Healthy Relationships

In recovery, you want to stay away from toxic relationships and forge healthy ones. To do this, you must know the difference between the two. If you don’t know how to recognize a toxic relationship, we want to make it easy for you.

You know you are in a toxic relationship when:

  • There is physical abuse of any kind. It is never okay for someone to hit, push, kick, or harm you in any way physically.
  • You feel bad about yourself when you are with the person.
  • There is a lot of anger and hostility involved.
  • Someone tries to persuade you to do something that will go against your recovery like using drugs, having unhealthy sex, gambling, or looking at pornography
  • There is yelling or verbal abuse. While you may have gotten used to people yelling at you, yelling is toxic. Yelling and name-calling are not healthy forms of communication.
  • The person you are in a relationship asks you to compromise your personal values.
  • Someone constantly dumps their chaos, drama, and negative energy on you.
  • There is a lack of respect. Respect means keeping healthy boundaries and respecting your personal space, property, values, and life goals.
  • The person is always high or drunk around you.
  • Someone asks you to break the law on their behalf.
  • There is no care or concern for your well-being and happiness – the relationship revolves completely around the other person’s needs.
  • The person tries to monopolize your time and acts controlling when you want to spend time with other people you care about.
  • Things always feel chaotic and off-balance.

These are just a few examples of characteristics of a toxic relationship. We will talk more about relationships in Letting Go Of Toxic Relationships – Part Two.  

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Anne -

Anne Lazarakis joined the DARA Rehab team from Sydney, Australia. She writes about addiction and mental health on a global, local and community level. She also relays personal accounts of substance abuse and recovery through the stories of our clients, their families and our own team members.

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