Hey hey pretty babes! You may recall a while ago I published a blog post how to know if you’re in an unhealthy relationship. I still receive emails to this day from girls who have either found themselves in toxic relationships or (luckily) escaped them. It’s been so rewarding speaking with likeminded, strong willed women who found themselves caught up in a bad situation. Sometimes is just feels good to know you’re not alone. After experiencing an incredibly toxic relationship it’s been on my heart to continue the conversation. This time I wanted to touch on how to pick up the pieces and heal after leaving a toxic relationship. The truth is – only half the battle is over after the relationship. Sure, the toxic individual is gone – but you’re left with yourself – someone you may not recognize anymore. Trauma takes a toll on your body mentally and physically. After a long road of recovery – I feel I am finally in a great place. I’ve learned to love myself again (even more than before!) and can truly say I’m a stronger person since. Everyone’s healing process will be different, but I wanted to share what helped me heal after a toxic relationship. As always, I’m just an email away if you’d like to speak one-on-one.
1. The Gift Of Therapy
I remember coming out of my toxic relationship thinking: WTF just happened. I felt like a deer in headlights. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while you’ll know I’m a huge advocate for therapy! Growing up in a household where therapy is celebrated instead of frowned upon (my dad is a psychologist) one of my first instincts was to go to therapy. I managed to find an amazing therapist who helped me understand what happened, why it happened and most importantly – why I allowed it to happen. I learned about some key ingredients to a toxic relationship – gaslighting, trauma bonding, emotional abuse. Let me tell you, knowledge is power. I’d highly recommend finding a therapist. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t click with the first therapist you see. Find someone you feel comfortable speaking with.
2. A Support System
Listen to me girlfriend – you don’t have to do this alone. And with the support of family and/or friends – you don’t have to! Select 2-3 family members or friends to be your support system. Let them know you’re going through a tough time and need some extra support. Be vocal about your needs. Need a girls night out? Tell them. Need a night in crying session (or 5)? Tell them. Need a gym buddy? Tell them. Don’t assume your family and friends will know how to help you. It’s up to you to voice your needs.
3. Finding Your Worth (+ Adding Tax)
Toxic partners often have this sneaky way of chipping away at your self esteem. Your list of insecurities may be through the roof and that’s totally normal! Now is the time to get back to a place where you know your worth and will demand nothing less. Write down a list of 10 things you love about yourself. Make a list of all the people who love you. Write down your accomplishments. Keep these lists on your phone. When you’re feeling less than – read these lists to yourself. Be patient and give yourself grace. Getting back to your old self will not happen overnight.
4. Forgiving Yourself
Why did I stay in this relationship? Why did I allow them to treat me this way? How could I have been so stupid? These thoughts may seem all too familiar. Abuse doesn’t always occur at the beginning of the relationship. It can surface after months or even years together. In order to heal completely you need to make peace with your role in the past relationship. You need to forgive yourself. You need to give yourself grace.
It’s true – time heals all wounds. If you’re feeling discouraged – know that each day gets easier. You’ll have bad days, you’ll have horrible days. But before you know it – good days appear. The sun will come out and you’ll feel happiness again. And one day you’ll wake up and realize you’ve got this.
Funny enough, the closure I recieved didn’t involve my toxic partner at all. It actually came in the form of not one but two pretty little brunettes who slid into my DMs. Turns out they had both gone through similar situations with the toxic individual. Surprise, surprise. If closure is what you need to finally move on – go get it. Forms of closure are difference for each person. Maybe it’s a written letter to your ex toxic partner. Whatever it is, do it for yourself.
7. Learning To Love Yourself Again
We all make mistakes. We all slip and fall. It’s human nature. So you got caught up in a toxic relationship. Here’s the good news: not anymore. You got out of that relationship and for that – you deserve a medal. Some people will never have the courage to leave. But you did. You’re a superstar. It’s time to fall in love with yourself again. Reward yourself with a spa day, a trip with the girls, a new haircut. Show yourself love. If no one has told you – I’m so proud of you.
8. Getting Back On The Horse
If/when you’re ready – treat yourself to a hot date. Or 10. Have fun. Get all dolled up. Allow yourself to be spoiled by a stranger. Discover what you like in a partner (and more importantly, what you don’t!). Remember: there is no rush on finding another partner. Take your time, pretty thang.
More On Relationships:
*If you think you may be in a toxic relationship – I encourage you to tell someone. Your mom, your sister, your best friend. Email me (firstname.lastname@example.org). Tell someone. Anyone. It will be the best gift you’ve yourself. Remember: you’re not alone and you’re so loved.