How My Toxic Relationship Made 2016 My Favorite Year
A year ago I didn't have a single New Year Resolution.
To be honest with you, 2017 kind of snuck up on me. I was so focused on my goals and accomplishing them that I forgot to send out Christmas Cards and I forgot to make New Years Resolutions. I woke up on New Years Eve and while I sat with my coffee and took some time for self reflection in the morning my mind began to wander to where I was this time last year. I had almost forgotten how much my life had changed in the last 12 months and I was super excited.
On New Years Eve a year ago I was sitting on my friend’s couch wearing yoga pants, watching the ball drop in New York City on TV, eating pizza, and crying in my champagne.
It takes a really awesome friend to put up with everything I had put her through that day and still be sitting next to me doing The Notebook cry at midnight. I was not looking to the future, I had no self awareness, and I had no idea what I wanted to accomplish in 2016. I was lonely and sad. So, what happened?
I had been in a serious relationship all year long and I was living with my then boyfriend. It had not always been easy, but I thought our problems could be solved and I didn't expect to get along all the time. I have always been one to save a relationship though, and I won't say that every relationship is worth saving.
It wasn’t until we broke up on Christmas Eve that I knew things were bad.
Did you know that everything is closed on Christmas Eve? There is nowhere to go and nothing to do to fill your time when you feel like you can’t be in your own home. We did the dance back and forth between apologies and remorse to anger and conflict for about a week after that. Then it hit me on New Years Eve like a ton of bricks. I had made plans about a month prior to spend New Years Eve at a wedding with a girlfriend. I worked the night before at the hospital and I had planned to sleep all day so that I would be rested later for the wedding. I was so excited to be able to get dolled up with my friend and help her with her hair and makeup. Before I could fall asleep that morning I got a message that my boyfriend wanted all of my things out of the house or he was going to put them on the porch in garbage bags. He gave me 4 hours to finish moving. It was a holiday…again. Everything was closed…again. I was reaching my breaking point. I had nowhere to move my things, no moving truck, no plan, no boxes…
When someone threatens to put all of your belongings in garbage bags on the porch it really makes you start to question what is important to you.
At that point, if my belongings could be used against me as an emotional weapon then I didn’t want any of them. I called my friend and told her I needed her help moving as much of my stuff as we could carry to her garage for the night. She helped me move and when it was taking longer than I had expected I knew I wasn’t going to be able to make it to the wedding after being awake for 24 hours and under severe emotional stress. I told her I couldn’t come to the wedding.
I was so self conscious about my situation and I felt so guilty because not only had my decisions negatively affected my life, they were now also negatively affecting my friends and the people I care about.
She didn’t go to the wedding either.
We made a night out of it, ordered pizza, bought champagne, and she listened to me cry and re-live the moments that had made me so anxious and the things he said that made me feel so small and insignificant. It was that moment that I made a vow to never ever feel that way again.
You may have found yourself in a toxic relationship or a toxic friendship before and you might be wondering, “How do you make sure it never happens again and still be able to trust another person in the future?”
Here’s what I did:
1. Give yourself a set timeframe where you are allowed to grieve.
When you are done grieving you have to let it go and figure out how you are going to move forward. Carrying emotional baggage with you into the future does not do anybody any good.
2. Be willing to accept change.
I knew that I didn’t want the life that I had and I was ready for change. I didn’t know how I was going to make it happen but I made a commitment to change directions and keep putting one foot in front of the other. It may have seemed like I was being really brave, but really the thing propelling me forward was fear. I had finally reached the point where my fear of staying the same was worse than my fear of change.
3. Find your support system.
Surround yourself with people who are a positive influence in your life. The people who keep you stuck and help you complain and feed your excuses are not going to help you change your life. You are looking for the people who empower you, the people who believe in you, and the people who stop you when you start up the negative self talk and let those beliefs that your ex led you to believe were true about yourself
4. Get clear about what you want to get out of life.
Take all of the things you don’t want and turn them around into things that you do want. Focusing on the things you don’t want is not going to help you get to where youre going or create a clear path for how to get there.
5. Start doing.
You do not have to see what is on the other side of the tunnel to start going through it. Just have faith that there is a light there waiting for you to shine. If you focus on the steps you need to take to get out of your current situation then it becomes like putting one foot in front of the other. Don't stand at the bottom of the mountain and look up at the top thinking you have to be there right away. You might even surprise yourself! As you are putting one foot in front of the other over and over again while only focusing on the next step, eventually you will find that you made it to the top of the mountain when you least expect it.
What did I actually do?
I put all of my things in storage. I quit my job. I packed up my car with everything I wanted to take with me. I asked myself if I could live anywhere in the world where would I go, and I went there. I found a temporary job that would buy me some time while I figured out what I was going to do next.
Fast Forward to Now
This year I spent the morning of New Years Eve walking through Times Square, looking up at where the ball would drop, and was grateful for my journey. I was grateful for the toxic relationship that I was in because it gave me the strength to start living my life, finding my purpose, and creating the life I am meant for. It pushed me out of my comfort zone because I had reached my breaking point and I refused to break. It helped me start my own business. It allowed me to be here to share my story and share the tools for you to change your life too.
If you are in a toxic relationship that is holding you back from living a life where you feel valuable and unstoppable and you are ready to take your life back into your own hands, but you’re not sure how then I invite you to set up a complimentary strategy session with me to help you talk about how you can take your power back and start living the life you are meant for. Just fill out the form below and we can chat! Can't wait to hear from you!