Toxic people and toxic circumstances can rob you of joy and happiness, destroy your self-esteem, and diminish your sense of self-worth. These situations can leave you drained and defeated, but it is through adversity that we become stronger and better. Removing toxic people from your life can be challenging. Getting yourself out of toxic relationships and environments is difficult, but it is worth it and YOU are worth it. You will be amazed at what you can accomplish when you replace toxicity with positivity.
*Disclaimer: I’m going to use and overuse the word toxic a lot because there aren't enough good synonyms to replace it with.
If you’ve been in a toxic situation and gotten out of it or through it then you know how empowering it can be to overcome adversity. If you’ve been through hell and made it to the other side you also know how difficult it can be to watch someone you care about get stuck in a similar situation. It can be even more painful than our own experiences to witness a loved one struggling and being hurt in a toxic environment and not be able to fix it or make it better for them. When we’re dealing with our own shit we ultimately have control to make the changes, but when it is a friend or family member you can’t change it for them. All you can do is offer advice, support, and pray for them.
In my book, I talk about toxic relationships and how to overcome them. I wrote about my own experiences and shared my stories of an unhealthy marriage and bitter divorce that led me into a downward spiral. The toxic dynamic of our relationship had eroded my self-esteem slowly through the years, but the shell shock of betrayal and the nasty divorce battle that followed robbed me of any shred of self-confidence I had left. I was mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausted and ready to give up. I was a shell of a human and an unrecognizable version of myself.
I’m sure many people have had similar toxic relationships over the years most of which tend to be with a spouse or partner, but it’s not always a romantic partner who fuels our self-doubt, plays mind games, and makes us feel unworthy. These toxic invaders come in all shapes and sizes. A friend, boss, co-worker, sibling, or even an environment can steal your joy.
Unfortunately, I have an amazing friend who feels trapped in just such a situation. Seeing what she is going through has shown me how equally devastating the impact of a negative work environment can be to a negative home environment. My friend has one of the strongest, healthiest marriages I have ever seen. She and her husband are best friends, each other’s biggest supporters, amazing co-parents, and they hardly ever fight or squabble (kind of annoying, but I’ll let it slide because I love them). They have an amazing family and beautiful, polite, kids that are a pleasure to be around( I do not say this about all kids). Her life is full of wonderful people and many blessings that she cannot fully enjoy or appreciate because of the demoralizing, unhealthy work environment.
The dynamic between her and her boss can best be described as hostile and in my opinion, the way she is treated is not just wrong, it’s harassment. Hearing about the things that are said and done to her not only breaks my heart, but it also infuriates me! I want so badly to get her out of this situation, but like so many of us that get stuck in the vortex of a toxic relationship, it can seem overwhelming and almost impossible to get out of.
When you’re constantly told you’re not good enough, whether it’s at home or in the workplace you start to believe it. When you feel defeated day in and day out you start to give up hope that your circumstances will change. Constant defeat leads to mental and emotional exhaustion with little energy to do or care about anything else. Feelings of negativity breed helplessness and hopelessness. You start to believe you don’t deserve any better and become to tired to even try.
I have been in a place of hopelessness and desperation more than once, and every time I found myself there this friend has been by my side helping me put my big girl panties back on and get back into to game of life. And now I feel helpless watching my smart, confident, supportive, sister from another mister be mistreated and questioning her worth. I know she will triumph through adversity and be stronger for it, but until then I will support and love her through it.
To my beautiful friend, thank you for always helping me through the hard times and being with me to celebrate the good times. I love you. Now let me return the favor and be here for you. I’ve got your back, and your front, and any direction you need me in.
To anyone who is feeling defeated and hopeless. You are not alone. You are loved, you are worthy, and you will make it through. Friendship trumps adversity.
Have you ever had a toxic person wreak havoc on your life? How did you overcome adversity? Did someone help you through a difficult time? How can you pay it forward? Could sharing your experiences help someone else?
I wrote my book, shared my stories, and opened old wounds in hopes to help others find a way out of the darkness and into the light.
Is your work environment making you sick?
take the quiz to find out if your workplace is toxic: