It can be challenging to handle a break up, and the aftermath of a break up, when it comes to being in a toxic relationship. If you have been in a toxic relationship for a long time, chances are leaving that relationship will be a serious plight. Sometimes you need help beyond support from your loved ones. If you relapse, you might feel shame or embarrassment, and might not want to admit to a friend or a family member that you relapsed. Even if you have been in therapy to help you leave a toxic relationship, you might find yourself withholding information or lying to your therapist about a relapse cause you feel pathetic or stupid and so keep quiet. This can result in feelings of isolation, depression, and hopelessness.
I have been in this situation in the past and have experienced the roller coaster of relapse. Months will go by and I’m fine, then one day I feel weak and try to reach out to the person. Alternatively, they’ll try to contact me and I’ll fold. It can be frustrating cause you think that you’ve spent all this time working on yourself and the next thing you know you have a relapse and find yourself back where you started. Consequently, now you’re feeling like, “Why did I waste all that time and money in therapy?” “What happened to allow this relapse?” “What can I do to avoid another relapse in the future?”
From my own personal experience, I find that writing down all the reasons you left the relationship to begin with can be helpful. Often we don’t want to revisit those bad times, because it can be a trigger, but it helps to have a reality check to snap you back into the reasons you decided to walk away to begin with.
Recently, I was reading through some of my past journal entries, and I came across writings about what I had experienced living in a toxic relationship, and it was mind opening. I forgot about a lot of the heartache that transpired, and was slightly shocked. Reading these experiences grounded me as to why I left the relationship, and why I should never go back, and I should do whatever it takes to stay away. As I read the journal, I found myself asking the question, “Who is this person?” Although it was offsetting to revisit some of the pain, it was also nice to see how far I had come. and know that today there is no way I would endure or put up with some of the shenanigans that occurred.
I also find stepping up on spending more time on my hobbies, and working hard on myself through meditation and yoga essential to rebuilding yourself back after a relapse is useful. Try to come up with a plan in the event you are vulnerable to another relapse, so you can be prepared should you be faced with that challenge. Find one person in your life that you trust, and feel like they will be supportive and nonjudgmental when you are trying to manage a relapse.
Like any relapse you have to be realistic with yourself. For example, I know I am prone to codependency which got me stuck in a toxic relationship to begin with, so I have to be mindful of that and the inevitable tough challenges I will be up against as a result.
A toxic relationship is complicated, and hard to navigate through alone, however, if you try just one of these suggestions you might find yourself better off down the road and in a position not to relapse again.