Despite what you may have been told by a cheeto-colored politician, drinking poison is never a good idea. This may seem like an obvious conclusion, but every year the centers for disease control puts out numbers of many people who attempt such activities. For a while, there were even people who ate laundry detergent. You may be thinking to yourself, “Neil, I certainly know better than to drink anything labeled ‘poison’ or ‘for external use only’.” I would certainly hope if you are reading a blog about living an amazing life, you would be doing your best to avoid consuming poison.
Sadly, I am here to tell you that you very well might be consuming poison. In fact, we almost all do on an unconscious basis. I am not suggesting you go under the sink and drink from a bottle as you are sleeping. This poison is something different. It can, however, be just as deadly. This poison is one of an emotional, mental and spiritual nature. This poison can kill our spirit, kill our dreams and if left unchecked long enough, can end up killing us.
This was brought to my attention through a story related to me by a friend. This young lady is removing herself from a relationship that does not serve her and has become toxic. It is a very difficult decision to make. That takes a lot of courage and bravery. I hear a lot of people use phrases like, “We are just staying together for the children.” In my opinion, this is one of the biggest mistakes. Keeping children in a household with an unhealthy relationship can end up with two conclusions. The children can watch the pain, verbal and other abuse or even just the lack of intimacy and think to themselves, “This is what relationships are like? I don’t want one of those!” As bad as this may be, the other conclusion could be even worse. The children end up thinking this is how relationships work and carrying that forward into their own relationships as an adult. It can be tough to have children go through a divorce or separation, but it does show them that preserving your own mental well-being should be a priority.
Much like not drinking poison, leaving an abusive relationship can seem like a no-brainer from the outside, but in the middle of the emotional whirlwind can be far more difficult. How do you know when a relationship is beyond fixing? How do you make it safe and easy to leave? Then there is the subtle things about this poison. It can be a silent and tasteless poison. Carbon monoxide is an odorless gas, but it can still kill you. Arsenic is a tasteless, colorless and odorless poison. It can also mimic a host of other ailments, but in the end it will kill you. This is to say that it can be hard to see how much a situation is poisoning you. This is not only true of relationships. Do you go to a job that kills your soul every day? That is a poison you are slowly taking. Why do we do this? For a simple paycheck and a false sense of security. Friendships that do not serve you in anyway except to bring you down. This people are poisoning your spirit. That is not to say you should approach every friendship with a “What can you do for me?” attitude. If you find yourself feeling drained and depressed anytime you spend time with someone, that person is poisoning your spirit.
Another aspect that might sound crazy to you is that poison can end up tasting good. I know, I know, this sounds crazy but hear me out. Do you think that an addict knows the drugs and alcohol will end up killing them? Deep down, most of them do. Still, their poison feels comfortable, it is what they know. The same can be said for being in a toxic relationship. You know there are better people out there. There are people more aligned with your values and that would treasure you for the amazing person you are. So why not leave the relationship that is not serving you to find one you know is out there and will? I will tell you why, because it is scary as hell to do so! You may doubt yourself and the promise that there is someone who will love you for who you are. Although the situation may be toxic and sometimes can even be abusive, it is familiar. It can be hard to walk away from what we are used to. This is where some advice my friend from the beginning of this article was given comes in handy. When finding herself alone with her thoughts and missing companionship of having someone to share things with was filling her with the temptation to return to the relationship that was not serving her. Lucky for my friend, she has someone who cares deeply for her and reminded her of something I think we could all benefit from – Just because you are thirsty, don’t drink poison.
There are moments in life that can be tough. Relationships have their ups and downs. When they reach a point of becoming toxic or abusive, do not poison yourself. If that job is sucking the life out of your soul, walk away. They would have no problem replacing you, it is not worth the paycheck. That friend that always brings you down? Time to distance yourself my friend. There are many poisons in life that don’t come with warnings. Some, as we deciphered, can be odorless, colorless and tasteless. Some can even taste and feel good in the short term, but the end is still a disaster just the same. Think of your own life. Is there any poison you may be drinking? What negative effect can it be having? Are you drinking it just because you are thirsty?