Why You Aren't Healing
Hey everyone! Welcome back to the blog. Today I wanted to talk about healing and why we have a hard time moving on from bad situations.
When we go through bad moments in life, we don't always take the time to think about how the situation affected us. It could be the loss of a family member or friend, a breakup, or a life-changing event. Once it's over we're ready to move on and get to the next part. When you avoid dealing with your emotions and feelings, they will eventually manifest negatively later.
How an event affects you depends on a variety of factors: your characteristics, the event itself, how you cope with stressful situations and your environment. This could be anger, odd behavior, mood swings, depression or even suicidal thoughts. Some people deal with the negative emotions immediately after the event and with time heal. Others have delayed and/or long-term effects. Wounds aren’t always physical; sometimes the biggest can be against our mental and emotional health.
I'm not a therapist, but I believe if you're having a hard time dealing with your emotions after an event, you may not be doing enough to help yourself get past what you're struggling with. Letting go of toxic situations is hard, especially when you're comfortable. It takes commitment to remove people and environments that don't serve you out of your life. Here are some reasons why you might have a hard time moving forward.
Entertaining toxic relationships.
Sometimes it's our own people who hurt us.
I don’t remember where I heard this quote from, but some of our hardest lessons will be embarrassing, painful and expensive. I’ve ended quite a few friendships within the last year of my life and it definitely was painful. It was embarrassing thinking we were okay and they felt the complete opposite. I was hurt; how do you go from being close and sharing experiences to falling out? But it also taught me no matter who the person is or how long you’ve known them; if that person isn’t genuine or good to you, you'll find out. If they haven't shown who they are, it's just not your turn yet.
Not everyone deserves to be in our lives. Sometimes we can see the red flags from the first interaction. But for the most part, we don’t know who's real and who's toxic until we’re faced with a situation that forces someone to show the parts of them they try to hide.
Our toxic peers tend to have common traits: unable to communicate, expects you to read their minds, narcissistic tendencies, gas lighting, crossing boundaries (yet wants theirs upheld!), jealousy, poor treatment of others, treating you differently with no explanation, backhanded compliments, shady comments disguised as “constructive criticism” and they feel the need to try and embarrass you or make you feel less than. Perhaps the biggest red flag is they feel they do no wrong, or they’re incapable of empathizing with other people. It’s their way or the highway.
Toxic relationships come in all forms: romantic, platonic and familial. We might feel a sense of obligation to certain people, especially family members whom we’re told to love unconditionally. That’s not true; we have no obligation to give love or attention to anyone. Especially not someone who mistreats you. Forget about a bond or blood connection; at the end of the day, no one is allowed to disrespect you or treat you as less than.
Let those people go. For the betterment of your mental health and your daily life, it’s time to cut the toxic people out. Being lonely sucks, but it’s worse than being treated terribly. If someone is constantly hurting you or crossing your boundaries, and they’re unwilling to hear you out about how you feel, it’s time to let them go. Just like unresolved trauma can negatively impact healthy relationships, entertaining toxic romantic and platonic relationships will keep you in this negative head space. It’s a cycle that won’t end until you decide to cut ties with the toxicity.
Moving on before your ready.
Sometimes we try to get over a situation without dealing with the emotional fallout. I know you all can relate. A common theme I see with my generation today is to just not care. If anything negative happens, the 'strong' thing to do is to brush off your shoulders and not think about it.
I get it. No one wants to dwell on something that brings you pain and anxiety. But at the same time I don’t think it’s healthy to push what you’re experiencing to the side. What you're feeling is valid and it's okay to sit in that for a bit. What's not okay is not allowing yourself to going through your grief in order to spare someone else's feelings.
When we ignore our feelings, subconsciously we hold on to them and store them for later. After using this as a “coping” method for a while, the frustration builds up and comes out later. It manifests differently in everyone. Usually it shows up as unhealthy boundaries, or lack thereof, and handling similar situations negatively. Not allowing yourself to process is inadvertently prolonging the trauma itself.
Show yourself some grace. Take your time and allow yourself to go through the stages of grief. Not only will this benefit you, you'll be a better person others will want to be around.
You haven't developed healthy coping skills
Emphasis on healthy.
Most people have developed some type of coping style by the time we're adults, but the quality is questionable. Healthy strategies include activities like exercise, managing your feelings and changing your environment to a positive one.
Unhealthy coping occurs when you abuse drugs or alcohol to distract yourself, put yourself in risky situations, irresponsibly spend a large amount, etc. Basically any activity that could hurt you short or long term, but feels good in the moment. The immediate gratification feels good in the moment because it's taking you away from your problems, even if for a short time.
This isn't managing the problem. This is a convenient way to distract yourself from your issues. Healthy coping skills make your life better in the run. They're supposed to help you build resilience and help you form new habits. You should be doing things for pure enjoyment and within reason.
A good way to start building better coping skills is tackle them one at a time. Choose one bad habit, and select a good habit to replace it. Practice at the new habit until it sticks. This is usually around 21 days. And repeat. Do this with all of your negative coping skills and eventually you start to see a shift in your life and the usual interactions around you. And don't beat yourself up if it takes longer to break certain habits than others. They didn't become habits in a day; it will take just as long to change them.
You’re the problem.
That's harsh but let’s not rule this out. There are too many people who believe they're the victim in every situation. In reality, many of you contributed to your situation in someway, or was the catalyst. These types of people are unable to accept any fault in a situation, leaving out details that could cast them in a bad light, and having a valid reason for every s***** thing they do.
If any of that sounds like you, I advise you to take some time to reflect. Humble yourself. Other people aren't always the problem. You have to realize you're the common denominator in these situations and yes, you most likely are the reason you're still stuck in this toxic place.
This is a lonely, self-destructive path. Eventually you'll drive everyone away from you. You can keep replacing people, but eventually they'll see you for who you are and leave too. All those bad things going on in your life? Those are the consequences for your actions.
"If you can't handle me at my worst, you don't deserve me at my best."
WRONG. This is absolutely one of the most toxic mindsets to have. No one wants to deal with someone who is awful to be around. Most if not all of your relationships are on eggshells because people can't relax around you. It's not fair. They don't deserve that either, especially when other bring you their best selves. Figure out why it is you aren't a good person to other people. Go to therapy. Stop taking advantage of people. Work on being a genuinely good person. Learn how to be a good family member and friend. You shouldn't be dating or making new friends. This time needs to be spent fixing your toxic traits and becoming someone people want to be around.
Hopefully you all were able to take something away from the post! Many times we don't realize we're in our own way when it comes to healing. We all go through something but it's our responsibility to make sure our mental and emotional states are healthy. Otherwise you'll be stuck in the same cycle.