While I was in college, I got into an argument with a friend, and he ended up saying that I tend to cut people out of my life.
It struck a chord with me. I was offended someone close to me would suggest it, and also didn’t believe it to be true. It’s something that I still think about years after the fact, and lately has caused me to reconsider my anger back then.
Looking back, I realized I wasn’t offended because of the accuracy of the statement, but the implication that it’s a bad thing.
I don’t want to sound like a cold person, but I don’t think there is a problem with removing toxicity from your life.
Whether it’s people, bad habits or needing to change your environment for your mental health, that is a good thing.
As we grow older and experience new environments like college, working life or a move, we make realizations about what is good for our mental health and what is not. I’ve used this platform before to talk about my upbringing and my parents’ divorce, which was caused by my father’s affair. I don’t want to re-hash that, but it taught me an unfortunate lesson at a young age: Some people are toxic. And no matter how close you are to them, it’s better to leave them out of your life.
So, as a 17-year-old having to cut my own father out of my life, I guess I didn’t have any issue with doing the same to other toxic people and other toxic behaviors.
You see, long before my father had an affair, our relationship was nothing short of rocky. And without turning this into a therapy session, even if my parents had stayed together, I can’t see my relationship with him being much different than it is now.
And to me, that’s not a bad thing.
I consider myself very lucky to be surrounded by the people I have in my life. I have a wonderful and loving husband, supportive family and in-laws and, in my completely biased opinion, some of the best friends in the whole world. All things considered, I’m doing pretty well for myself.
But, it took a while to get here. Not just with the people in my life, but with bad habits and living arrangements. I had to work very hard to get myself into a space where I felt content.
What I’m trying to say is don’t let anyone tell you how to live your life or give you grief for your life choices. If you think cutting drinking out of your life is good for you, don’t let someone try to talk you out of it. They don’t know what’s best for you. Just like when health brands tell you to rid your body of toxins, sometimes you need to remove toxins from your life.
At the end of the day, the only person you have to answer to is yourself, and only you know what is best for your well-being.
Reach Brigid Edmunds-Lawrence at 570-991-6113 or on Twitter @brigidedmunds.