I deal with the human brain on a daily basis. Mostly individuals suffering from brain injuries related to traumatic events like vehicular accidents, subarachnoid hemorrhages, and other various cerebral insults. What I often discuss with my families is the healing process. “The brain is very slow to heal. The healing process is a marathon not a sprint.” I’ve repeated those words probably hundreds of times and meant it. Injury to the brain happens within seconds, but true healing takes much longer. 

Why would healing after a traumatic emotional relationship be any different? It’s easy to want an instantaneous fix to the pain. In fact, I’ve often prayed for amnesia. I’d like to wake up one day and not have any memory of him or the events that transpired. The reality is that pain is part of the healing process. And if I had the ability to erase the memory of him, it’s possible that I could end up back in the same situation. It’s like the saying goes, “meeting you will either be a lesson or a blessin’.” 

When first leaving the toxic relationship, it was difficult to see how anything positive would come from it. I had become so consumed in the pain and depression that I was unable to see the light shinning in. What I am starting to realize is how happy I have become since I have broken free of him. Sometimes we have to remove ourselves from a situation before we can truly see how damaging it has become. 

One of the biggest questions I had after the relationship imploded was, “how do I avoid a situation similar to this in the future?”

Here are a few simple rules I have developed to ensure I get out sooner rather than later…

 “How to Know When to Quit It”:

  • If he makes you feel the happiest and the absolute saddest in the same day….Leave
  • If you start to physically become ill (weight loss, nausea, vomiting)…. Leave 
  • If at any point you start to wonder what’s wrong with you….Leave
  • And if you ever find yourself telling him you “deserve better”…. Leave, because ultimately you do. 
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