She is back and better than ever…I is she…She is me. This post has been inspired by The Sunday Times Bestseller ‘Women Don’t Owe You Pretty’. The first book published by Cosmopolitan’s influencer of the year 2019 Florence Given. The book covers emotional manipulation to setting boundaries to finding your sense of self. There is a part of the book that really helped change everything for me. It is about how we sometimes settles for crumbs in relationships, jobs or life in general. Some people give us their crumbs and bare minimum just to keep us around. We make ourselves unhappy or change our behaviour to suit the crumby people around us when we deserve so much more.
Toxic People Without Value
Florence Given describes Crumbs as “gestures people throw us, in order to keep us under the illusion that they deserve a place in our lives”. When reading this I sat and really reflected on who I was surrounded by in my life. Some friends respected boundaries, gave as much love and loyalty as they received, were unproblematic and honest. I went through bouts of unhealthy coping mechanisms and self-destructive behaviours. The ‘real‘ friends cared enough to call me out on my self-inflicted pain, and their love and support snapped me out of the toxicity I was allowing to seep into my life. The ‘crumb friends’ however, didn’t care about any trauma I was experiencing, sat and watched me fall into a dark place and excused their lack of humanity by saying ‘I am not your mother’ as if the only human qualified to tell me to wise up and pull my finger out was a parent. Anyone who tries to make you feel as though you are lucky to be in their mere presence…red flag, run!
Toxicity infects the healthiest of minds
Cutting a bad person, partner or job out of your life is not easy. Toxic relationships can be as addictive as cocaine. You hide the bad moments from healthy people, convince yourself things will change or that they aren’t always bad, hold on to anything remotely good about the relationship and excuse anything that could be perceived as bullying or gaslighting. I could go on about how bad these relationships are but if you’re addicted to the pain or have low self-esteem and accept that this is all you deserve, you are your own worst enemy. I was making myself miserable and changing they way I dressed to avoid mockery. I was questioning myself as I was repeatedly told I was ‘too much’ when really I just reflected someone’s insecurities back at them like a mirror and nobody wants to acknowledge that they are the problem. The moment I realised that I was the one ruining my own chance for happiness it all changed. I could cry, scream, argue, sit silently or try to be complacent, but I was ultimately the only person who could change how I was feeling. And when I did cut it out and drop everything, as scary as it was, it didn’t compare to the weight I felt lift off my shoulders.
Bake Your Own Goddamn Cake
Stop giving chances to people that put you down. Acknowledge there is a difference between banter/roasting and just plain picking at someone to make themselves feel superior. Some people just don’t want you to succeed. Reading this you may think of a friend or ex yourself that claimed they wanted to see you succeed, but actually they only mean it until you start to succeed more than them. Quit a job if you are literally losing sleep and happiness for it. Move if where you live makes you feel suffocated or unhappy. You need to be responsible for your own happiness and contentment. Say ‘Fuck this’ to things that damage your mental health. Choose the flavour of your own cake and don’t let anyone else tell you how you should make it. Wear what makes you happy, go for walks and surround yourself with good people who allow you to be the best version of yourself. Trust me it is worth it.