If you’re going through a breakup or are in a toxic relationship, I want you to know you’re not alone.
You are worthy of finding the right kind of love.
You are good enough.
You will feel whole again.
I hope this letter helps you find the courage to leave. As I offer a vulnerable look into a dark time of my life, I hope you realize there’s light at the end of the tunnel.
In college, I was in an unhealthy relationship for years. It was a vicious cycle of breaking up to make up. He was the type who cheated, lied, and manipulated his way through life. But he was charming, so I accepted the “I’m sorry’s” and kept. going. back. He made me believe I’d be worthless without him and I’d never find someone better. He used my insecurities against me and ridded me of any bit of confidence I had.
After college, we both pursued our own career paths in different states and tried to make a long distance relationship work (lol). I’m so thankful I decided to follow my own dreams and not his. Being apart left me lonely, but gave me time to think about and face the reality that I was depressed and broken because of him. The distance was a blessing: It showed me that I could, in fact, live a fulfilling life without him by my side.
I honestly just woke up one day and told myself I couldn’t live in that vicious cycle anymore. I told him it was over – just like that. The days and even months following are sort of a blur, but I know they were filled with anger, tears, and waves of regret as I wondered if I’d made the right decision.
Slowly but surely, I started to love myself and my life again. If you’re going through a breakup, I promise you that this part just takes time. Everyone deals with pain differently, so it’s okay if it takes you two months or two years to move on.
Personally, I found comfort in talks with girlfriends, writing, and traveling. I took up kickboxing and got in the best shape of my life. I mended broken friendships that ended as a result of my decisions when I was with him. I relied on books and blogs and music to make it through the toughest of days.
About six months after the breakup, I started dating again. I wasn’t looking for a relationship, but the distraction was a nice change. I took dating for what it was: A chance to meet people and have fun as a twenty-something single woman.
I wouldn’t change anything that’s happened to me and I certainly have no regrets because every experience has led me my happiest season of life so far. I’m thankful because that toxic relationship opened my eyes to the qualities I do and do not want in a partner. As I look back, I’m honestly just so happy that I found the strength to get out.
I promise there’s a silver lining to leaving and moving on. No matter the circumstances, breakups are never easy. I hope my experience brings you comfort in knowing you will get through this. If you’re thinking about leaving, I encourage you to just take the leap. Do it for YOU.
If you’re trying to move on, stay busy and work on finding yourself again. The time will pass anyway, so you mind as well make it count. It’s true when they say you have to love yourself hard before you can ever love someone else.