Are you surrounded by people who seem like constant drama? If you are, it’s time to put them on the toxic list.
One thing I found in early recovery is that a lot of people simply had to be cast out of my life. It hurts, but you have to do it. Don’t put yourself into a position where you have to deal with more drama than life absolutely requires. Like, you have to go to the grocery store. You don’t have to talk to people who torture you.
Here’s a look at three places in your life where drama and toxicity can be nixed during early recovery:
- Drama, Drama, Drama
There are people who are as sweet as Southern iced tea, but they just seem to have a lot going on. They’re constantly in crisis, constantly leaning on you for emotional (or even financial) support, or just freaking out about something. I had a friend once who seemed to have unending guy drama. She was very nice to me, but the hysteria was just too much. In early recovery, it’s good to dial back the drama in whatever way you can.
- Bad Romance
The same is ever so true of romantic relationships. I believe it’s good advice from 12-Step fellowships to wait a year before starting a new romantic relationship. I remember once I violated this rule to date the hottest guy I’ve ever known, but he was a lot of drama. A hot-headed guy from the Bronx, he was madly jealous, freaked out when I didn’t immediately pick up his calls or texts, and would throw fits and stomp off, threatening to end the relationship. After a few weeks of this I decamped to a nice hotel bar and started on a drinking binge. A perfect example of how badly things like this can end in early recovery.
- Family Ties
It’s hardest to cut ties when it’s family. Sometimes you have to tolerate drama in family situations. I remember having to go through surgery with my mom when I was first trying to recover. She tried so hard not to be dramatic and tried so hard not to ask anything, but a knee replacement is drama! The day we got home from the hospital, the floor of her bathroom started to cave in, water started pouring into the downstairs neighbor’s apartment, and the toilet started to fall through the floor. I’m not making this up. There’s some drama that you can’t avoid – and that’s no one’s fault. Nobody wants the toilet to fall onto the neighbor’s head. But that kind of drama we just have to handle – ask for support, give the support we can, and forgive ourselves if we need to take a quick walk around the block to chill out.
Finding Your Inner Peace
Ask yourself this: Does this person help me feel calm? Or do they raise my blood pressure? You don’t literally need a blood pressure cuff; you know what I mean. Does this person add to my feelings of serenity and peace, or do they make me feel like there are fire ants crawling all over my body? Sometimes you just have to dial it back.
Remember, things could always be worse. Until the toilet is falling through the floor, just know you’re going to be okay.
Additional Reading: 5 Signs You Should End Your Friendship
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