Toxic relationships take a big chunk out of you.
Let’s be honest:
Some people never truly recover from the damage they do.
But some people do.
Are you one of them? Has your healing begun and your comeback started?
Let’s take a look…
1) You’ve grieved fully
You’ve ugly cried and shed buckets of tears. You’ve pulled down the blinds in your apartment and disappeared for a week.
You’ve been through hell and screamed into every pillow you own.
Now you’re all cried out. You’re ready to live again.
Or at least to leave your apartment and take a short walk to the cafe and back.
2) You’ve faced reality
You’ve faced the harsh reality:
You didn’t just love and lose, you loved and were mistreated, gaslighted, perhaps even physically or sexually abused.
You experienced some of the worst that humanity has to offer, and nobody just “bounces back” from that.
It’s going to take time, and you have scars. But you’re not giving up.
3) You don’t pick on yourself
This relates back to the previous point:
You’re sad and badly scarred, but you’re not self-flagellating.
You know that a lot of what happened was not your fault, and that the toxic relationship which took such a toll on you would have done the same to anyone.
You’re not weak or bad, you’re strong for still surviving.
4) You feel OK sometimes
When you’ve gotten used to just barely getting through the day, waking up and realizing you actually feel almost OK is a huge victory.
The past pain of your relationship still weighs on you, but it no longer controls you.
You can take a full breath and exhale without feeling like the world is crashing down around you.
5) Your self-esteem is rebounding
Toxic relationships are a wrecking ball for self-esteem but you feel your confidence slowly returning.
You are beginning to realize or reconfirm that your own value hasn’t been lessened by the awful experiences you had in your past relationship.
If anything, your ability to weather such a heartbreak and emotional storm proves that you are a warrior.
You feel your worth and have begun engaging with others, doing activities and physical exercises and getting out of your head more.
6) You don’t hold a grudge
This is a very difficult one, because how can you not hold a grudge for somebody who made your life a living hell?
Perhaps the toxic relationship brought out your own worst aspects of yourself, too.
How can you not resent somebody who helped bring you down to that level?
The answer is that you have found a wellspring of new energy inside yourself and find that even while the pain is still there you are ready to move on.
You want to focus on the future and on improving yourself, and the pain of what happened is no longer your focus.
7) You’re living your own life
You’re living your own life, making your own friendships and sticking by your boundaries.
You’re getting active and working on your mental and physical health.
Even if you still have down days where you don’t want to leave your room and you sip on a booze bottle like it’s orange juice, you’re not fully beyond hope.
Your life has a schedule again. You’re putting in full days of work. You’re having at least brief moments when you feel like maybe, just maybe, you’re going to be OK.
8) You don’t follow your ex
It’s very tempting to continue following an ex on social media and asking mutual friends about him or her – even when that ex treated you awfully.
Love dies hard. Even toxic love.
But you’re not doing that. You’ve blocked them and moved on (or they blocked you and you’ve eventually accepted it).
You’re not chasing them anymore. You’re pushing away that inner critic that tries to tell you to go after them.
You’ve drawn a boundary and you won’t cross it again, including with your own attention.
Your time and energy is more valuable than to spend looking at the life of somebody who treated you badly and led to one of the worst chapters of your life.
9) You have a busier social life
Your social life is nowhere near thriving yet, and you still have plenty of times when you don’t want to talk to anyone.
But you’re busier than you remember since your breakup.
You are talking to friends again and occasionally feeling like you’re up for social events.
You’re not exactly club hopping or smiling and chatting it up with everyone you meet. But you are tentatively reaching out and opening up once again.
Maybe this is what it’s like to heal.
10) You understand the roots of what happened
Even though the past still hurts a lot, you understand much more about what happened and why.
You can see how your own unhealed patterns and the toxic behavior of your partner led to the painful events which occurred.
Therapy, self-healing, meditation and inner work has led you to a place of greater understanding.
The pain is still there, but there is also more clarity, and that brings some relief.
11) Your hope in love is back
You don’t have much hope, but you have a bit.
Even if it seems like love is never going to happen for you, the idea of love and wishing it for others does seem like a possibility.
There’s a small crack of light shining under the door, and you are willing to let it in, even just a bit.
Maybe love hurts and it always will, but it can also be beautiful.
You’re willing to grant that, even if romantic love feels like a very painful thing to you for the time being and you don’t quite see the end of that perception yet.
12) You’re dating again
The proof is in the pudding!
If you’re dating again and not thinking of your ex as much, you’re healing from the past pain.
Even if the dates you’re going on aren’t all that incredible and don’t lead to second dates, you deserve kudos for getting yourself out there.
You don’t have huge expectations, nor are you dating because you’re lonely or desperate.
You’re just open to meeting new people even as friends and in putting yourself out there and forming new connections that transcend the pain of the past.