Have you ever had a relationship that has sucked you completely dry? Left you feeling tired and worthless… heavy? The person hurts you time after time yet you find yourself back in their company so often. You don’t know if you are a sucker for punishment or whether you are just trying to prove them wrong… you just know they are there. Magnetic aren’t they? For the past few years I have been in one of those relationships and on Sunday I got sick of it and left. There was no anger. There were no dinner plates being thrown. No clothes gracefully floating out of the third floor window. No swearing. No crying.
I simply said goodbye and watched her disappear.
I broke up with myself.
The old me.
The me that was holding onto my coat-tails. That was planting seeds of doubt. That was making me give up on my dreams. Sabotaging myself. Talking shit behind my own back. Resenting myself.
The writing has been on the wall for a long time and I finally listened and decided that I deserve better. I want more. I need more.
To say this realisation has been eye-opening would be an understatement. This for me has been an earth-shattering epiphany that all started with Dry July. From 1st through to 6th July I drank every day. I drank even when (if I had listened to my body not my brain) I didn’t want to. At first I found it funny in a tragic kind of way, until it dawned on me that I was in a toxic relationship. The kind I would be whisking my best friend out of in a jiffy. Every step towards greatness I took, my ego undermined.
“You can’t stop drinking – it’s how you relax.
You can’t stop drinking – it’s such a huge part of your personality.
You can’t stop drinking – you aren’t confident when you are sober.”
All bullshit. My own ego was trying to dull my sparkle because she wasn’t ready to let me soar. She was trying to guilt me into staying behind with her, on her level. Comfortable in mediocrity.
But enough is enough. And just like that… I was free. Are you ready to free yourself? Yes you are…
Say it out loud
Have you ever had reservations about a relationship that you have purposefully kept to yourself? You don’t want to voice them to your friends because you know once you say it, it’s real. It’s called accountability – and good friends will hold you accountable for the way you treat and are treated. Step up and be a good friend to yourself. Are you constantly making the same mistake? Are you not living bravely? Are you undermining your greatness?
Acknowledge it. You are in control of every decision you have ever made. Nothing changes until you change. Everything changes once you change.
Tell them it’s over
The hardest part; time to tell them it’s over. And luckily in this particular break-up a letter is totally acceptable! Like most break-ups mine started sheepishly. I wasn’t saying the whole truth but then as I kept talking the words start to flow out of me. I finally got real about all those mistakes I’d made, the bad judgements and the times I let myself down. I was brutally honest. It’s not you, it’s me.
Write yourself a break-up letter. Get out everything you need to. The anger, sadness and regret. Read it a couple of times… you are about to say goodbye. Get clear on why.
Remove the reminders
You may be feeling a little tender at this stage. You are out on your own and in control of your own destiny and it may be tempting to relapse into that negative little comfort zone. You need to ‘ex’ proof your house and remove those reminders that could make you relapse. For me this meant taking the bottles of wine off the fridge. Putting the wine glasses in a different cupboard than the one that I keep my mugs in. Throwing out my sloppy clothes; the ones that are so nice to hide in. Replacing photos.
Remove the visual cues. Vision boards work because they provide a constant reminder of who you want to be. So everything that is in your home is providing a constant subconscious reminder of who you are. If you have realised the two don’t match up – then change it!
If you do bump into your ex, keep your dignity. You may argue, you may relapse, you may cry or ignore them or whatever. Saying goodbye can be difficult and as long as you stay focused then don’t beat yourself up for the bumps along the way. I am not embarrassed at the fact I ‘failed’ for the first six days of Dry July. If I hadn’t then I wouldn’t have had this giant light bulb explode above my head and illuminate the world!
Keep trying. Keep failing. I promise that the good stuff is just around the corner.
Trust the process.
Welcome your new life with open arms
You are free! It can be so easy to lament what you are missing rather than celebrate all that you are gaining. Change your focus. Last night – the first of my new sober relationship – instead of having lids weighed down by shiraz I was buzzed: making business plans, chatting to amazing inspiring future collaborators, signing up to my local gym, buying tickets to wellness events and studying. This was what I had been drinking to suppress? I thought I was stilling my mind but I wasn’t… I was dulling it. Now that I know what I have been missing I am so damn excited. Tasted so much better than even my most favorite Semillon Sauvignon.
Remind yourself every day what you are gaining. Make a vision board and meditate on it daily. Start every morning with an affirmation. Every day encourage yourself to keep going.
Do you need to sit yourself down and have “the chat”? I would love to hear about it in the comments.
Or maybe you have a friend that seriously needs to break-up with themselves – why not give them the nudge by SHARING this post.