When you have fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome, you have to make sure you minimize the things in your life that can make your symptoms worse. Sometimes, as painful as it can be, that means eliminating people.
Some relationships can be just as toxic as chemicals or infectious agents. When a person runs you down, makes you feel bad about yourself, gives you a guilt trip about your illness, or otherwise drains your energy, you might have to consider whether it's worth having them in your life.
About a year and a half ago, I wrote about a traumatic event that had happened to me and my husband. At that time, we had to cut some people out of our lives. It was agonizing at first, but it wasn't long before we realized we were better off without them - they hadn't been worthy of our friendship to begin with.
Now I'm faced with this situation again. A close family member has become a big problem for me, constantly trying to undercut my confidence and getting in little digs at every opportunity. I live a few hundred miles away from this person, so the logistics are simple - I stop calling and don't answer calls. Done. Emotionally, it'll be a lot more difficult, but honestly it's a relief to think about not having to deal with this person. It'll create a ripple effect through the family, but I think I've come to terms with that. Most of them have made little or no effort to be a part of my life, anyway.
The silver lining of cutting toxic people out of my life is that now the people I am around are those who really matter and who truly care about me. It's relieved a lot of stress, and my social life no longer leaves me drained, frustrated and exhausted.
Get help dealing with toxic relationships, from some of my fellow About.com Health Guides:
- Letting Go of a Relationship that Stresses You, by Stress Guide Elizabeth Scott
- READERS RESPOND: Dealing with Toxic People, from Bipolar Guide Marcia Purse
Do you need to cut toxic people out of your life? Have you already? What has your experience been? Leave your comments below!
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