When it comes to relationships, whether it be a family member, a close or distant friend, acquaintance, significant other or even a coworker, it is important for one's overall well-being to be aware of which connections are more toxic rather than healthy.

Personally, I don’t associate with most of my dad’s side of the family because of some hidden racism or other negative comments. I do not want to be around or talk to someone who displays racist tendencies, especially when they’re in the family. I think everyone is equal no matter their skin tone and no skin tone should be discriminated against solely for their color of skin.

We’ve all had toxic people in our lives at one point or another. When I wasn't dealing with negative comments from a family member at one time or another, I was dealing with them from an acquaintance, friend or significant other.

I know of a lot of people who just had or have distorted and negative mindsets and perspectives on life, which caused me to have the same. Because of these negative people, it caused me to feel and act in a negative way. This is not how I want to live my life. In fact, since I’ve stopped being around these people and thinking negatively, I have become a happier person.

In my life, I’ve had a few serious relationships. Some were very unhealthy and ended on a not-so-good note. No significant other should ever tell you what to do with your own life. I don’t know why I stayed in those relationships, because I put up with a lot of stuff that I necessarily should not have. I’ve talked to a professional therapist over a year ago when the COVID-19 pandemic hit when I wasn’t feeling my greatest. I agree with the therapist when they said I have witnessed various toxic behavior from people in my life because of those serious relationships.

With that said, it is necessary as well as healthy to see therapists or someone in the psychological realm before, during and after toxic and traumatic experiences.

I feel as if going through those toxic experiences makes me the person I am today. I am able to recognize when something is not healthy about any situation or relationship. If I didn’t go through those bad things in my life, I would still be the person I was before, however, I have grown.

Being able to recognize when something is toxic in one's life is important because if you don’t, I guarantee you won’t like the person you become. I mean, I didn’t. Red flags are important to recognize. A few of my friends didn’t when they finally got out of the toxic situation. In order to grow, one must realize when something is unhealthy. Then either work to fix the detrimental situation or leave.

Whether toxicity comes in the form of negative, aggressive or racist comments, each toxic situation is still very unhealthy no matter what it is and will most likely alter your state of mental health. It took me a very long time to really find myself and my mental health again after my toxic relationship experience.

I may not even know if I truly found myself as I still continue to make on and grow. I know some of my friends have found out who they are and some have not. As long as no one, including myself, ceases to stop moving and pushing forward.

Life is all about growth and being able to adapt to change as well as whatever the world decides to throw your way. People must know and understand what toxic situations look like. This may take some longer than others.

I know for me, it took me a very long time to realize I was actually in several unhealthy situations and relationships. It took me an even longer time to recover. I am still recovering, but I am now aware of what I deserve and expect from every person I encounter in life, and I will never let anyone ruin anything I have worked so hard to do and to become.

Although toxic situations really help a person learn, it is unfair that individuals have to learn a lesson from a bad, negative and traumatizing experience, all of which really makes one comprehend what to specifically look out for. It’s kind of like a lose and win situation, but in the end, it is solely just about who one has become, how far they have grown and what they accomplished in their own personal life, despite the toxicity in their life.

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