Often in recovery, people speak about the importance of surrounding yourself with a strong support system. This is because people tend to be influenced by those around them; it is simply human nature. When the people you surround yourself with have similar values or goals, they positively impact you. However, when the people you surround yourself with are making unhealthy, dangerous, and potentially life-threatening choices, there is a chance you could make similar choices as well.
Treatment can provide you with a positive support system. However, you must address the concern of the environment you return to post-treatment. For many, this could mean returning to a toxic and unhealthy relationship. When newly out of treatment, this can have detrimental effects on your health and recovery. If you are in such a situation, seeking freedom from addiction will also require finding space from toxic relationships.
Signs of a Toxic Relationship
It can often be difficult to notice the signs of a toxic, violent, or unhealthy relationship, especially regarding your own relationships. Many factors signify a toxic relationship. This can sometimes include a situation where a partner abuses you physically, verbally, or emotionally. They can sometimes be easy to point out, but it can be difficult to walk away from the situation if your partner is threatening your life.
A toxic relationship can also be categorized by controlling or manipulative behavior. An example can involve a partner controlling and manipulating you. In some cases, you may both be manipulating each other.
It is common to see toxic relationship traits when you and your partner partake in substance use together. In some cases, your partner may pressure you to use alcohol, drugs, or other substances for the first time. Due to the psychologically harmful and traumatic effects that can result from a toxic relationship, substance use often becomes the foundation and strength of the relationship to cope with the trauma of the relationship.
This dynamic might be present if you are in a couple that constantly argues and shows signs of substance use. These can include physical symptoms like bruising or injury. Other common signs of addiction or mental illness may be present individually as well.
Harmful Effects of Toxic Relationships on Recovery
As mentioned above, when you leave treatment, you are forced to return to your previous environments. That means returning to the toxic relationships you may have been a part of. Changing the environment that surrounds you, though, is essential to maintaining recovery. This includes the people you surround yourself with, including your significant other. Even in a toxic relationship, deciding to leave is incredibly difficult, but it is crucial for continuing on your path to recovery.
If you do not end a relationship that is toxic to yourself and your overall wellbeing, your recovery can become dangerously compromised. If your partner was a leading factor to continued substance use, you cannot afford to keep them in your life if their presence will constantly tempt you and urge you to use.
The same dangers apply if your partner is not struggling with addiction but is still emotionally or physically abusive. Even if treatment taught you healthy coping techniques, entering back into a toxic environment could cause you to relapse as a way of dealing with the emotional or physical trauma you may be experiencing.
Freeing Yourself From All Toxicity
Despite the horrible things abusive partners do in a toxic relationship, leaving that relationship can be extremely difficult. This scenario is especially true if your partner is highly manipulative. Even when your partner does something unthinkable, they can twist everything around the next second to make you think it was all your fault. They force you to question everything and believe the worst about yourself.
This environment is detrimental to all, especially when newly out of treatment. Though it may be difficult, finding a way out will make all the difference in maintaining your recovery.
The best thing you can do to find your way out of a toxic relationship is to find a healthy support system. Surrounding yourself with friends, families, and peers who have your best interest at heart is the most effective way for you to leave or avoid returning to such toxic conditions.
You can also prepare yourself while in treatment. Our relapse prevention program and individual therapy sessions here at The Lakehouse Recovery Center can help you learn how to move on from your past and focus on your future while removing all toxicity from it.
Toxic relationships can be detrimental to anyone who finds themselves stuck in an unhealthy environment. This situation is especially true for those who are newly out of treatment. Unfortunately, we do not always control the settings we enter into post-treatment. While the therapy and programs we receive during treatment can help handle these toxic relationships, recovery can be severely compromised by remaining in these relationships. Whether your significant other’s substance use is tempting you to relapse or their emotional or physical abuse towards you is making you think of using, staying with them is not in any way conducive to a positive, successful recovery. If you or someone you love is in this exact situation of seeking recovery but stuck in a toxic relationship, the Lakehouse encourages you to seek help today. To learn how we may start you on your path to recovery, please call us at (877) 762-3707 today.