How to Save Yourself from (Toxic) Love.

I am (and have always been) a champion of making your own decisions about things based on how you feel about said things (and sticking to your decision until new evidence suggests otherwise), not on how society tells you to feel. For example, if I had a dollar for every time someone asked why I’m wearing high top doc martens in forty-degree weather, I would have enough money to buy fancy noise-cancelling headphones to block out all further boot-related questions. But then — there goes my revenue stream. On the other hand, hello peace of mind, and the freedom to do whatever the fuck I want.

In certain situations, however, you should absolutely not be making your own decisions.

When said certain situation is one that you can anticipate coming, have someone around that can (and will) enforce a decision that past-you had made so that the-non-decision-making present-you can be saved. Think Odysseus and the sirens. Homeboy knew that once his ship enters the gravitational field of those siren sirens, he would not be able to resist.

On the other hand, if the certain situation is one that comes out of left-field and completely surprises you and everyone around you, it’s important that at least one person in “everyone around you” is a trusted friend that you can totally relinquish your decision-making privileges to.

Say for example — hypothetically speaking — an ex of yours who you were totally head-over-heals in love with in the most passionate, co-dependent, unhealthy, crazy toxic way, resurfaces back into your life. Say, this person, they’re someone that triggers everything that’s bad and ugly in you. Say, for them, you’re someone that triggers everything that’s bad and ugly in them. Say, this trigger chain you two start is something that loops and grows exponentially, and then proceeds to destroy the both you, first slowly, and then all at once; mentally, emotionally, and towards the end, even physically. Say, this cycle of destruction, it’s something that happens every time the two of you meet, even when the both of you know for a fact that it’ll happen — still — you can’t help it. It’s fucking fatalistic.

Say for example, that I’m not speaking hypothetically.

What you should do in such a situation, is you go find a friend of yours whose judgement you trust. Someone who’d seen you through all the ups and downs. Someone who’s familiar with the cycle. Maybe she’s a writer, this friend of yours. Maybe an editor. Maybe she’s someone creative, but that’s not really important right now. Focus. What’s important is that you immediately give her all the facts: So, you tell her, so and so has resurfaced; here’s the place and time; stuff and things; bells and whistles; and then you ask her — what the fuck should I do?

Then you fucking listen. You fucking listen to your writer friend and do everything she says because your brain, that thing in your head that’s served you amazingly well in life so far — it goes all wonky once it enters the gravitational field of so and so. So what you do is, you don’t ask questions. You don’t talk back. You do exactly what she says to a T because you trust her, your writer friend, and you trust that she has your best interest at heart.

If you haven’t already realised by now, the tragedy, of course, is that the brain that your writer friend is feeding all this legitimately useful information into, is not the same brain that’ll be in your head once you’re within seeing distance of so and so. Within touching distance. Hugging distance. Kissing distance…