Imagine you are walking past by a large green garbage bin that you would normally see at the back of any apartments or buildings, and you could see that the bin was tainted with some red-brownish liquid dripping from the huge pile of plastic bags that were apparently not tightened properly.
Then, as you walk nearer, you accidentally sniffed a chunk of the air surrounding it, and immediately, your stomach churned, and your head started to spin, then there was a burning sensation in your throat; you nearly puked out the last meal you had!
You super regretted walking nearby that area!
But you know what!? There are many people who tend to walk straight into these foul-smelling garbage bins without realizing it, including ourselves!
Well, figuratively, of course.
I meant that we tend to put ourselves through toxic situations without realizing it, even though it makes us feel miserable time after time.
I'll share my personal stories about how I went through some toxic situations myself below too.
5 Toxic Situations
Of course, I don't think that all of these five things could kill anyone, but in extreme cases, I believe it just might.
We have heard countless frightening news about mentally unwell people inflicting physical harm to their loved ones, whether deliberately or unintentionally. Some succumbed to their injuries while others manage to free themselves from further harm.
The victims who survived will never lead a peaceful life ever again as they will be scarred for life, struggling to live through their emotional and psychological traumas.
The symptoms they endure are very heart-wrenching that (I believe) not many people would have the will-power to carry such a heavy burden.
And not to forget others who still have to deal with emotionally abusive parents, life-partners, or friends who are narcissistic, self-centered, and manipulative. They have to live with people who possess harmful behaviors that would make anyone's lives a living hell.
Yet, we find it hard to let go of them because, maybe for some reason, being lonely is scarier?
A Bestfriend Or Just Someone Crazy?
I used to have a best friend during my secondary school who was possessive and manipulative. Not really someone you would call a "best" friend, right?
He would force me to hang out after school at his void deck until very late (at that time, 10 pm is considered very late for a 14 years old kid), and if I didn't comply, he would criticize me for being a lousy friend.
Sometimes he would snatch my bag and not give it back until I stayed with him for as long as he wanted.
He would pressure me to start smoking, steal from shops, and join his gang of rebellious friends who loved to skip classes and do "friendly sparring" just for fun, and I would become their punching bag.....literally.
He would not allow me to hang out with other guy friends because he would feel left out. And, to keep up with our homework and studies was the last thing on his mind.
Even though his presence made me feel so much discomfort and anxiety, I stayed with him as a good friend for three whole years.
I'm glad I wasn't depressed or traumatized, but I do know it has affected me in some ways until now.
I broke off our relationship when I got brave enough after I reached 16 years old. I never met him ever again.
Stuck In A Job You Loathe
"It is our responsibility to put food on the table," said the man with calloused hands who barely able to crack a smile and the lady who has puffy eyes with dark circles around them.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that a tough manual labor job is not a good choice for a job, nor am I saying that we should immediately quit any job that is sucking the life force out of us.
To me a job that is physically demanding that pays well, has good management, and can provide a better work/life balance is better than a sedentary job that takes 90% of your time and energy.
Then again, at the end of the day, we must find ways to provide food for the family. So, what do most of us do? - We soldier on...
Although, I do believe that our job's nature and how we generally feel about our job will affect our lives physically, mentally, and emotionally.
We have to ask ourselves questions like, "What other options do we have that could help change our lifestyle at the current state? Or, are we doomed to be stuck in the same situation forever?"
It's not an easy situation. During this pandemic, many are stuck in jobs they hate, yet they are afraid of changing jobs at the stake of losing their mental well-being.
And that's sad to know.
I'm Holding On Well
I'm in a job that I wouldn't say that I hate nor would I brag about it as something I am proud to do for the rest of my life.
But, it has allowed me to chase my other passions in life, pay my bills and my parent's bills, so...I soldier on.
Not caring for our physical body is the most common toxic behavior we put ourselves through.
Imagine having a car that we don't clean regularly, or if we don't change the engine oil and clean the interior that is filled with bits of leftover foods; what do you think would happen to the car?
Obviously, the car won't last long, and the interiors will probably become a haven for creepy crawlers.
Like what happened to me a few years back when I still own a car. What happened was that the car air-condition system broke down and it affected the engine as well. Every time I turned on the air-con, the engine will start to jerk and stall multiple times.
The same thing would happen to our physical well-being if we keep putting in trash into our bodies. Our bodies will eventually show signs of damage that is beyond repair sooner or later.
Physical fitness can even affect mental well-being.
Just like what I had to go through growing up...
I hated that I was skinny and weak.
I hated that everyone else grew up to be strong and healthy while I was still underweight and barely able to lift the sofa or dining table at home, or the sack of rice from the market, or that annoyingly troublesome SAR 21 Rifle I had to carry around everywhere I went and also the absurdly heavy field bag during my National Service.
I hated that adult shirts and pants didn't fit nicely on me.
I hated that I get tired quickly, and I'd get made fun of as weak and useless.
I hated looking at myself in the mirror.
Notice I used the word "hate" a lot?
That's the reason why I started giving a damn about my physical fitness, and I'm glad I'm not as weak and skinny as I used to after going to the gym and leading a healthier lifestyle.
Sickness Of The Heart
An Islamic preacher once told me that the heart is like a semi-solid ball kept in a container filled with water.
The ball will never stay in one position or shape at any point in time.
Sometimes, it rotates fast as the container moves left and right vigorously, and its shape changes whenever it hit the sides of the container.
Sometimes, it stays still when the container stops moving, and it maintains its circular shape until the container starts to move again.
Similarly, in life, the heart will never be in a constant state. It is constantly feeling something different until the container, which is our body, stops moving or when we pass away.
This situation can be a problem if we do not learn to control our heart if we let it become untamed.
Anger, jealousy, vengeance, sadness, dissatisfaction, lust, greed, and many other negative emotions may eventually overcome our hearts, and we would never lead a peaceful life.
Writing This Post Is A Roller Coaster Ride Too
When I write this post, I had to recall back memories that I wish I could forget. It is the kind of memories that triggers deep remorse and resentment that may not be fully healed yet.
There are painful instances in the past that I find it hard to forget and forgive. I think you would understand if I say that sometimes the only ones who could hurt you the most are those who are closest to you or the people you trust.
I know that I make mistakes too and therefore, I do my best to forgive and forget, but it is not easy.
Writing out my thought process and sharing them with people who find them inspiring is one way I am healing too.
I used to hate myself a lot growing up as a kid. (Don't worry I'm feeling much better now.)
Like, I felt that I sucked at everything I do and my unattractive facial appearance, low likeability, and weak physique made it worst because nobody likes me for who I was. Well, not really true, my family and a few friends were there for me.
It's just that I feel I am as good as a kid with some mental and behavioral disorder that wasn't detected earlier and I had to live with that fact throughout my childhood.
For example, I wasn't good at socializing with friends. I was not very creative nor smart. I was not a fast thinker or doer (even until now). I was not good at doing housework, schoolwork, sports, hands-on activities like art & craft or technical stuff. I was not good at studies, and even in most trending games at that time.
It was difficult, you know. The smart people looked down on me. The rebellious people made fun of me. The gamers lost their temper when they played a game with me. The athletic ignored me. The creatives belittled me. The average people only tried to be kind to me., but they still talked bad about me behind my back.
Tell me, how do I fit in any social grouping?
Of course it affected my self-confidence and self-esteem. I would get worried thinking about whether anyone would ever accept me as a friend or even as an employee, or would I end up just getting taken advantage of and bullied for the rest of my life.
Yeah, sure, I am just overthinking to some of you, but that's what people with social anxiety issues would go through.
Being born a "Man", I have to face another problem of toxic masculinity where whenever I feel like shit, people expect me to "Man up" or to get over it.
I ended up having trouble expressing my sadness and anger, and I would just laugh it off and smile awkwardly even when I know someone is being an asshole towards me, but deep inside, I know I am in pain and felt like kicking them in the face.
But, luckily, I am not affected badly by all the things I shared above. I did manage to overcome them, slowly but surely, my life is turning for the better as I held on to my Islamic principles.
At The End Of The Day..
We are responsible for our mental and physical well-being.
And these two things are as important as other aspects of lives and can be considered far more important than achieving success in life in terms of status or monetary rewards.
If you feel stuck, do seek help.
If you need to change something about your life, do something about it before it's too late.
I'm glad that I've overcome many obstacles in life through:
If you ever need to talk to someone about your life struggles, do PM me. I will gladly connect you with the best people who can help you (God-willing).
Take care of yourselves people...
Zaid Omar is the founder and writer of this blog.. He is someone who values being the best version of himself with regards to his Physical, Intellectual, Emotional, and Spiritual aspects.