I volunteer with a support group that counsels and encourages ex-prisoners back into society.
It’s heavy stuff, especially since many of them are homeless when they first get out and largely ostracized by friends, family, and greater society. Those are hard conditions to beat, which is why so many of them return to prison (upwards of 70%).
That said, these meetings are usually incredibly warm, uplifting, humbling, and inspiring. Just last night, one participant expressed frustration in how difficult it can be to leave negative relationships behind, especially if you don’t have any positive relationships to replace them with.
In other words, misery loves company. As social creatures, many humans would rather stay with toxic people than endure loneliness.
When I quit recreational drugs, I spent a lot of lonely nights on my own. My friends were still good people, but I had to remove myself from negative behavior.
It was hard. But after a while, I gradually started fellowshipping with less dependent, more “naturally high” individuals. That felt wonderful and totally worth the temporary loneness I suffered in order to meet them.
So if you’re in an unhealthy relationship but don’t want to be alone, that’s understandable. But it’s better to brave temporary loneliness than to endure ongoing negativity.
The sacrifice is worth it, I promise.