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  • Writer's pictureJaye Gaff

The best thing I’ve done for my mental health

Updated: Jan 17, 2022

I don’t think this is something that’s talked about enough but, sometimes, for the sake of your own health you need to cut everybody out of your life. Family included. For so long I was this depressed and anxious person and I wanted to die with every part of my being.

And as I slowly removed family members out of my life I started to wake up and I really, truly, started to live. I always feel like if you can remove somebody from your life and there is no sadness, well, that’s how you know you made the right decision.

Making the decision to not have my family around transformed my life in innumerable ways. I stopped feeling anxious whenever I left the house. I stopped feeling anxious about having people in my home. I was able to open myself up to making lasting friendships. I learned how to trust myself. I learned how to be strong and brave and to love every inch of myself.

For some reason the hardest person to remove was the person I hated the most. I remember adoring her up until the point when she strangled me when we were kids. From that point on I was terrified of her and I suppose that’s why. She scared me. And, in the end, she made the choice for me.

To say I had no hand in it would be a lie. Because I’m a plotter and a pusher and I knew exactly what I was doing. But the thing that finally did it for me was that she didn’t trust me and as much as she felt it was warranted I just couldn’t be bothered defending myself to her. I couldn’t speak about anyone without her seeing herself in my words and I thought, how terribly sad, that she sees herself in things that have nothing to do with her. And she finally confirmed what, really, I knew all along. Narcissist. And that was that.

Thank fucking god.

And I suppose that’s what I really need to people to know. There will be people in your life who make you want to die. And you think there’s no way out. But there is. And it isn’t ending your life.

Leave them. Or let them leave. The changes will be transformative.

For me they happened overnight. No longer having them around was such a breath of fresh air. Reducing my family to my Husband, my daughter, our animals, and a select few friends who mean the world has been the best thing to ever happen to me and my mental health. My anxiety and depression were still there but they weren’t a daily struggle. I felt free. They were the reason I dreamed of death and with them gone I could see how much living actually meant to me.

And that’s bloody important. Because so many stupid people will tell you that family is everything and blood is thicker than water and that is absolute bullshit. These people don’t know anything. You can leave the family you were born into and create your own. You can stop wanting to die because it’s actually not you. It’s them. You may be the bad guy in their story but that doesn’t mean you owe them anything.

So, go on. I believe in you. Go start bloody living and never look back.

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