How A Bad Relationship Messed Up My Health & Life

How A Bad Relationship Messed Up My Health & Life ©iStock/max-kegfire

A crappy relationship doesn’t only make your love department look like the set of a horror movie, but it also wrecks the rest of your life and your health. That’s what happened to me with a drama-filled jerk I was dating who kept me on an emotional roller-coaster.

  1. I became a human stress ball. I never knew where I stood with this guy. He was inconsistent — sometimes he’d shower me with love and attention, and other times he’d withdraw and become moody, irritable or just ignore me. This roller-coaster made me feel I could never just relax and know what to expect. I was always on tenterhooks and it made me super stressed as well as anxious.
  2. I fell into depressionI wasn’t happy in the relationship and I kept hoping things would pick up, that he would become the amazing guy he was in the beginning of the relationship. The stress I was feeling was becoming depression, and research backs this up. A study by the University of Buffalo in New York has found that bad relationships can lead to depressive symptoms.
  3. I disappeared within myself. I don’t think I was much fun to be around and the depression also made me isolate myself from loved ones, which made me more alone and unhappy. But I didn’t feel like being around people, especially when the guy went AWOL and didn’t contact me for weeks at a time, and so I tried to carry the burden of my unhappiness alone. It was too heavy and I was stumbling.
  4. I got sick more often. I found myself getting colds and flus, as well as stomach upsets, much more. It was strange because it was so unlike me to get sick. I found out that when the stress hormone cortisol runs rampant in the body, it can inhibit the immune system. Figures.
  5. I neglected my life. Dating a guy who was always attracting drama into his life was not only annoying and draining AF but it made me lose my life in the process. I would drop whatever I was doing to listen to his BS or help him out of yet another rough patch, such as being evicted from his home. I never had energy for anything or anyone else.
  6. My passions suffered. Before I met that a-hole, I was always focused on my passions and what made me happy. This was crucial to my sanity because it helped me to deal with stress and it kept me in a good mental state. But with him I wasn’t interested in doing anything I used to love doing (which is also a symptom of depression) and I totally lost my spark. I didn’t even notice it was happening until a friend who wouldn’t allow herself to be pushed out of my life pointed it out.
  7. Unhappiness was written on my face. Although I tried to hide what was happening in my toxic relationship from those who love me, they could see it on my face. I remember once my mother commented that my skin didn’t glow anymore – it looked dull and tired. Of course – my inner turmoil was making me lose sleep and I wasn’t eating correctly, which was ruining my skin. Add stress onto that and I had the perfect recipe for looking like crap. This was the final straw to wake me up. If the relationship was even affecting my appearance, what else was I going to sacrifice for it? It was destroying me. That was what finally, and thankfully, pushed me to GTFO. Once I did, everything started to change for the better.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.