"We are our own dragons as well as our own heroes, and we have to rescue ourselves from ourselves.” – Tom Robbins, Still Life with Woodpecker

I’ve walked away from many relationships, both platonic and romantic, over the past two years. Those people may never understand my decisions, but I don’t regret a thing. I did my best, in some cases for many years, to help them grow and understand me and themselves better. I’ve learned the hard way though, that at a certain point, you just have to cut the cords of attachment. What I have now is true freedom, true peace. I hope they find those things too.

It’s come to my attention recently that some not so nice things are being said about me behind my back. This doesn’t surprise me and honestly, this doesn’t bother me anymore. Two years ago it would have crushed me. I would have lashed back and tried to defend myself. But the only power I have is acceptance. And that allows me to keep my peace and my freedom.

I recently wrote an article about breaking up with toxic friends and I stand by those beliefs. I know leaving has been the best decision for me and I’m in the best place I’ve even been. As I come upon my one year anniversary of stopping psychiatric medication, I’m doing better than I ever did with medication and much of that is thanks to the lifestyle, career, and relationship choices I’ve made.

Some feel like I have abandoned them and hurt them intentionally to punish. Others think I have gone completely insane or suddenly become extremely religious. I know in my heart what is true and that’s all that matters and their opinions or beliefs about me do not shape me.

Yet, I still can’t escape the sadness it brings me to see them still so stuck in their egos, not being able to understand WHY I left. It’s easy to put blame on someone else when you can’t come to terms with your own demons. I hope they find their way someday soon. Because I am not their way, maybe they just don’t realize that yet.

I did not leave to be cruel or punish anyone nor have I suddenly lost my mind. Quite the opposite. I left out of compassion for myself and for them, I left because I finally FOUND my sanity. I left to get away from lifestyles that were enveloped in addiction, narcissism, and materialism because they were crushing my spirit. After freeing myself from my own insanity and addictive nature over the past few years, it became a much more difficult feat to be free while living in environments that condoned and accepted these behaviors. It’s one thing working as a coach with people going through difficult situations, but being constantly surrounded by this type of living in my personal life was killing me and making it very difficult to keep my own sanity.

I tried for years to save and fix those around me who I loved, but I forgot about saving myself. No one else can save us, it’s an inside job. We all have choices in every situation, as difficult or obscure as they may seem. Be your own hero. Stop expecting those around you to be responsible for your own internal condition. It’s up to you and you alone. You don’t have to regret your decisions or hold onto resentment from past hurts. Those beliefs just weigh you down. Instead, learn to accept that you can’t change people or their minds, only yourself, only your own.

Author's Bio: 

Nellie is a holistic mental health coach, writer, and the founder of Bipolar Out Loud. She has a passion for positive health and happiness and strives to share her message of hope to the mental health community and beyond. As someone who has lived most of her life with the severe symptoms of Bipolar Disorder, Tourette’s Syndrome, and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and successfully broken free from their clutches, her mission as a coach and writer is to teach alternative methods of mental, physical, and spiritual health care that are not dependent on conventional medical treatment and medication. She is an advocate for positive mental health and wellness and she writes and speaks publicly to help end the stigma associated with mental illness. She also work as a life coach with people from all walks of life, no matter what stage of the journey they are on. Check out BipolarOutLoud.com to read more articles about mental health, happiness, recovery, and spiritual growth.