Everyone is on a detox kick these days. We have been hearing the word detox or detoxification on the television and radio, in conversation, and in magazines. There are 21 day detox programs for weight loss, juice detox programs, 7-21 day detox programs for alcohol and drugs–and the list goes on and on. These detox programs can be found everywhere. However, not many of us know what detox, or detoxification, really is.

Detox is a treatment designed to rid the body of any poisonous substance, while detoxification is the process of removing toxic substances from a person’s body. The detox process is never easy; especially if one has been in a state of denial for many years regarding their form of dependency. Since there are so many programs out there already giving tips on how to detox the body, I am not going to belabor that topic. Instead, I am going to help you identify if you are in a Toxic Relationship, or if you have become emotionally, mentally or spiritually toxic.

Many of us have been in a Toxic Relationship and didn’t know it. Or, we have been in a poisonous relationship and didn’t know how to get out of it. Maybe you knew you were in a bad relationship, but were so afraid to leave it or to do something about it. On the other hand, some of us have been in these relationships for so long that we have become toxic ourselves. Well, I have been in toxic relationships and I have been toxic myself. Notice I said I have been. You see, after a while I got sick and tired of being sick and tired, I got tired of being a pushover, I got tired of being used, I got tired of people taking more from me than they were giving to me, and I got tired of feeling stuck, afraid, and insecure.

Before I go on, I need to clarify the relationships I am talking about that may have become toxic for you. Relationships with your siblings, parents, children, extended family members, your partner, your ex-partner, your co-worker, or your business partners all can become Toxic Relationships. Now let me put a disclaimer out there, because some of these relationships are part of your DNA and you just have to learn how to live with them. For other relationships, however, it’s time to let them go. As for you, it’s time to get rid of those poisonous things–that junk–that has been affecting you mentally, emotionally and spiritually for years.

So how do you know if you are in a toxic, poisonous, bad relationship, or if you have become toxic yourself? Below I have listed what a toxic relationship looks like and what a toxic person looks like.

Is Your relationship toxic?

* If the person is withdrawing more from you than they are giving to you.
* If you feel stressed out, depressed, or sad every time you are around them.
* If they are dumping their negativity on you all the time.
* If you have lost YOU; you don’t know who you are anymore, or you can’t be yourself around them.
* If you can’t trust them.
* If they are controlling and constantly manipulating you to get their way.
* If there is no respect in the relationship.
* If you have to minimize your ability or success when you are around them.
* If you can’t seem to do anything right.
* If you are not allowed to grow and change.

If you said yes to two or more of these statements, you are in a Toxic Relationship, and it’s time to clean up the poison.

“Live and let go. Don’t be held down by what you can’t control.”-

Have you become Toxic?

* Are you dependent on other people for everything?
* Do you manipulate people or situations to get your way?
* Are you constantly blaming other people instead of taking responsibility for your own actions?
* Do you find it hard to forgive and let go?
* Are you always speaking negatively instead of positively?
* Do you find the need to control everyone and every situation?
* Do you find it hard to trust?
* Do you find yourself getting angry at the slightest thing and with everyone?
* Do you see yourself as a victim; that everyone is after you?
* Are you living in fear–fear of loving, fear of success, fear of being you?
* Are you constantly wearing a mask?

If you answered yes to two or more of these questions, it’s time to detox yourself mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

“Some people are brought into your life to be mirrors, to show you behaviors and habits that you need to change.”- Mandy Hale

If you’re feeling uncomfortable or unsettled in your relationship or with yourself, it’s important that you do not wait around until the effects of the toxin settle into depression, anger, or bitterness. Talk to a professional counselor, a trusted friend, or your pastor today. Remember, when you are toxic, you infect other people around you.


Jennifer Key, M.S., L.A.P.C.