All throughout our lives, our relationships with other people are ever shifting and changing; people coming and going, staying or leaving. We hold onto the good ones, and try to let go of the bad ones, but cutting away toxic people is far simpler said than done. Often times, you don’t realize that someone you deeply care for is emotional poison. They’re the metaphorical rock tied to your metaphorical balloon; one cut away from leaving them behind.

Cutting ties hurts; the mere thought of leaving them behind seems more painful than keeping them around; keeping them close. When you invest so much of your time on someone, it’s hard to sever the bond that’s forged, but often times, it’s necessary. Maybe have a little chat with the person you want to distance yourself from first. Is cutting them completely out of your life really necessary? Are both parties on board, and how will they handle it? (It isn’t necessary for both to agree to splitting up but talking with them could help sort out the situation at hand and allow to properly gauge how this will go over.) Who knows, maybe the distance will only be temporary, or you two could potentially be friends later on. Talking it out with them could prove beneficial: both sides can express how they feel and get the closure they need.

Don’t torture yourself. Unfollow them, unfriend them, remove them from any and all of your social media accounts. Having them on your social media will only prove harmful to you. Catching up on what they’ve been up to since you cut them out of your life will only hurt you. Resist the urge to just “scroll through their instagram to see how they’re doing” because chances are, they’ll look perfectly okay and that will only make you feel worse. Give yourself enough space to let the wound heal, because this will be a wound and it will take quite a bit of time before it even starts to feel like it’s healing.

Indulge in the good relationships you have. Spend time with friends who care about and support you. They’ll be the ones that will really help you through this. There will be times where something will happen, or you’ll read something or see something that you’ll want to talk about to the person you “cut loose” and the hurt will come rushing back to you. Surrounding yourself with people who love you, care about your well being, and treat you right will help the healing process along. They’ll be reminders of the kind of people you deserve to have and the kinds of relationships you should strive for.

The most important thing is to let everything out. Cry if you need to cry. Listen to heartbreakingly sad music so you don’t feel as lonely. Punch a pillow to get out your anger at them. Take your hurt and write it, paint it, capture it. Whatever you need to do to feel better, do it. It’s okay to be sad. Losing someone that was/is important to you, leaves a piece of you missing. As if when they left, they took a part of you with them, leaving you without a way to fill that space with something else. This will hurt and it will not be easy. So get out your emotions. Let yourself feel. Accept that the pain is there, let it out, and then suddenly this hurt won’t hurt as much. The wound will scab over and all that’ll be left will be a small scar. A reminder of someone you had, but let go of. You will realize, one day, that your decision was for the better and, one day, you won’t feel this pain anymore.