Well, hey, everybody, welcome to the 46th episode of Don’t lose your balance. My name is Mallory Durrick. As you can see, by today’s title, I’m going to talk about toxicity. And I closed out of gratitude room this morning, Saturday, and I close out the gratitude room with the others. And we were talking about the differences between negativity and toxicity. And being a negative person being a toxic person. But to provide a little bit more context, I’d like to tell you a little bit about what today’s prompt was, which sort of led into this discussion about toxicity, which then led me on a walk this morning, because it’s a hot day, and or will be a hot day here in Philadelphia in June, at the end of June. And I thought a lot about about that conversation about toxicity and toxic people versus toxic behaviors, which clearly I’m very familiar with, and negativity. So I want to unpack it, as they say in glove as anyway. So I will read this not in its entirety, so much as in its short form. So in 1938, Harvard Medical researchers had a visionary idea, they wanted to sign up a bunch of people and follow them from youth to adulthood. And the results of the study had actually been updated regularly for more than 80 years. And using the data from the Harvard study, the researchers showed that we as individuals can control seven big decisions pretty directly in order to improve our happiness. And I I’d like to believe that we all have the similar goal of wanting to be happy. So what are those sort of seven principles are seven decisions that we make to bring on happiness for ourselves? Well, the first was don’t smoke, I think that’s pretty obvious, but maybe not for some people. And if you smoke, they say quit. Now, you may not succeed on your first try, but you will start the quitting process. And the more years you are smoke free, you can invest in what they call your happiness account. And then they talk about on step two, or number two is watch your drinking. So alcohol abuse is strongly correlated with smoking, and I used to smoke and clearly i In the end, abused alcohol, but plenty of other research shows that even by itself, it is one of the most powerful predictors of winding up what they call sad, sick, okay, so you don’t have to have a bad liver diagnosis like I did, but it didn’t help with my sadness. It only compounded my sadness. And it took me a long time to realize this because I felt that it did some things for me that were helping me cope, which I kind of maybe sold myself on that idea, but it amplified my sadness, and it really did make it worse. Okay, so what’s number three? Well, maintaining a healthy body weight. And we all know this, eating a diet with lots of fruits and vegetables with moderate serving sizes and avoiding the yo diets have intense restrictions that can’t be maintained over the long run. I get that but I would push back a little bit on the fruit, and maybe I wasn’t eating fruit in moderation or small sizes. But sugar is sugar is sugar, and I don’t care what anybody says. And it’s also a carbohydrate and your body is certainly going to respond more favorably to perhaps cantaloupe than a bunch of Oreos, but sugar is sugar. So just keep that in mind. And I got rid of all the fruit prioritize movement in your life by scheduling time for it every day and sticking to it. And arguably the best time tested way to do this is by walking. Now if you listened to my earlier episode, epic So loads of don’t lose your balance. I talked about how I don’t like walking, it just didn’t work for me. And then through the 330, let’s say days of gratitude, and were, I think 342. At this point, out of 365 consecutive days, somebody had made the suggestion that I listen or read the book atomic habits. So I found that audio would work better for me. So I downloaded the I have an Audible account. And I downloaded James clears book atomic habits. And one of the things that he said, and one of the things that somebody else said in the gratitude room was when you combine something that you don’t really like doing with something that you do like doing, and I didn’t realize how much I really liked listening to people talk, as opposed to talking myself, if you combine those, it makes the other thing you don’t like better and more enjoyable. Obviously, that’s, I mean, when we say that out loud, when I say that out loud, it’s obvious. But until I actually did it and put it into practice, I never realized just how amazing walking was, for me, I didn’t have to have a dog. And I didn’t have to do an all or nothing kind of thing, which is what I talked about a lot, which is,
you know, if I can’t exercise for an hour and do hit and lift weights and do a whole bunch of cardio, I’m, I’m not going to do anything. And so there’s something powerful about doing nothing, and then doing all of that. And my body at 59 years old cannot do what it did at 2939 even. So what could it do? It could walk and getting outside and moving and making me think, all very positive. I know you’re all thinking in yourself, Mallory, when are you going to get to toxicity because that’s the title of this episode, I will get to it. Then, number five was practice your coping mechanisms, which you know, I’ve been doing a lot of that as of late. And it says The earlier you find healthy ways to deal with life’s inevitable inevitable distresses, the more prepared you’ll be, if ill luck strikes in your 80s. This means working consciously, perhaps with assistance from spiritual practices or even therapy to avoid excessive rumination, unhealthy emotional reactions or avoidance behaviors. So even though I had been in therapy, one of the greatest therapeutic years I’ve had is this year, which is helping me through the podcasts and helping me through my 365 days of gratitude. So I’m learning better coping skills than I ever have. Keep learning. Number six, more education leads to a more active mind in old age. And that means a longer and happier life. It doesn’t mean you need to go to Harvard, you simply need to engage in lifelong purposive learning. I never stop learning, I’ve gone to culinary school in my 50s, I get on YouTube and Behance, I improve my skill set, and I do all the things that I think I should be doing in order to make a difference for myself and to grow and to be happier. Number seven, do the work to cultivate stable long term relationships. Now, for most people, this includes a steady marriage. But other relationships with family, friends and partners can fit into this category as well. The point is to find people with whom you can grow, whom you can count on. And no matter what comes your way. Well, one could make the argument because I’m not in a relationship. And I don’t have deep rooted friendships that I’m probably somebody who could work on this particular step. So we and I’m not going to disagree with that. I probably could. But I do feel like I’ve cultivated a very long and stable relationship with these people online who share similar interests of gratitude that I do. Anyway. So in this seven steps of conversation, we talked about negativity. And there is something interesting about calling it the way you see it, I guess, life is not always easy. It’s just not. And we all know this. And it’s what we do with that and how we tap into some of these parts of ourselves. That can help bring us out of it either quicker, more quickly, or in a better way, whether we have to leave a relationship that is negative, but from the conversation of negative came the word toxicity. Okay.
So what is toxicity? Well, you know, we talked about the glass being half empty or half full. I come from a place where I think, Well, I’m really grateful just to have a glass because I know what it felt like to not have a glass but somebody else brought up a really good point and they said, Well, if the glass is full of poison And whether it’s half empty or half full, I don’t want that. I don’t want that glass. And that that brings up a good point. It’s toxic when you’re in a relationship with somebody, let’s say, and they just have this negative mindset. You know, not everybody’s going to be positive all the time. Not everybody has the ability capability, yes. But the ability in at that time to tap into some of that positivity doesn’t always happen. Some people are super positive no matter what. And I’ll get into toxic positivity in a second. But when we look at individuals who we think are negative, the truth of the matter is, they may be calling it the way they see it, you know, their job, isn’t that great? Their relationship with their parents, their friends, their children, whomever is not wonderful, that doesn’t make them a toxic person. Certainly the people that I’m talking about are not, you know, psychopaths and sociopaths. They’re just negative because and self proclaimed negatives. I’m not saying they’re negative, but they call it like they see it. And we live in a very messed up world right now, we got very unsettling news yesterday from the Supreme Court, as you know, and I’m not here to argue it, but it’s a horrible decision that was made to overturn Roe v Wade and 50 years and going backwards. Now, if you happen to be a, you know, pro lifer certainly don’t come after me. I’m just saying that the division that is created in this country is not going to help get anything better here. And that’s toxic. I do not think the government has a right to choose what somebody does with their body. And that’s the most unsettling part of it. For me, I want to express that for some people, even who came into the gratitude room, thinking gratitude was going to be full of, you know, happiness and wonderful NISS who didn’t stick it out. It’s short sighted. Because whatever you saw, maybe as negative or from a negative person does not make that person toxic. And nor do I think you think that I think that we have to know the difference between negativity, people who just sourced whether they call it in, I don’t know she it’s pretty sad Sakhi they’re just sad, for whatever reason. And then there are other people who are just toxic, they, they drain energy from other people, they are so self involved narcissistic, even, that they cannot see past their own. The only thing I can think of is toxicity. They just can’t get past it, which is unfortunate for them. Because somewhere deep down, they are probably decent people. But they’ve inherited or learn to adapt into this kind of way of being that I don’t know, I don’t think it’s so good. All right. Now, let me go into toxic positivity, which I find interesting because I never really thought about any of this. I thought about how Instagram impacts us when we look at nothing but highlight reels and how we unfortunately might compare ourselves to people on Instagram influencers, influencers who show how great something is, but we may not know that there. They’ve done a brand deal and they’re they’re getting, you know, financial compensation from the brand. And so there’s all this positivity about how they may speak from a product and that’s where I love. I love what I learned in college about
truth in advertising. I love truth in advertising, but people have learned to kind of move that needle a little bit. So toxic positivity, the dark side of positive vibes can love this. We’re not negative nancies In fact, the authors of this post strongly believed in the undeniable power of positivity, but they want to address the dark side of the positive vibes trend called toxic positivity and how it’s overused causes harm and leads to the very suffering it aims to squash and they refer to Mark Manson i I’ve listened to his book or no an audio and his website and his YouTube. I think he’s on YouTube. And he has this great ebook that I got when I subscribe for a couple of years to his channel. And he’s like the subtle art of not giving a fuck which is a counterintuitive approach to living a good life. So what is toxic positivity? They define toxic positivity as the excessive and ineffective over generalization of a happy, optimistic state across all situations. The process of toxic positivity results in the in the denial, the minimization and the invalidation of the authentic acumen, emotional experience. All right. So that is why I think it’s so important when we talk about gratitude. And we’re in this gratitude space every day. So I can’t not reflect on how fabulous and positive gratitude is. But when we’re inside of the positive space, it’s not always positive, sometimes it is negative. And while it may be interpreted by some people as negative, or some people in this space may be interpreted as negative, the truth of the matter is, it isn’t negative as much as it is it as it isn’t positive. So toxicity is not where we come from. When we talk about this. There are people in my life who have been extremely toxic for me, and I’ll talk about that in a second. But in calling it the way you see it in a real world situation, negativity is normal, too much positivity is not which brings the statement of toxic positivity. It’s in excess. I think Instagram, and social media in general is entirely too positive and upbeat. I don’t want to scroll on Instagram and see nothing but negativity. But I do want to see a balanced and that’s what this podcast is about. I hope that for anyone that might be listening, that I’ve never come from a place of too much positivity. Do I feel that my best? Yes. Am I lying about that? No. And the only reason I can say that is because I know what it feels like to feel at my worst, and to even be at my worst, I’m not sure how I got there, I guess I could look back at some of the relationships and the choices that I made as problematic, that caused me to be such a mess. You know, I was in college, I had a guy throw me around threw me up against walls, that was pretty toxic. And I stayed in that relationship for a good two years. And when I was caring about people in my life that maybe didn’t care about me in return the same way, a lot of people might look at me or listen to my story and say, Well, you got everything you deserve. The truth is no, I didn’t. Because I was not toxic. I was drawn, I think, to some toxicity in those relationships. Otherwise, I would have chosen other people, I don’t feel like the man I married was toxic. I feel like my marriage became toxic for me in that I couldn’t express myself without feeling badly about who I was, I’m going to speak honestly about that. It’s not because he made me feel badly. It’s because I just couldn’t. And as a result, I went down a path of horrible destruction, you know, like, had the affair and I took the drugs. And the drugs hid a lot of what was really going on, which was, which was all this incredible, toxic behavior. And I’m,
I’m so sorry that I did that. And I’m really sad in that I went down that path. Although, you know, we look back in hindsight, and it’s been a long time. And clearly, it’s brought me to the place I’m in now, which I can’t, I can’t have any regret about where I am. If I if I could have done a few things differently, I think I wouldn’t have been so toxic towards some of the people that were trying to help me, I just felt so out of control. And I’ve talked about control. In other episodes, think the worst thing I’ve ever done was probably the drugs. I don’t look at the affairs, the worst thing I’ve ever done, but the drugs were the worst thing I ever did, because it took a long time to get to the worst place and the worst place is really low. And then it’s a really slow climb back. And I found that balance. It took me a long time to find that balance. But I found it when we talk about let’s say food and alcohol let’s let’s talk a little bit you know, sugar is toxic, it’s toxic for the body. It is and even though they want you to eat fruits and vegetables, there is that balance of moderation that we have to maintain. And we also have to be pretty selective about the fruits that we choose. You know, there’s a lot of sugar in an orange, maybe not so much in a cantaloupe a lot a lot in grapes lot in bananas. I know you’re not here to listen to me talk about toxicity of fruit, but it didn’t do my body well. And the inflammation that it caused caused me a lot of pain. And if you’re if anybody who’s listening is suffering from any kind of like inflammation or pain. Ask yourself, are you eating too much sugar? And is that sugar coming from something that they encourage you to eat, which is fruit? And if the answer is yes, just try to take it out of your diet and see how you feel. I couldn’t believe how a bunch how much better I felt it actually allowed me to have more mobility and to go for these walks. You know, it’s easy to look at somebody on Instagram Um, who’s in their 40s. And they’re, you know, exercising and jumping and walking and doing all this wonderful stuff? Well, in my 40s, I was doing all of that, too. I really was. But when you get closer to 60, then talk to me because it surprises me how hard it became for me. And I’ve always thought of myself as somebody who lived a very healthy lifestyle. But I guess I was kidding myself. Maybe I was living a healthier lifestyle than somebody else. But according to what I’m what I’m looking back at, I wasn’t and the alcohol. Oh, God, we talked about that today, too. And some people have a positive relationship with alcohol. It never occurred to me that people didn’t drink every day, we have a glass of wine every day, two glasses, half a bottle, I always thought that was normal. It wasn’t normal in my parents household, but it was normal in my own. And when I got rid of it, and I got rid of that toxicity. Everything opened up, I had to get really honest with myself about what this alcohol was and wasn’t doing for me, what I thought it was doing for me was helping me deal and cope, what it was doing was making my coping skills practically non existent. Because I didn’t know how to breathe, I didn’t know how to go for a walk, I didn’t know, I could use my creativity to deal with my emotional distress and just unplug having a glass of wine and sitting at a bar and talking to people who were really super nice at the bar. And they got nicer as you had a second glass, all very toxic behaviors. And these toxic behaviors just carried me so you know, so far into my adulthood. And when I decided to get rid of it all in 2019, this whole new world opened up for me because I could see my life for exactly what it was. And I want to go back to the idea that it wasn’t the worst life I had, I had a nice life. Don’t get me wrong, I did. But I didn’t have a healthy life that I thought I was living, even at my probably physically fit best. I was still swallowing a bunch of Vicodin and drinking wine at the end of the day, because I was young, and my body could handle all the stuff that I was throwing at it. You know, I have had conversations with people about other people who are addicted to drugs. And why did it? Why did recovery work for me? Why didn’t I not cross over into the horrible toxicity of heroin when the Vikon stopped working. And I always said that I had a line, I knew where my limits were. And I knew that I was not coming back from a heroin addiction. And I never wanted to be labeled as a heroin addict. For people who are struggling,
I get the struggle, I really do. I did not have to have a heroin addiction to understand the pain of withdrawal from opioids, or the desire to stay high empowered, not feeling toxic, and yet you’re at your most toxic you, you know, I was at my most toxic when I was on drugs, yet I thought I was doing okay, except in the end, and you gotta want it. And I don’t know if everybody wants it. I don’t know, if they can see past the clouds and dusts of toxicity to a space of peace, calm, and most of all balance. I don’t know if that is something they can see. I don’t know if I saw it. But somewhere along the line, I had the support system that really helped me like my mother and father and my sister. And in the end, it was really my decision to get well. And I know that and I celebrate that because I could have stayed in the throes of toxicity, but I didn’t. I also eliminated toxic people from my life that are not good for me. Despite some of them. I might, you know, I think about them. And I think about what kind of a life I could have had with them. But I’m not compromising myself any more for others. I’d rather be alone, to be honest with you. I really would. And I know that that’s not easy. I couldn’t have really done that when I was married, although I ended up that way. Anyway. So I left you know, I mean, I didn’t leave leave, but I left like a normal person leaves, I got a divorce. I moved out, he moved out, I moved out whatever. And the kids, they are adults now. And they will have to deal with their own distress about their mother’s toxicity if they still carry it with them. If that burden is still something they hold on to. I’m hoping though, listen to the podcasts and maybe let go of it. I don’t know. But for those of you out there who want to and you know who you are, if you want to get better and you want to find a world out of toxicity and into a place of calm peace and balance. I’m here to tell you that that is a absolute path that you can take. It’s just a matter of wanting it more than you don’t. I hope that helps anyway, so if you’re on clubhouse As join us in clubhouse, we are going to continue the second year of gratitude. As we close out, you know, we’re, you know, close to the last two weeks, two and a half weeks, so join us and if you can’t join us, I’ll still be talking about it and I hope your days are less toxic and more positive but not too positive. Anyway. Well, if you like this or any other episode of Don’t lose your balance, you can share it, you can download it, you can even write me a review. I’m also on Facebook. I forgot to mention Facebook in the last several episodes, but don’t lose your balance. I have a website, don’t lose your balance.com and I’m also on Instagram with two accounts Mallory underscore direct and don’t lose your balance M Sc That’s Mary, Sam and David. I hope today tomorrow and always you don’t lose your balance and I look forward to hearing how you didn’t lose your balance along your life’s journey and I’ll see you next time.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai