This year has definitely been one of unique proportions.  Just when you think you’ve seen the best of the overwhelming situations—someone or something surpasses the insanity.

Has Covid brought out the insanity in people?  Most likely not.  Some people have an innate ability to hide behind whatever they can find to mask their shortcomings.  Covid supplied a convenient excuse.  Suddenly, everyone becomes hyper sensitive to personal hygiene—hand washing —personal space—and quarantine, which is just another word for isolating.

If you’re someone like me—who has been conscience of pathogen transfer and likes things clean—doesn’t mind being by yourself—and mostly cooks at home—you’ve been training for a national pandemic your entire life!  Live it up and thrive!

If you’re someone who requires to be center of attention—doesn’t know personal hygiene —and must go out and about for a fix of social interaction—or to flee your home life—you might be one of those who are now drinking alcohol in large quantities while chanting at the moon from the yard.

For me, this year started off with a death in the family.  Anytime someone dies, it causes reflection on life, the future and not taking things for granted.  I try very hard to remember how short life is, not take it for granted and squeeze every ounce out of every day.  This year, even though in quarantine or wearing a mask, is no different.

Midway through the year, I had a profound wake up call.  Over the course of a week, the entire universe shifted.  A person whom I thought was a close friend and confidant, more like a sister—someone I thought I knew well—had a meltdown of mass proportions.  Beyond what any normal person could wrap their head around.  In the course of trying to get them the help they needed, their true core showed through.  It was in that moment, the Trojan horse was revealed, unveiling how truly toxic this person is.

Before the toxic sludge spewing from their mouth ended—my being adopted—a former painful  relationship—whatever could be used for maximum infliction were thrown out.

To watch someone you trusted flopping themselves around, swinging their cell phone above their head like a party favor, screaming, harassing, losing their mind, completely out of control of every part of their existence—blaming everyone for actions of themself—wanting to hurt those that are trying to save them from their demons.  It’s sobering to experience.  Was it Covid?  No.  Not at all.  It was merely a toxic person unveiling what they could no longer hide.

Eventually, the pitiful display became physical.  All you can do in a situation where a person is seething at the mouth to a point of foaming—ready to attack—whaling cries like a boar in the wild—is to keep your rational thought in tact—as they don’t have any.  Keep them from hurting themself and hope you aren’t forced to contain them.

In my case, it was pitiful to watch this person—fist like a child behind their head—stomping at me in full temper tantrum—leading with the face.  My instincts and training telling me, “square your feet—break the nose—drop the body”.  However, with my brain in tact, and a human more than twice my size moving in like a juvenile delinquent in a rage, I merely braced and kept them from harming themself any more than had already transpired.  I am human though.  Wanting that ridiculous fist above the head to hit me just once, so I could slingshot their carcass onto the pavement crossed my mind several times.

Even when we are collected and thinking—we still want some satisfaction.

If you ever experience anything like this, my best advice is to diffuse the situation as best as possible.

It’s been hard to wrap my head around how I trusted someone who is truly toxic.  Sometimes, even our best instincts are able to be numbed by deception.  Learn from those times and move on.  The more time you spend trying to find explanations for toxic behavior, will only be wasted.  There is no understanding of it.

I think of that person now with pity.  How sad it is what they have lost.  Never to recover from.  Remaining in the darkness.  Of course, they blame everyone but themself.  Of course, they are the victim.  A typical side effect of a toxic person.  Blame is much easier than self awareness.  No matter how many therapists, counselors or doctors you tell a fabricated story to, the truth in fact doesn’t change.  Nor does the reality.

Those of us left in the wake, get stronger.  For we have witnessed the darkness—realizing what we truly don’t want to be.  Thankful we are away from it.  Hoping it doesn’t infect any other unsuspecting people.

For awhile, I was disappointed—hurt—mad at myself for giving the benefit of the doubt to bad behavior.  One must learn to give themself some grace.  I truly believe there are more good people than bad.  It’s the bad ones that help us appreciate the good.

Take the time to learn from any situation.  With every door that closes, a new brighter one manages to open.  My world has become brighter.  The days are filled with smiles, laughter and in making great memories.  Cherish every breath.

Look to the people who have truly good intentions.

I remember several years ago, when I was doubting myself, a friend convinced me on a whim to complete a Spartan race with her.  She left out the part about going up and down ski mountains (did you know black diamond runs are very steep on foot?)….she didn’t know either and that probably wouldn’t have stopped us anyway!   We met incredible, inspirational and motivational people that have gone through unimaginable struggles.  I watched, learned and found myself humbled by how amazing people are!

My childhood friend who never ceases to make me laugh.  Can always remind me of the simple things to embrace and not sweat over things we can’t.

Many other friends who are our constant source of energy and strength.  You don’t need a large pool of friends.  What you need are people with integrity, whom you can trust have your best interest and no personal motive but to see you happy.

Never let the darkness take away your light.

Grounded people help you find important things when you have lost them….your smile….your hope….your courage….your self confidence.  It is within those moments you realize how blessed you are to have crossed paths with these people.

Be grateful for the dark, toxic people—they remind us where we never want to be.  Maybe that is why, every so often, we must brush by them.  To appreciate our light.

Remember—on those days you are covered in dirt and sweat—tackling obstacles beyond what you ever  thought you could—sore to the core—but finishing strong and proud—the days you think nothing else could go wrong—yet something else does—keep your chin up—find your strength—breathe—hold your head up and look for the positive!

Never let anyone steal your light!

If you believe….you can achieve!