Contrary to popular belief, too much of a good thing can actually be bad for you and in some cases, kill you. Chocolate, alcohol, cigarettes, sex. No matter what form the poison takes, we seldom heed the warning to do things in moderation, which is probably why so many of us turn to the discipline of detox diets whenever we go through heavy periods of remorse. The body is a temple after all, so what better way to pay it respect than to sacrifice a week or two dedicated to flushing out those nasty toxins that build up along the highway of dirty deeds and filthy habits.
As I entered "Day 4" of the infamous cabbage soup diet, I thought long and hard about expanding heart lines and the emotional weight we gain throughout the years of surplus dating and searching for the so-called 'one'. The way I see it, the quest for love is very much like a bad carbohydrate; amazing at first bite but extremely bad for your health when devoured in abundance. Although some relationships have absolutely no nutritional value whatsoever, the prospect of 'happily ever after' is extremely appealing, especially when you're a little insecure about yourself and some asshole deliberately messes with that. Before you've had a chance to flush out the venom from one destructive relationship, you're already caught up in a vicious binge cycle of psychological and emotional abuse. Do we perhaps need to detox from love?
My gorgeous friend Leticia was down from Durban on an extended holiday which her soon to be ex husband would unknowingly pay for later. Lettie had always been one of those girls who fell in love at the first sniff of interest and as a result, went from one rotten relationship into the next without really taking stock. Tired of always feeling shit about herself, she decided to go on an official boy strike, a physical and spiritual cleanse from all the emotional travesties that had come her way in the past ten years. After the last dismal attempt to strike up a relationship, she'd decided it was high time to exorcise some emotional demons.
"Well let's see...first there was my teenage engagement which nearly gave my Lebanese mother a heart attack. I was seventeen when I met my fiancee who was quite a few years older than me. I was like any teenage girl, young and impressionable, so I fell really hard for his charm. It was only later that I realised he wanted a little wifey to cook, clean and darn his socks which of course as you know was not in my contract. After nearly seven years of that, I decided to flee to Durban where I met the man who fathered my beautiful baby boy, the only good thing to come from that marriage. We were separated before my second trimester but decided to stay married by law for the sake of Tarek."
"There were a few forgettables in-between and then there was Alex, my physical soul mate also known as the best sex of my life!! He was just one of those guys that came and went never to be seen or heard from again. Sigh. Probably double life. He did however introduce me to Ramfest which is where I met my second love...the biggest commitment-phobe on the planet. He really messed me up by constantly blowing hot and cold and making me feel as though I was not worthy of anything. He certainly didn't have an issue with late night booty calls though."
Lettie eventually came for up for air after a few more shockers which is when I truly noticed all the positive changes in her life. Not only did she look better than I had ever seen her, but she was oozing self-confidence, a colour I had never seen on her. The girl who openly admitted to needing love to validate her existence had disappeared and instead, a brave new girl had emerged. "I realised that trying to fit in by trying to find someone to complete me was just a big waste of precious time. There was a lot of good that came out of these encounters but also a lot of baggage so I decided to take a much needed time out. There's a reason they say that "love will find you" right, so until then I am going to deal with ten years of emotional excess and fall deeper in love with someone who is way too much awesome for anyone to handle. Me." If her sabbatical from dating was the reason she'd become a lotus flower, then I was in desperate need of the recipe.
We're all guilty of indulging every now and then and while love is great in it's purest form, it can also be detrimental to our health. The search for this 'perfect person', the one we're destined to share the rest of our lives with can drive us insane especially when you're forever lucking out with douche-bags that make you feel so small and insignificant. Not only are our hearts at risk, but the amount of time we waste wondering what went wrong can be seriously damaging not to mention, intoxicating.
When it comes to our mental and emotional health, do we need to purge the impurities of one relationship before jumping into the next?