Welcome back to Series Sunday! This week we will be breaking down a true hidden gem of Destiny Fulfilled that Miss Kelly Rowland bodied all by herself. Now I’ve already written about breaking bad habits in a previous Series Sunday post so we won’t be going there in terms of the song that I’ve chosen. However, we will be focusing on something that I think isn’t often discussed but very important to recognize in relationships before they can get pretty damaging. “Bad Habit,” which follows “Girl” in the tracklisting, is a pretty obvious follow-up to Kelly getting support from her girls to open up about the bad things in her relationship and helping her find the courage to end a toxic relationship. It can be pretty hard to notice the signs of being in a toxic relationship (and when I say relationship, I mean relationships of all kinds) when you’re smack dab in the middle of it but it can definitely help to have some people around you to help make the moves necessary to better your life. I’ll get back to the power of good friends when we break down “Girl” in a few weeks but with “Bad Habit” there’s always one common theme in my mind when I hear the song and that’s codependency.
Like I said, codependent relationships are usually something that you don’t notice when you in the middle of one but it is a little easier to peep when you manage to get a little space. During college I was always super close with my friends, we saw each other every day, usually ate together every day, and hung out after classes together damn near every single day. We’d spend as much free time together as possible, even having sleepovers often since we all lived in the same building for the first two years. I never saw an issue with it and honestly, I still don’t since we were young and we were each other’s family while at school since we were all so far from home. However, during our junior year, we started spending less time together due to being more involved in school, extracurricular activities, internships, and more. On top of all that, we also weren’t living in the same building for the first time since we had met. It was an adjustment but it was one that we saw coming because we knew life wouldn’t always be one where your best friends live right across the hall. We had managed it very well because we understood all of the goals each other had and what it took to accomplish them.
“I told myself that I would make some changes (Yeah)
But the more I change, there’s one thing that remains the same
I can’t seem to shake ya
You seem to really have a hold on me
And every time that we break up, we turn around and make up
This can’t go on now (No)
I gotta move on now
It’s not the fact that I don’t love you no more
But I gotta break this bad habit
Can’t take this bad habit no more”
This, of course, changed drastically when we lost one of our friends in a tragic accident. I found myself focusing less on my goals and more on my friendships, which was a natural reaction after losing someone that I would usually see every day up until that semester. To be honest, due to my busy schedule I hadn’t seen Samya for over a week before her accident and although I had plans to see her the next day, that shit rocked to my core. So I spent a lot more time with my remaining friends after that, sleeping over at their place, being there for every available moment they had, and never really taking time to myself because I was scared to be alone with my own thoughts. This eventually transformed a friendship into a codependent trauma bond that I didn’t realize until months later when I was spending the entire summer by myself and had this sudden feeling of freedom on days when we didn’t talk. Now, I don’t put any blame on anyone for any of this. Grief manifests itself in different ways in everyone and considering the environment I put myself in, it was bound to happen. I’ve forgiven myself for letting it get that far and recognize that I had a multitude of things going on and I have to give myself grace for my past behaviors. Relating back to the song, I spent a lot of time after that summer trying to get out of the habit of being attached at the hip to someone at all times, whether it was a friend or a romantic partner. I will absolutely admit that it was super hard. I was still dealing with my grief and depression and couldn’t remember what made me happy outside of my relationships. My life was going through three major shifts at once and I couldn’t figure out how to properly handle any of them. So there was a lot of back and forth of trying to become more independent but eventually, I recognized that it was something that absolutely needed to change.
“Let me break it down
Have you ever loved somebody (Ooh)
So much that you was just too blind to see past
All of the pain they was causing you? (Causing you)
Ladies, do you feel me? (Do you feel me?)
Have you ever loved somebody
So much that you went against the right things that you should do? (Do)
Think it’s time to make a change”
The bridge of this song hits me really hard because yes, Kelly, I really feel you. Insert crying emoji. I have definitely found myself in a position where I was making the wrong decisions so that I could stay in their good graces and using the little strength I had to play savior towards someone else. I found myself constantly putting myself on the backburner majority of the time because my issues always felt minuscule compared to theirs. I didn’t notice any of this at the time because I was so concerned with their mental health and their safety. While it wasn’t wrong for me to be there for my friend, I should have taken a step back when I noticed how all of it was affecting my own mental health. This unhealthy attachment is something that continued because I let it out of fear of hurting my friend, not realizing that I was just making it harder and hurting myself in the process. As far as how I’m doing now, I am much better at setting boundaries and respecting other people’s boundaries because I know that I don’t want to get back to that space ever again. Being that close to someone is not only really exhausting but it can become a really scary and emotionally taxing ordeal when mental health is involved.
If you ever find yourself in a codependent type of situation I would definitely suggest taking some time apart after having a very serious conversation, especially if you want to continue the relationship after the break. I, unfortunately, did not do this so I dealt with some pretty harsh things during my break but I recognize where I fucked up on that and have vowed to seriously work on my communication when it comes to the relationships in my life that are very important to me. While it was a painful and heartwrenching thing to go through, this experience has taught me a lot about myself and how I would like to operate in life moving forward and I am really grateful for that. If you’d like to read a little something on codependent friendships, MindBodyGreen wrote a nice article on how to recognize and rectify them here.