Boundaries in Recovery 101

Boundaries in Recovery 101

If you’re someone that’s in recovery, it’s necessary to set healthy boundaries for yourself and with those around you. You cannot properly learn to recover if you feel like you frequently let people walk all over you or you have a hard time saying no. Without boundaries; you aren’t showing up for yourself and being the best you that you can be. Drawing the line and sticking to it regarding what you think is acceptable is a necessary step to setting boundaries. Of course, these things are going to change from person to person, which is why you must be upfront with your loved ones about what you expect from them and what is and isn't okay. 

Be aware of your triggers

Something is a trigger if it brings up bad memories or makes you want to turn to the substance you know you shouldn’t be using during your recovery. To set boundaries so that you can avoid your triggers as much as possible, you must first figure out what usually triggers you. Of course, avoiding every trigger all of the time is virtually impossible. You can, however, set boundaries that tell yourself and others what is okay and what is not okay, and what you expect from yourself and others in certain situations. Knowing your triggers helps to draw the line when you’re setting boundaries.

Stand up for yourself

Standing up for yourself can be extremely difficult for some people. Many people in recovery often feel like they are a burden to others, and they shouldn’t bring up their boundaries because they will weigh down others or dampen the mood. You have to make sure that other people know what your boundaries are so that they can respect them. You also need to be able to set them down and respect them yourself. Other people won’t know how to act if you are not firm in your boundaries.

Allow yourself to say no

Another tricky thing for many people is learning to say no. Some people get afraid of hurting or offending others by saying no. Here’s the thing: if you aren’t able to stand up and firmly say no when someone has crossed the line, then your boundaries will soon be in shambles. You are allowed to say no. Learn to use the word no as a complete sentence. You don’t have to explain everything to everyone you meet. Be firm in your decision to say no. 

Remove the guilt

When you begin to say no, you might notice that there is some guilt attached to the word. That’s okay. However, the more times you can stand up for yourself and your boundaries, the easier it will get to set them the next time You’ll begin to be comfortable with your boundaries and your expectations. Over time, your guilt will start to fade away. 

Here is the time where we help give you guidelines so you can begin to set your boundaries. It can be challenging to set boundaries with the people you love; but, the people who love you will still love you after you’ve set boundaries with them. They will learn to respect them and respect you. Boundaries keep you safe, so don’t slack off on them when it’s someone you love! Your non-negotiable boundaries will come from the values that you hold close to our hearts. These are things that you are not willing to compromise. 

Figure out what you value

The first step to setting boundaries is to figure out what you value in your life. You must first decide what means the most to you. There are going to be some things that matter more than others, which helps you create your boundaries. If you value something so profoundly, you probably are going to want to set a non-negotiable boundary around that thing. Don’t compromise on something important to you. Remember: you can say no and not give an explanation!

Figure out what you need

The second step to setting boundaries is to figure out what you need based on what you value. Make what you value the center of your life. If you have figured out that you value creative time, you’re going to want to set aside time where you do not have any meetings or obligations. You’re going to use your spare time to be creative because that is what you value. 

Find a way to honor these things

The third step to setting boundaries is to find a way to honor the things you value and need. Once you realize that you value your creativity and need more time to be creative, you can honor the promise to yourself by rearranging your schedule to find more time for creativity and less time for non-essential things. Honoring your values and your voice is essential for setting healthy boundaries. 

If you or a loved one want to learn to set and communicate boundaries, call us today at 833-801-LIVE.

The Benefits Of Boundaries

Boundaries are lines which mark the limit of an area. In relationships with other people, we don’t exactly go around drawing imaginary lines and struggling to make sure nobody crosses them. If everyone displayed their boundaries with each person they interact with on a visual plane, we would live in a criss crossed tangled world of millions upon millions of lines. One’s person's boundaries will differ from another’s. Everyone has to spend time learning what their boundaries are, how to make their boundaries work for them, and how to ask others to respect them. Similarly, we have to learn how to respect other people’s boundaries when they set them with us.

What Is The Purpose Of A Boundary?

The purpose of a boundary is to create a definitive place where you end and someone else begins. Boundaries are what help us keep our personal space mentally, emotionally, and physically. It’s the place where we feel safe and comfortable. Boundaries can be rigid, which might be problematic, and they can be loose, which can also be problematic. Working to create balanced boundaries is a way to make sure you have balanced, happy relationships in every area of your life.

Why Are Boundaries Important?

Simply stated, you can’t let someone walk all over you for the rest of your life. Likewise, you can’t walk all over other people in any way either. Boundaries are the way to make sure everyone is treated fairly, with respect.

According to one Huffington Post article, boundaries can help:

  • Make you more self-aware
  • Be a better friend
  • Be a better partner
  • Take better care of yourself
  • Reduce stress
  • Improve communication
  • Help you trust people
  • Limit your anger
  • Say “no”
  • Be more understanding

Recovery from drug addiction, alcoholism, and co-occurring mental health conditions is about learning to “live life on life’s terms”. Boundaries are a way you can make the way you live life on life’s terms a little more flexibly. You get to live in relationships on your terms as you learn to be flexible and make room for compromise.

Promises of better relationships and better tomorrows are just the beginning of recovery. If you are ready to recover and enter treatment, call Enlightened Solutions today. Our integrative and holistic programs are designed to heal mind, body, and spirit, for lifelong recovery. For more information call 833-801-5483.

Healthy Boundaries

Boundaries can be separated into three categories: emotional, physical, and mental. There are other types of boundaries including spiritual and energetic boundaries. Each category has a different meaning as well as a different approach to setting and maintaining it.

Emotional Boundaries

An emotional boundary allows for two things. First, it allows a person to feel and experience their own emotions autonomously. Second, it allows another person to feel and experience their own emotions autonomously. Setting healthy emotional boundaries means that each individual regulates and process their emotions individually. We do not project our emotions onto others, and we don’t allow others to project their emotions onto us. Each person’s emotional responsibility belongs to them only, not to be shared or become burdensome to someone else.

Questions to ask for setting emotional boundaries:

When people express their emotions, can we refrain from trying to ‘fix’ them?

Are we able to assume responsibility for our own emotions without pointing to an external source as the cause?

Do we have the ability to inform someone how we would like to be spoken to?

Physical Boundaries

Tangible and visible, physical boundaries may seem easier to set than emotional boundaries. Some people are challenged in obeying any boundaries, regardless of their obviousness. Personal space means personal space. By creating lines of demarcation around objects, spaces, and the body, we set rules for interaction. Physical boundaries help us take care of ourselves while demonstrating for others how we need to be taken care of.

Questions to ask for setting emotional boundaries:

How much physical space are we comfortable with around another person?

What kind of physical limitations do we need with ourselves? I.e., amount of hours for sleep, time spent alone, self-care, etc.

Can we communicate the kind of touch we are and are not okay with?

Mental Boundaries

Mental boundaries are similar to emotional boundaries. We set emotional boundaries so we can maintain ownership of our thoughts and allow others to do the same. Mental boundaries help us protect ourselves against demanding opinions or manipulative behaviors. With strong mental boundaries we are able to reject coercion.

Questions to ask for setting mental boundaries:

Are we comfortable with our own thoughts and opinions?

Can we be comfortable knowing other people have rights to their own thoughts and opinions?

Do we know the difference between the two?

Enlightened Solutions offers a multidisciplinary program combining twelve step philosophy with holistic models of treatment. We see the hope in finding a spiritual solution for healing from drug and alcohol addiction. Call us today for more information on our programs of treatment 833-801-5483.