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.

How to Live with Someone Who Struggles with Addiction

How to Live with Someone Who Struggles with Addiction

It can be challenging to live with someone who is struggling with addiction. They could be experiencing intense behavior as a result of their drug use, not helping pay rent, or constantly bothering you for more money to acquire their next fix. To make it livable living with someone struggling with addiction, it is important to set boundaries and take care of yourself to avoid any stress in the household.

Keep Everyone Safe

You should make sure that everyone in your household in safe away from the toxic behaviors of the one struggling with addiction. This especially means people like children, the elderly, pets, or anyone else who has trouble defending themselves. If your loved one with addiction becomes violent, this is the time to either ask that person to temporarily move out until they get better such as to a rehab facility. While it may not be the fault of your loved one for their behavior, it does not mean that others need to suffer at the hands of it if that person poses a great danger.

Have a Backup Plan

Just in case if the situation escalates into something where you do not feel safe with your loved one, create a backup plan. This can mean having friends, family, therapists, or the police to turn to just in case you loved one is doing something that is scaring you as a result of their drug use. While your loved one may not be dangerous when they are sober, it can be a very different story while intoxicated so be prepared. See if there is anyone you can stay with if you ever feel like your life is being threatened.

Restrict Financial Access

Addiction means doing whatever it takes to ensure they get more and more of their drug or alcoholic beverage of choice. Purchasing drugs is expensive and someone with an addiction has the power to clean out your bank account. It is best to take them off of your bank accounts or credits if they have access to them. Find a safe place to keep your cash that they would not be able to find it. This may involve opening up your own private bank account to keep your money if you do not trust your loved one with it.

Setting Boundaries

In order to show your loved one how serious you are about the intensity of their addiction, you need to set boundaries. This can mean telling them things like when they do things like throw objects across the room when they are angry, it makes you feel scared. You can tell them that you would prefer that whenever they feel angry or stressed that they go outside or in another room to take a deep breath instead of hitting the bottle or drug. You can also let them know about what you will do if they continue to do things that are not safe. For example, you can tell your loved one that if they plan on getting in a car while intoxicated that you will involve the police. Establishing boundaries will provide a clear understanding to your loved one that you mean business in regards to living with them.

Talk About Treatment Options

Speak to your loved one about taking a treatment center into consideration. You can recommend successful ones in your area by sending them links to their websites, brochures, and the phone numbers of them all if they ever want to give them a chance. Tell that person about how you feel about what you have seen when they are under the influence and how much you care about their wellbeing and the wellbeing of others at home. Let them know that there are other forms of treatment whether it is psychotherapy, group counseling, 12 step meetings, etc.

Take Care of Yourself

Do not feel like because you are living with someone struggling with addiction that you need to devote all of your time to that person to ensure that they are safe. Dedicating all of your energy to worrying about your loved one will cause you to develop anxiety and you will feel drained. You need to think about yourself. This involves taking time out alone to do something you have always wanted to do like go to a movie, get a coffee, read a book at a bookshop, etc. Make sure that you are eating right, sleeping for seven to eight hours a night, exercising, and being able to relax.

Do Not Enable the Addiction

You may feel like you are being a bad person if you do not try to help this person from getting arrested or ending up in the hospital if they experience withdrawal symptoms. To avoid enabling their addiction, do not give them anymore money if they feel like they need a fix. You will only be letting the drug addiction escalate worse. Be cautious whenever you bail that person out of jail. If you feel like your loved one ends up falling back into jail as soon as you release them, let them know this time bailing them out will be the last. Enabling addiction will decrease the chances of your loved one receiving help if you will always be there to bail them out. By communicating with your loved one and providing them with helpful resources will make living with your loved one easier.

Located on the shore of Southern New Jersey, Enlightened Solutions is a recovery center that uses evidence-based therapies and holistic healing to treat addiction and mental illness. With the opportunity to learn about therapies that are keyed in to healing the human spirit and learning about new stress reducing techniques centered around a 12 step network, you will be ensure a lasting recovery. For more information, please call us at 833-801-LIVE as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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.