Boundaries are critical to preserving your wellbeing as you navigate the Recovery process. Recovery requires focus and commitment. When you have people in your life who don’t support your goal of recovering from addiction or who continue to bring up old resentments, it can make your Recovery more difficult.
By setting boundaries with others, you allow yourself the necessary room to focus on your own actions. You free space in your mind to dedicate to Recovery.
Setting boundaries can protect you from becoming ensnared in others’ emotional drama or well-intentioned but unhelpful assistance. It can keep you on the path to Recovery that you desire.
The Importance of Setting Boundaries in Recovery
Setting boundaries means establishing limits that allow you to maintain safe, healthy and productive relationships. When you set boundaries, you lay out a roadmap for your relationship. You say, “I am willing to do this but unwilling to do that.”
Not everyone has your best interests at heart while you are in Recovery. Old friends may try to tempt you to slip back into old behavior patterns. Family and friends may worry you will change and not be sure how to deal with the new you.
Setting boundaries ensures you stay in charge of who you are and that your relationships evolve with you as you move through Recovery. You may find, in the course of setting these boundaries, that some relationships are not worth continuing. That is a critical part of moving forward.
How to Set Boundaries in Recovery
Boundaries help you establish expectations for a relationship and give you the space you need to process things on your own, without others’ influence. Practice these five tips for setting healthy boundaries in addiction Recovery:
- Say “no” when you don’t want to do something: Refusing a gift, invitation or favor isn’t rude. If you suspect the motivations behind these are not in your best interest, say no.
- Clearly state your feelings: Explaining what you want and where you’re coming from is a respectful way to keep others informed of what you need. They may not respond in the way you desire, but at least you both know where the other person stands.
- Develop trust over time: Trust is based on long-term actions. Don’t trust people right away, but don’t deny them the trust they have earned.
- Treat yourself with respect: One often-overlooked aspect of boundary setting is the role you play in it with your own self-talk. Use kind words with yourself.
- Stand by your beliefs: Remaining true to yourself, as well as the principles of Recovery, is a great way to guide yourself away from others’ counterproductive behavior. Keep your goals top of mind, and remove yourself from situations where people are not respecting your stated goals.
Are you struggling with addiction and setting personal boundaries? At 7 Summit Pathways Treatment and Recovery Center, we are what works. We offer individualized, patient-centered treatment to build a strong foundation for long-term Recovery.