People in recovery often come from environments or relationships where they struggled with boundaries. Lines were blurred, unhealthy, or even non-existent. These skewed boundaries are often a contributing factor to the development of substance abuse.
When your commitment to recovery is being threatened by people around you, it is important to move away from those toxic relationships. Setting new, manageable boundaries can help you on your path to recovery.
Boundaries to Help Maintain Sobriety
- Set Limits
You have your own feelings and beliefs. You also have a right to your own limits. If you have been weighed down by your family or friend’s preferences and dysfunction, you may have turned to drugs or alcohol to cope. Throughout your recovery journey, you will learn how to reconnect with your own wants and needs. You will also learn to how stay true to them.
- Establish How You Want to Be Treated
Once you know how you want to be treated, it is important for you to make that clear to others. For example, you may decide you don’t want to meet your friends when they are drinking socially, but you are willing to meet them in a neutral environment. It is okay for you to limit your meetings with people if you feel triggered when you’re out with them.
- Speak Up
Your voice matters. If you feel like your boundaries have been violated, speak up. It is important for you to make it clear what your needs and limits are. It is okay to tell people when you don’t feel that your boundaries have been respected. The people who will help you live a sober life are the ones who will respect the lines and will not cross them.
- Trust Your Gut
It doesn’t matter what you call your feelings. Whether it’s your gut, intuition, inner voice, or so on, the uncomfortable feelings you get around certain people or places are a sign that one of your boundaries is being crossed. Trust your instincts. When you’re sober, your mind and feelings are sharper than ever. Your body will give you signals when something isn’t right. Listen and trust yourself.
- Enforce Your Boundaries
Event the people who respect your boundaries may test them from time to time. Whether intentionally or unwittingly, there must be consequences for crossing boundaries, especially for those who do so on purpose. Repeated violations of your sober rules may mean that you can no longer keep this person in your life. Certain relationships fracture when one person gets sober. Stay true to your recovery.
- Put Yourself First
Setting boundaries means putting yourself first – and that’s a good thing! When you’re on the journey to recovery, it’s important to be focused on your needs. Self-care is usually something that is missing from a person’s life when they are abusing substances. Remember, self-care is not selfish.
- Keep Your Boundaries
Other people may challenge the boundaries you set for yourself. However, flexibility is not an option when it comes to your limits. Stand firm behind the boundaries you have set for yourself. The boundaries you have set empower and guide you to a healthier life that is free from resentment and toxic behaviors. When you keep your boundaries, you are more present and have healthier relationships.