Creating Healthy Boundaries
As women in recovery, it is very important that we practice creating healthy boundaries. Personally, this was a hard task for me to tackle in my recovery and is still something I struggle with daily. This could be for setting boundaries with friends, family, sponsor, sponsees, co-workers, boyfriends and the list could go on forever. It’s also about knowing when to set boundaries and how to do that.
Creating Healthy Boundaries: Decide what you want and need
This is all about setting your limits. There is no right or wrong answer for this because this is identifying what you need. This could be more space or less space, more attention or less attention. So identify your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual needs. Consider what you can and can’t accept and what makes you feel uncomfortable or stressed.
Creating Healthy Boundaries: Be direct and assertive
For me, I am a very casual and laid back person so when it comes to setting boundaries I have to be very assertive and stand my ground. You need to be direct when it comes to setting a boundary and be assertive by letting someone know if they have crossed that boundary. We can set boundaries all day but unless we follow through with them no one will take us seriously. You have to make sure you clearly get across what you’re trying to say or do.
Creating Healthy Boundaries: Be self-aware
A lot of addicts and alcoholics are fearful of hurting other people’s feelings, our feelings getting hurt or of judgment. When it comes to setting a boundary, you have to remember you are only responsible for what you say and not what the other persons response is or how it makes them feel. You have to consider your feelings, while still not intentionally hurting others. Give yourself permission to put YOU first.
Creating Healthy Boundaries: Lean on your support system
Creating healthy boundaries can be very difficult, so I highly recommend reaching out to your support system, whoever that may be. I like to turn to my sponsor and my friends in the program for guidance and advice. Seek feedback and direction from the women that you know have healthy boundaries. Also keep in mind, what might work or be right for someone else doesn’t necessarily have to be what works for you.
Creating Healthy Boundaries: This is a process
It is important to remember that this is a process that requires practice, continuous work and willingness to learn and grow. We don’t develop unhealthy boundaries overnight, so we won’t develop healthy ones overnight either! One of the biggest reasons for me to set boundaries is to avoid developing resentment. In my program and most peoples, having a resentment can really affect my life and my program. I didn’t get sober today to be angry or unhappy! So make sure you validate and value your feelings and know that you are worth it! If you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll free 1-888-672-4435.