One of the elements of the recovery process that we often find challenging is establishing boundaries for ourselves and ensuring that the people in our lives respect them. Setting and maintaining boundaries takes a level of self-respect and a strong sense of self-worth that many of us haven’t attained yet. We’re still struggling with feelings of inadequacy and unworthiness. We’re still doubting that we’re good enough, respectable enough, and deserving of love. We question if anyone will be able to love or respect or us. We take an important step in the direction of building self-love, self-respect and self-worth when we define our boundaries and make sure they are respected, both by the people in our lives and by us.
An important boundary that we have a hard time setting for ourselves has to do with the importance of maintaining our sobriety. Getting sober is hard enough. Working to maintain it is another challenge altogether. If we are around people who don’t respect our sobriety, who pressure us to fall back into old patterns, who encourage us to use, we are not only allowing an important boundary to be violated, we are violating it ourselves and showing ourselves a tremendous lack of respect. If we know we should only be in environments that support and encourage sobriety, and then we allow other people to manipulate our environment, say by bringing alcohol into our home for example, we aren’t maintaining healthy boundaries in our recovery.
Another important boundary has to do with how we are treated by the people in our lives. For many of us, feeling mistreated has been a huge factor in our addictions and mental health issues. We turned to our drugs of choice and addictive behaviors for solace when the people we cared about hurt us. In our recovery, we want to prioritize our well-being, emotional and otherwise. If someone disrespects us in any way, they are also disrespecting the very important boundaries around mistreatment that we’ve set for ourselves. If we continue to allow this person to mistreat us, we are disrespecting and mistreating ourselves and not showing ourselves that we value ourselves. We aren’t honoring our needs.
What are your needs? What is important to you? What boundaries do you feel are important to you and your well-being? What things impede your peace of mind? What do you need from the people in your life?
Riverside Recovery is committed to helping you uncover the issues fueling your addictions. Our treatment programs include multiple forms of therapy, family workshops and mindfulness-based relapse prevention education. Call (800) 871-5440 for more information.