Relationships can suffer in addiction. Recovery is a space where people learn how to negotiate and navigate the challenges they face. Healing relationships take a lot of work and do not happen overnight. Good boundaries is one place to start, to break away from dysfunctional family and friends that may have toxic implications for your recovery. The focus needs to be on establishing and maintaining healthy boundaries and communication in order for everyone to move forward on the journey.
How Boundaries Work
If you are wondering how boundaries are established, they are basically the physical and emotional spaces people create to maintain safety of their personal space in a way that is respectful and honoring to them. Unhealthy boundaries can lead people to manipulate or control others by either being too distant or too close to them in a way that satisfies their own needs. It is important to have good personal boundaries so people have space to heal. They also communicate how we feel and what we find acceptable. It is important to have healthy boundaries but takes time to re-establish once they’ve been broken.
Setting Healthy Boundaries
When you look to set healthy boundaries in recovery, you are probably looking to reset years of having poor boundaries, which led to some codependency and other challenges in your life. Along with addiction, this will be a hard thing to reset in your life because you (and others) are so used to the way things are now. If you want to help reset poor boundaries in your family or friendships, you can start by looking at a few things:
- Releasing resentment and anger towards that person. They are not always going to want to change, but you have to set healthy boundaries for your recovery, whether or not others get it. It helps to release negative feelings toward them so you can move forward
- Word choice matters. You have to say what you mean and mean what you say when you talk to people. If you mean ‘yes,’ say ‘yes.’ If you cannot commit, tell that person you will get back to them by a certain time frame. Try to stay away from non-committal answers so that they keep coming back to you without a firm ‘yes’ or ‘no’ response. The challenge you may have is setting healthy boundaries with words and communicating your thoughts without feeling guilty. You have a right to tell someone no without feeling bad about it
- Use ‘I’ statements and stay away from ‘you’ or blaming statements. Speak your truth to them and let them decide how to feel. You don’t own their feelings and vice versa. You can speak truth to them and ask them politely without worrying how to fix their problems
When setting boundaries, it helps to have people support you in the background. This can be an accountability partner or someone who offers you help for difficult situations. Having people on your team can be a great support as you seek to find ways to change the way you handle situations and set clear boundaries for a healthier recovery.
Setting boundaries is tough in recovery. Oceanfront helps you navigate this challenge with our professionally trained staff and programs that help you detox, and teach you how to live, for a longer, healthier recovery. We are located in beautiful Laguna Beach. Call us to find out how we can help you navigate addiction recovery: 877-279-1777