Restorations Therapy Blog

Setting Boundaries in Addiction Recovery

by on Friday, April 2nd, 2021

setting healthy boundaries

Recovery is all about commitment to your sobriety and healing. At first, you will learn to cope with the underlying causes of your addiction and later move on to rebuilding relationships and learning how to set and uphold boundaries. Setting healthy boundaries takes time, especially when you haven’t been living with them in the past. Learning how to navigate this part of the recovery process can be challenging, but you will learn how to and see the benefits of doing so over time.

What is a Boundary?

Everyone, including those that are not recovering from addiction, needs to have certain boundaries in their life. These are physical or emotional limits that individuals set to protect their well-being, including physical, mental, and emotional health. There are healthy boundaries and unhealthy boundaries, and each of these will affect the way others treat you. Healthy boundaries ensure that your relationships with others are respectful, supportive, and conducive to your general health and wellbeing. Unhealthy boundaries are the opposite, as they allow others to take advantage of or manipulate you into doing things that may not be in your best interest.

Importance of Boundaries for Recovery

Setting boundaries in recovery lets others know what you are willing to accept versus what you aren’t. In recovery, you will find that not everyone supports your sobriety; even those you expected would be in your corner. Those around you may try to pressure you back into old behaviors that could jeopardize your recovery. By setting boundaries, you can put limits between yourself and these individuals to ensure that you are in charge of your sobriety and actively protecting your recovery. Over time, you may come to realize that some people simply aren’t going to respect your boundaries. When this happens, it is a good indication of what relationships to let go of for the future, as you only want individuals who will support your recovery around you.

How to Set Healthy Boundaries

Understanding the importance of setting healthy boundaries for recovery is one thing, but knowing how to set them is entirely different. Setting healthy boundaries can be challenging, especially if you aren’t used to living with them. Many individuals worry they are being rude or seemingly pushing people out of their lives when, in reality, they are setting boundaries that are weeding out those that do not respect the person’s autonomy and recovery. Consider the following tips when going about developing your own healthy boundaries in recovery:

  • Stand by your beliefs and values: When setting boundaries, it is essential to take an inventory of what is most important to you. This way, you know what you stand for and can set limits to protect those beliefs. It will help you keep away those that do not align with your own values to ensure you are being respected in general and in your recovery.
  • Practice self-love and self-respect:  Others are not going to respect you if you do not respect yourself. Using kind words with yourself will help you uphold boundaries and remind you why you are setting them in the first place.
  • Don’t say yes when you want to say no: Remember, setting healthy boundaries does not mean you are being rude or trying to push people away. You are protecting yourself and your overall wellbeing. Say no when you want to, and remember you are not rude. Stand by your decision and say no to things that are not conducive to your recovery.
  • Definitively state your thoughts and feelings: Those around you cannot read your mind. The best way to set boundaries is by clearly saying what you are feeling and what you need. Doing this will help others know where you stand and what your limits are with no second-guessing.

Examples of Healthy Boundaries for Recovery

If you are like most individuals in recovery, you most likely didn’t have healthy boundaries set before entering treatment. Therefore, you may be unsure of where to begin when it comes to setting healthy boundaries. Consider the following to help you get started:

  • Declining to speak about your past experience with addiction or a past traumatic experience until you are ready.
  • Declining financial aid from friends and family to begin rebuilding your own financial responsibility.
  • Prioritizing your recovery over going to the bar with friends or any other activities that may cause cravings and temptation.
  • Asking loved ones not to drink around you to avoid temptations in recovery.

Setting boundaries in recovery is often a foreign concept to those in treatment. However, the process does not have to be complicated or painful. While you may feel some discomfort along the way, realizing the benefits of setting healthy boundaries will help you learn to enforce them over time. Learning always to put you and your recovery first will help you maintain long-term sobriety. At Restorations Therapy, we work with our clients to help them heal from addiction and learn different ways of maintaining their sobriety. We strive to help individuals build happy, healthy relationships that are founded on mutual respect and self-love. We believe that through healthy boundaries, recovery is possible and can be maintained over time. If you are currently struggling with setting boundaries in your recovery, contact us today at (720) 446-6585. Together we can restore your life from addiction and learn to maintain healthy boundaries with the ones you love. Start today and find your happiness with Restorations Therapy.

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