You’ve probably heard you should set some boundaries in order to stay on the road to recovery. If you’re wondering when boundaries are needed and whether you need to enforce them, keep reading.
Boundaries can be healthy, regardless of whether you struggle with substance abuse or not. Sometimes we have to say ‘no’ to others in order to take care of ourselves.
When you’re on the road to recovery boundaries become even more important. If you fail to set them, you can end up in a compromising situation that might jeopardize your recovery.
Many people feel like they’re strong enough to move forward without boundaries. Others fear the rejection that comes with saying ‘no,’ but they’re absolutely necessary. If we don’t take a minute to consider what situations may cause us to falter or think that we’re infallible, it could set us up for failure. We need to be able to recognize that certain things could cause us to relapse, which is why it’s important to set healthy boundaries. We need to be able to move past the fear of rejection and say ‘no’ when necessary. This isn’t an easy task and maybe one that requires support from friends or a counselor.
When are boundaries necessary? This is something you should consider based on your specific needs. If you find there are certain people, places, or things that increase your urge to use, avoid them. Maybe being around alcohol is too much. If so, set a boundary. Don’t have alcohol in the house or visit with friends while they’re drinking.
You may find as time goes on that your boundaries change. Maybe at the beginning of your recovery journey, you can’t be around alcohol at all without having an urge. But maybe, down the road, you could sit with friends, while they have a beverage. You may find certain boundaries need to stay in place for years. Boundaries are very personal. You have to determine when they’re needed to avoid the urge to use. Don’t be afraid to stick to your decision or to be open about your boundaries. Let your friends and family know what you’re comfortable with and what’s not okay for you. You need to do what’s best for your recovery. And sometimes that means saying ‘no.’