Boundaries – by Rachael, Therapist at Steps Together
Boundaries create structure in our relationships. Boundaries allow you to be your true self. Boundaries are a form of self-care. Boundaries create realistic expectation. Boundaries create self-safety. Now, what do you think prevents you from setting boundaries? Personal boundaries are the limits we set for ourselves within relationships. A person with healthy boundaries can say no to others.
Let’s start with physical. What kind of rules do you maintain about your physical body and personal space? Moral, what are your morals and values and what happens if someone crosses them? Emotional, what boundaries do you have related to your thoughts and feelings? Can you separate your feelings from other people’s feelings? Financial, what are your guidelines to lending, giving, or donating money to others? Do you jump in and rescue someone if they’re facing financial hardship?
Why setting boundaries in recovery is so important?
A healthy self-image is key to the recovery process. Setting boundaries and limits is crucial to the recovering alcoholic or addict. Setting and keeping boundaries is essential to achieving a healthy sense of self-worth. When addicts say yes, but their minds and bodies are really saying no, the self-image is negatively impacted, resulting in discomfort and low self-esteem. If a recovering addict feels uncomfortable enough, he or she is more likely to drink or use again.
Recovery and getting comfortable in your own skin
Healthy boundaries enable recovering addicts and alcoholics to take control of their own lives, to live autonomously, and to cultivate healthy relationships. Without healthy boundaries, fostering healthy relationships with oneself and with others is not likely to happen. To recover, addicts need to like and respect themselves enough to say no. A major goal in therapy is for addicts to learn to be comfortable with who they are, to recognize their own needs and rights, and to care more about what they think of themselves and less about what others think of them.