When you are in recovery, it’s important to take the time to focus on yourself. There are many people who make the mistake of focusing on rebuilding relationships more than focusing on their recovery. The following guide walks you through boundaries you need to set to better your chances of a healthy recovery.
Set Boundaries with Unhealthy People
It’s important to realize that toxic relationships can greatly impact your sobriety. Many people make the mistake of thinking that they only need to limit interaction with drug users. This isn’t always the case, though.
There are many people in recovery who find that they need to cut certain family members and friends out of their life in order to get and stay clean. Determining who is an asset to your life and who isn’t doesn’t have to be hard to do. Toxic people you need to cut out of your life will:
- Put you down instead of building you up
- Constantly bring up negative things from your past
- Encourage you to use drugs or alcohol
- Instill fear in you
- Make staying sober more difficult
If anyone does any of the things mentioned above, consider removing them from your life. If you are fearful that steering clear from them will make waves in your other relationship minimize the time you spend with them until you barely see them at all.
Set Boundaries with Exposure to Temptations
When you are in recovery, temptations don’t just disappear. People in recovery often assume that they can fight off temptations with will power alone. This isn’t a good outlook to have.
Addiction is a disease that you will have to battle for the rest of your life. It’s best to remove all temptation from your life when you are first starting your recovery journey. Avoid going to bars or parties where you know drinking will take place. Have everything removed from your home while you are in recovery, so you aren’t tempted to use when you finish your recovery program. This can include having all drugs, including cough disturb and all alcohol be removed.
If you have drugs or alcohol in your home, you’ll be tempted to use them. If others in your home are required to take certain medications, ask them to lock the medications in a safe or lockbox you cannot get into easily.
Set Boundaries on Stress in Your Life
One of the biggest boundaries you need to set is on stress on your life. People often try to fill every minute of their day with activities to try and outrun their addiction. They assume that if they are very busy, they won’t have time to be tempted to use. This isn’t how it works though.
When you try to fill every minute of your day, you can become overwhelmed. Failing to meet deadlines you have made for yourself can send you into depression. It’s best to find a few things you enjoy doing every now and then and avoid situations that could tempt you to use.
Set Boundaries on Risky Activities
Being in recovery can make you feel like you are on top of the world. Many people feel better than they have in years and it gives them a false sense of security. Some people try new, somewhat dangerous activities because it gives them the rush of adrenaline they used to get when they used.
While you more than likely are healthier and stronger than you were when you were in active addiction, you may not be as strong as you think. You could end up getting badly hurt which could lead to you putting your sobriety at risk. When someone suffers a painful injury, doctors often prescribe pain medications to make the pain more manageable. Most of these medications are very addictive. Taking them could cause you to relapse. It’s best to avoid risky or potentially dangerous activities until you are further along in your sobriety.
Set Boundaries on Your Mental Health
Many people in recovery go through bouts of depression. Some drugs rewire your brain and make it difficult to regulate your emotions for quite some time. It’s important to set boundaries when it comes to addiction recovery. You should go to see a mental health professional on a regular basis to ensure you can handle your emotions in a healthy way.
Believe it or not, there are some people in active recovery who need to take antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications to regulate their mood. The doctor can prescribe you safe medications to take even though you had an issue with addiction in the past.
Set Boundaries with Recovery Methods
Another huge mistake that people make when they are first trying to recover from addiction is to enroll in every recovery method they can find. This can be overwhelming and limit your ability to get the most you can out of each method. It’s best to start off with one or two recovery methods at first.
Going to meetings with other people in recovery can be a great starting point. You can hear from other people who have been through the things you are going through or are about to go through. Speaking with people who understand your journey can make recovery easier.
Boundaries are crucial during recovery. While you may be able to let your guard down eventually, setting boundaries at first is important. Talk to others in your group about boundaries they set or wish they had set to better your chances of long-term sobriety. It will take a lot of hard work and effort to get and stay sober, but once you do everything will be worth it.
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