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While in treatment for drug or alcohol addiction, you probably heard a lot about the importance of setting boundaries. Establishing firm boundaries helps to set yourself up for success. Everyone will go through a different process in creating boundaries because we all have unique needs. Learning to understand and acknowledge what your mind and body need to thrive is a major key to a successful recovery. Here are a few suggestions to help you get started establishing or modifying the boundaries in your life. 


Acknowledge and Understand Your Triggers


We will all experience triggers throughout life. Different events and situations trigger us all. Acknowledge what affects you and how it affects you. When you know what affects you and how it affects you, you can create a plan to either avoid that trigger or find a way to work through it. Some of us struggle to acknowledge our triggers because we want to be able to handle everything. We worked so hard in treatment that we feel like we should be able to face anything. Unfortunately, we will always have triggers, and there is no shame in having them. You will not be able to fully understand your triggers until you acknowledge that you have them. Learning what your mind and body respond to and how they respond is a crucial part of recovery and maintaining overall well-being. 


Communicate Your Needs


The people in your life want to support you. They want to help you during difficult times, make your life easier, and understand what you are going through. After going through treatment, many different things in your life will change. Be clear about the changes you are making. People will not automatically know what your comfort level is or what you expect from them. There will be people in your life that have never experienced addiction or mental health issues. They will try to understand what you are experiencing, but they may struggle. Open communication is crucial with those you choose to have relationships with or spend time with. Set yourself up for successful relationships by learning to express your needs and desires.  


Vocalize Deal-Breakers


For your own well-being, you will need to be mindful of the situations you place yourself in. You will need to think deeply about the relationships in your life. What behaviors are deal-breakers? What are you expecting from those you choose to spend time with? It can be uncomfortable vocalizing your needs to the people in your life. You may feel like others are judging you for not being able to handle every single situation. However, the important thing to remind yourself when those worries creep in is that your support circle is not judging you. They want you to succeed just as much as you want yourself to succeed. Speak up and tell those around you what behaviors you can no longer tolerate. They will respect you, and you will have the comfort of knowing you are placing your health first. 


Understand Boundaries May Change


Recovery is a lifelong process. Your boundaries will need to change with time because you will change with time. What triggers you the day you leave treatment will most likely be different than what triggers you five years later. Recovery is all about growth and discovery. Often we get comfortable in our routines and our thought processes; change can be uncomfortable. We get used to doing things a certain way with certain people. Remember to be flexible in your recovery. As you grow as a person, your boundaries will grow and change as well. Remember to be open and honest with yourself about these changes and those you spend time with. 


Don’t Be Afraid to Walk Away


Relationships are essential. We all need to feel connected to people. However, your recovery is essential as well. You need to learn to place your health as a top priority in your life. You are not selfish or wrong to put your needs first. You cannot support others until you can support yourself. If there are people in your life that struggle to follow or respect the boundaries you have in place have the courage to walk away from those relationships. If someone struggles to support you in your sobriety, they are probably someone you should not be around. Those who love you will want to support you.


Creating boundaries is an essential step in a long-term recovery plan. Boundaries can help set you up for success. They can also help you manage your triggers and avoid situations that you may not be ready for. We all need boundaries, and we all need to feel a sense of safety and be secure in knowing those around us respect our recovery and the goals we have set. Keep in mind that being open and honest with those in your life regarding your boundaries will help everyone know what you need and expect from them. Your support circle wants to help you; being open and honest about your goals and needs will allow them to help you. Here at The Guest House, we understand that everyone faces unique challenges as they set boundaries. It is common to struggle and need support through this process. We are here to help. Call us today to learn more about our treatment options and how we can support you at (855) 483-7800.