Setting healthy boundaries is important no matter who you are, but establishing boundaries during rehab and addiction recovery are a critical part of the healing process. Here’s what you need to know.
Most people understand the tremendous impact that an addiction problem can have on the person who is suffering. It’s also widely accepted that the effects of addiction extend far beyond the person struggling with drug use. In many cases, family members, friends, even co-workers or associates can also be greatly impacted by the effects of addictive substance use. For this reason, it’s fairly common for those who have also been affected by a person’s addiction to feel a level of involvement during rehab and the recovery process. For the most part, this is a good thing. There are times, however, when it becomes important to establish appropriate boundaries in addiction recovery.
The Balance Between Addiction Recovery and Relationships
Addiction often causes devastating damage to relationships between family members and other loved ones. When a person is struggling with an addiction problem, they can make the first steps toward healing and recovery by beginning a rehab treatment program. A person can work toward repairing the damage to those relationships during treatment and recovery, but it is a long process and one that requires work. It’s great if they have a support system during their recovery but sometimes, this support system can overstep, and cause friction between the process of addiction recovery and relationship maintenance.
Those closest to the person in early recovery may confuse playing a supportive role in recovery with taking on a controlling and overbearing role in the person’s life. It’s important that everyone involved understand that the goal is to rebuild healthy relationships on a new foundation of sobriety, and this requires giving the person with the addiction problem support, but also the space and trust they need to move forward.
From the perspective of the person with the addiction problem, this means setting firm boundaries with the people closest to you. Additionally, you might also find it necessary to set firm boundaries with those who may have played a part in the development of your addiction problem in the first place.
For instance, if a sibling is struggling with an addiction of their own but hasn’t yet received the help they need, it may be necessary to distance yourself from them – no matter how much the family protests – to protect yourself and your own journey to recovery.
Tips for Setting Relationship Boundaries
As a person that is new to early recovery, learning the art of setting relationship boundaries is a difficult task. Trust that over time this process becomes easier. You’ll become more comfortable at identifying which people and relationships require distance or firm boundaries for you to maintain long term recovery.
Setting healthy relationship boundaries is all about coming to terms with how your actions affect other people and how other people affect you. What some people see as honesty and open communication, others will view as intrusive.
As a general rule, healthy boundaries involve an open dialogue where people are encouraged to share their thoughts and feelings but also where opinions and feelings aren’t forced on another person. Likewise, healthy boundaries respect your personal values and allow you to take complete responsibility for how you move forward with your addiction treatment.
Healthy boundaries are important for your long term recovery. Here are three tips to help you establish them.
- Write It Down. Think of it as a personal contract for your long term sobriety. Lay out your feelings, values and what you need for recovery. Be specific about how you expect other people to treat you. Make copies to share with those closest to you so that they always have it as a reference.
- Respect Others. It goes without saying but this isn’t all about you. While your recovery may be the focal point, you need to make sure that you’re aware and respectful of other people’s boundaries if you want them to respect yours.
- Set Firm Limits. Outline what is and isn’t acceptable and then be assertive in protecting those limits. If someone bullies you into loosening those boundaries, you might not want them as part of your recovery support team.
Addiction Recovery in Bala Cynwyd
Setting boundaries in addiction recovery is a challenging process. If you’re having difficulty establishing the boundaries you need to protect yourself, there are centers for addiction recovery in Bala Cynwyd that can help. An experienced, compassionate treatment center can help you with the challenges of successful long-term recovery. If you live in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area and find yourself searching for “a rehab center near me,” then get in touch with one of our addiction treatment specialists in Bala Cynwyd today by calling (484)-430-4201.
Life of Purpose Treatment
The terminology used in our articles does not always reflect the current clinical terminology. As the language changes within the community, LOP encourages the shift in terminology to help end the social stigma surrounding the addiction community. Our articles are written for online public consumption and are meant to be easily accessible to people searching for help. To be successful in our efforts to help as many people possible, we may use phrases or terms that are not reflective of our clinical perspective but are used by the general public.