How to Set Boundaries, and Why You Should Do It

An image of two sets of feet standing on opposite sides of a yellow line is a metaphor for setting boundaries.

Treating addiction can be a long process. It often starts by removing the substances that you are addicted to, but removing the substances is not all there is to recovery. Changing addictive thought patterns and enrolling in a rehabilitation center are essential steps to successful recovery. In order to start changing negative thoughts, people struggling with addiction must learn how to replace destructive behavior with positive behavior. Creating healthy boundaries can help those struggling with substance abuse move forward into a lifestyle of recovery.

Start with Honesty

Honesty forms a foundation that is built on truth. Honest behavior allows people to trust you. An honest lifestyle is especially important to people recovering from substance abuse because substance abuse is usually accompanied by dishonesty. People struggling from addiction can often misrepresent where they are, how money is being spent, or what substances they are consuming.

For recovery, honesty is the best policy. This means telling the truth in conversations, at work, and in meetings. It requires a conscious effort to express the truth in all of life’s circumstances, no matter how hard they may be. It may be uncomfortable at first, but telling the truth is much easier than it may seem. Committing to honesty is one of the first steps towards successful recovery.

How to Set Boundaries, and Why You Should Do It

Another important part of recovery is setting acceptable boundaries. Setting boundaries can create a safe place where you can work on yourself without negative influences affecting your recovery. Addiction doesn’t usually breed healthy boundaries with family, friends, co-workers and strangers. Boundaries can ensure that outside influences are both controlled and healthy. The boundaries that are set during recovery can help set a foundation for positive communication and lifestyle changes throughout the course of recovery.

Here are three ways that you can attempt to set healthy boundaries:

  1. Start Small – establish guidelines for the less important issues in your life, and when they succeed, take a step further.
  2. Seek Support – Find groups such as a church, AA, or special groups that exhibit the boundaries that you embrace.
  3. Be Introspective – Become aware of your feelings, and continue to evaluate your boundaries as you grow. Remaining true to yourself will allow you to maintain healthy boundaries.

Setting healthy boundaries is an important part of substance abuse recovery. Coupled with the support of a rehabilitation program, those suffering from addiction can pave a pathway for health, happiness, and productivity.