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7 Reasons to Enforce Healthy Boundaries in Addiction Recovery

0 Heart it! Kelsey Brown 15
November 7, 2018
Kelsey Brown
0 Heart it! 15

In addiction recovery, you are not only learning how to live a life without drugs and alcohol, but you’re also learning how to establish healthy relationships and social connections that are in line with your recovery goals.

After you’ve completed a drug and alcohol rehab program, you may find that you are faced with a host of daily challenges—everything from managing cravings to finding your new purpose in life. Another common challenge you may face is how to clearly communicate your needs and expectations to those around you, otherwise known as setting healthy boundaries.

Healthy boundaries are an essential part of cultivating mutually beneficial relationships and there are plenty of good reasons to enforce clear boundaries, especially if you are in recovery from drug or alcohol addiction.
1. You’ll protect yourself from potentially dangerous situations.
After you’ve completed a drug rehab program, it may still take some time to adjust to your new sober lifestyle. But as you become more confident in who you are and what you need to live a fulfilling life, you’ll also become more confident in your ability to defend and protect your sobriety in situations that could cause a relapse. This is called self-efficacy and it’s a vital aspect of addiction recovery.
2. You’ll be taking control of your own life.
In the midst of our addiction, many of us adopted a victim mentality, blaming others for our misfortune in life and self-medicating with drugs and alcohol. In drug and alcohol rehab, we learn the importance of taking responsibility for our own actions and gradually begin to do so. Even after drug rehab, we must continue in this mindset and take control of our own lives by clearly defining the things we are okay with and the things we are not okay with.
3. You’ll learn how to express deeply-buried emotions.
Many people abuse drugs and alcohol as a way to cope with emotions and trauma that they feel like they are otherwise unable to express. Deeply-buried emotions are difficult to express, but when you begin to communicate clearly and openly with others, you’ll find that it becomes easier with time. Instead of suppressing personal problems with drugs and alcohol, you can finally begin to open up and share with the people around you, which will improve your communication skills and foster deeper, more rewarding relationships.
4. You’ll begin to love and accept yourself for who you are.
Accepting the fact that you have a problem is the first step on the road to addiction recovery. After that, you gradually begin the process of learning to love and accept yourself—imperfections and all. Although you’ll still have days when you feel uncertain and depressed, you’ll still understand the value and need for self-worth. Being able to define and communicate limits and boundaries within your relationships is a clear sign that you respect yourself and others, and that you’re willing to work diligently to maintain meaningful relationships.
5. You’ll have less stress and anxiety in your life.
Stress and anxiety can be a result of a variety of things, including the need to constantly please others, meet their needs, and receive their approval. Co-dependency, while common among people who struggle with drug and alcohol addiction, is an indicator that a person lacks boundaries and self-respect. In drug and alcohol rehab, we learn that stress and anxiety are two main contributors to relapse, so it’s very important to reduce them as much as possible. By setting and enforcing personal boundaries in your life, you are setting expectations for how you’d like to be treated and are exercising your right to your own personal beliefs, values, and feelings.
6. You’ll become more compassionate towards others.
It’s not uncommon to feel like you are being mean or harsh by setting clear boundaries in your relationships, but in reality, you are being kind, compassionate, and respectful. When you are firm and honest about what is okay and what is not okay, you are more loving, generous, and straightforward. On the contrary, when you let people get away with behaviors that are inappropriate or hurtful, you will naturally be more hateful and bitter towards them.
7. You’ll establish a greater sense of who you are.
One great thing about establishing boundaries is that you stop letting people take advantage of you. Instead, you find your voice and gain the confidence to use it. You’ll also be more assertive when you communicate and spend your time with people who encourage your recovery and personal growth, which will ultimately lead to a happier you.

There are many great benefits that will come as a result of enforcing healthy boundaries in addiction recovery. If you’ve recently completed a drug and alcohol rehab program, it may take some time for you to establish healthy boundaries as you build new relationships. Although it takes time and effort, the uncomfortable learning experiences will all be worth it in the end and will give way to happier, healthier relationships.

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