One element of our addiction recovery that we don’t always take the time to address is the prevalence of our unhealthy boundaries. We often are so eager to return to our regular routines, to see our family and friends, and to get on with our lives, that we don’t even think of our boundaries as something we should give thought to. Unhealthy boundaries, or a lack of boundaries altogether, can be a contributing factor to our addictive patterns. When we’re reintegrating back into our former lives, we want to have boundaries in place to help us facilitate our recovery and to help us keep progressing forward. When we’re lacking solid boundaries and the self-respect to enforce them, we’re very often putting ourselves in compromising situations, settling for less than we deserve, and failing to know our own worth.
Many of us are people pleasers for example, and we have a very hard time with the thought of letting people down or disappointing them. We do things out of obligation, even when we really don’t want to, even when our instincts tell us not to, even when they are not in alignment with our greatest good. We prioritize other people before our own well-being. We sacrifice our best interests, our self-care and our time for ourselves. We settle for relationships where we’re not respected or appreciated. We allow partners and friends to treat us badly. We let people walk all over us and take advantage of us. Sometimes this is because deep down we feel inadequate and don’t believe in ourselves. Often it is because we have unhealed wounds we have yet to address.
Without healthy boundaries, our addictions are allowed to grow and fester. We let ourselves be controlled, manipulated and coerced by the people from our past who are still actively embroiled in their addictions. We subject ourselves to other people’s unresolved issues, and form partnerships with other people who are struggling, compiling our difficulties and giving ourselves more to recover from. We stay in unhealthy and abusive relationships. We stay when we know we should leave. We don’t listen to our instincts. We don’t learn to trust ourselves. Our own internal guidance system becomes compromised. Our connection to ourselves suffers. Our sense of self and our self-perception become skewed, especially by our lack of self-confidence. When we don’t learn to create and maintain healthy boundaries for ourselves, we give our addictions free reign over our lives.
Part of addiction recovery is learning more about boundaries and how to put them in place in your own life. Bayview Recovery is here to help. Call 888-570-7154 today for more information.