“A boundary is a limit or space between you and the other person; a clear place where you begin and the other person ends . . . The purpose of setting a healthy boundary is, of course, to protect and take good care of you” (n.d.).
As the holidays approach, returning to the foundation of recovery is important. We can’t say it enough: If you maintain a strong foundation, recovery is always achievable. A part of your foundation should be healthy boundaries.
What boundaries are essential for the holidays? These are a few we strongly believe in:
NO! – Saying ‘no’ is the healthiest way to protect your best interest when you find yourself in situations that could jeopardize your hard work in recovery.
I’m Not Comfortable – Voicing your emotions and how you feel in environments is important to your wellbeing and allowing yourself the room to set boundaries. You will not be in control of who respects the boundary, your role is to enforce it. Even the ones we love will put us in uncomfortable positions, stay strong in your boundary. It is there to protect your best interest!
My Goal is… – Going into a big family dinner on Christmas can be overwhelming, even more so as an addict in recovery. Set out your goals prior to being in a shared space and remind yourself of the goal when you feel you are in an unstable situation causing you to question your strength in recovery. Achieving goals, even the small ones, is an accomplishment!
Enforcing boundaries is a form of self-care, and self-respect. It doesn’t have to be aggressive. A calm and collected approach is best, and ‘I’ statements are a best approach to making others aware of your boundaries. As Al-Anon says “Say what you mean, mean what you say, just don’t say it mean.”