Boundaries are physical or imaginary lines that are drawn to keep something out or keep something in. In addiction recovery, boundaries can be the make it or break it of sobriety. The goal of treatment is to teach a recovering addict to refrain from using drugs or falling victim to addictive behaviors. These are any kind of behavior that is associated with unhealthy lifestyles, which could lead to relapse. Setting boundaries is therefore a critical part of recovery. Recovering addicts must know and understand what they are permitted to do and where they can go. If a recovering addict does not have or understand sobriety boundaries they will be more likely to relapse. The best way to avoid relapse is to stay away from any person, place or thing that reminds or triggers a recovering addict to want to use drugs again, including hanging out with a friend or buddy with whom you abused alcohol or drugs. Any location, like bar or parking lot or apartment, where you drank or used drugs. Finally, it is any activity that you can associate with consuming alcohol or drugs.
Setting Boundaries and Choosing to Fight for Sobriety
Setting boundaries is the easy part. Addicts and those in recovery come to the realization that there are several triggers for their addiction. There are people, places and things that remind them of drugs and alcohol and those triggers drive their desire to do drugs. As such, they choose to separate themselves from those things. Separating yourself from those triggers is not as easy as saying you will stay away from them. For example, a door or a phone is medium that can trigger relapse. It is important for those in recovery to understand that they cannot keep all triggers away. It is up to them not to answer the knocking at their door or the phone calls. They can however, move or change phone numbers or block certain individuals. Recovering addicts must choose to fight for sobriety.
There are an endless number of ways to deal with triggers. Dealing with people can be the most difficult, but here are a number of sobriety statements that can help recovering addicts stay sober. It is important to stay positive and polite when it is possible. Simply saying, “No. No thank you. I do not drink or do those drugs anymore”, can be effective. True friends will understand and help you continue in recovery. Anyone that wants to continue to pressure you is not a friend at all and you should place as much space between yourself and that person. When those people continue to pursue you tell them that you are no longer interested in communicating with them. Those that are smart will stop their pursuit and begin to leave you alone. If triggers continue to be a problem it is imperative to make it clear that you are committed to recovery. You should let them know that you are willing to contact the proper authorities to handle the situation. Since these individuals is most likely carrying or conducting illegal activities they will stop pestering you. Recovering addicts must make it evident that they have moved on with their lives and no longer need that person in their lives. Boundary statements should be utilized and help up with fervor. These statements are ones to live by and should not be bent or broke. Recovering addicts are in delicate situations that require constant attention. They should create a strong support system to which they can rely. Those individuals should be severe advocates for their recovery and willing to intervene in any of the aforementioned scenarios.