When you go through addiction recovery, you have to make difficult decisions. One of those decisions may be to set boundaries with your family. Even if you are not in recovery, there is nothing wrong with establishing these boundaries, but most people do not know where to start. It may be difficult, but recovery is all about giving your maximum effort and doing what needs to be done to achieve your goal. Here are a few tips on how to set up healthy family boundaries to get you started.
- Establish your limits. Before you go setting limits with your family, you first have to identify them. What are your physical, emotional, and mental limits? Write them down and remember them. Make sure you can properly identify and express exactly what you can and cannot tolerate or accept.
- Start small. Boundaries, especially ones involving your family, must begin small. Do not cut yourself off from family. Work your way up. Start with something simple like limiting communication. Then you can move on to larger boundaries like moving out or relocating to a different area. The healthiest and strongest boundaries are the ones that are developed over time.
- Be assertive. Your family may have difficulty coming to terms with these boundaries, but you must be assertive. Tell them exactly what is and is not acceptable, and that you will not budge. Let them know that this is for the best. They will understand the need for the boundaries, but it may take some time for them to adjust.
- Slowly dissolve boundaries after recovery. After you have overcome addiction and start readjusting to daily life, you cannot expect the boundaries to instantly disappear. Tell your family that readjustment takes time. The boundaries may take a while to go away, so people should still respect your limits for the time being.
Recovery is challenging enough as it is, so it is a good idea to make the process easier for you by establishing these boundaries with family and friends. It will be difficult in the beginning, but it will benefit you later on down the road. Remember to be vocal and direct, and you will see that people will respect your boundaries.