Recovery is a journey that’s all about growth and self-growth. One of the most important ways to improve this process is by learning how to manage your internal boundaries. Boundaries are, in their simplest form, guidelines, and limitations that we set for ourselves that help us stay on course with our recovery plan. Internal boundaries are what set you apart from the rest of the world, and hence keep you sober. They can help us avoid relapse, and stay active in our recovery. This piece will discuss ways to manage internal boundaries in recovery.
Ways to Manage Internal Boundaries in Recovery
Get a Sponsor or a Mentor
Find someone who you can talk to openly without worrying about being judged. The purpose of this person is to be an accountability partner, NOT your therapist or someone who will tell you that you need to change. Your job is to focus on recovery and making your life better, and theirs is to provide support and motivation when you’re feeling too low. You can talk everything out with them without worrying they will judge you or disapprove of something that you did.
Don’t Overdo It
We all know that we should go to meetings, but often it gets so bad that we start doing more and more things to try and prove our recovery. This can lead to relapse, whereas if you take a step back and say, “Are these things really important?” you might find that you don’t need to do them. It’s okay if you miss a meeting here or there, as long as they’re not too close together any more than maybe once or twice a week tops. You can still be active in the program by writing down your experiences, reading stories, and submitting writings.
Relate to Others
Another great way to manage boundaries is by relating to others. It’s easy to feel alone and as if you’re the only person that’s recovering from this disease, but this is not true at all. By regularly attending meetings and connecting with other addicts, you’ll find that it’s easier to manage your internal boundaries in recovery. In the beginning, it is best to focus on connecting with people that are in early stages of recovery. This will make you feel less alone and promote your connection with the program.
Work on Your Self-Beliefs
A big part of staying sober and being active in the program is having confidence in yourself, both as an addict and as a human being. If you don’t believe in yourself, then you won’t be able to do anything that’s productive and leave your addiction behind for good. You need to set goals for yourself and work on things like making plans for the future, learning new skills, and opening up to others.
Build a Support Network
Once you’re connected with others in recovery, it’s important to build a support network that will help you feel less alone and give you the support that you need. It’s essential to have other addicts in recovery as friends so your social life will improve by having more people at your support group meetings where you can share your experiences and make new friends with similar interests.
Learn to Identify Triggers
Triggers are events or objects that you may encounter regularly, and these can cause cravings. If you know that there are certain triggers that can lead to the desire to use, then it’s a lot easier to avoid them. Triggers are different for everyone, but you need to be aware of yours and make sure that you avoid them. If there’s something that you know can trigger you to use, then it’s best to avoid situations or people that could cause it. For example, some people may find certain types of music will trigger their cravings. If this is the case, then they would avoid going to certain concerts or bars.
Accept Your Feelings
We all have emotions that we’re trying to hold inside, but we don’t always understand them, and they are sometimes hard to manage. The best way to manage them is by sharing them with others. If your feelings take a turn for the worse, then it’s essential that you reach out to others for support. You can talk about your feelings with your sponsor or a close friend and work on understanding yourself better. Managing internal boundaries in recovery is a crucial part of staying sober, and these are just some of the ways you can strengthen your connection with the program and stay active as an addict. If you want help in managing your internal boundaries in recovery, reach out to us by calling 614-705-0611.