Setting boundaries with others can be difficult; however, setting healthy boundaries can improve our overall wellness and mindset. Learning to respectfully say “no” to the requests or demands of others can help us build resolve and find focus in our own lives. We may have learned to say “yes” and put the needs of others ahead of our interests.
One important aspect of recovery is building the resiliency and the strength to view our own needs as being just as important as the needs of others. During recovery from addictive behaviors, we may need to limit our time with those who may trigger our behaviors or who bring out the worst in us.
We may also develop new goals and appear to change to those around us. Setting healthy boundaries will help us maintain our focus and remain on our path to recovery.
Saying “No” Feels Selfish: Putting Ourselves Ahead
We may struggle with setting boundaries. We may feel like saying “no” to the requests or demands of others is selfish. Many of us in recovery may not feel comfortable putting our needs ahead of others. We may not have the confidence to state what we want or we may have been told that we must care for others first. While we may feel conflicted about saying “no,” learning to set healthy boundaries is not selfish!
Failing to set healthy boundaries can lead to us committing to things we do not want to do. We may find ourselves lost in fulfilling the needs of others as if we are dragged along in life rather than seeking our interests. Learning to take care of ourselves is not selfish and saying “no” to things that go against our best interests is one of the healthiest things we can do for our mental wellness.
When we set healthy boundaries with others, we reinforce the idea that we also matter. Sometimes, we may be tempted by others to engage in behaviors we know may lead us astray in our recovery. Others may be asking us to go out for a few drinks, making us feel like we are being rude when we decline. When we start recovery and we begin to grow, the people in our lives may not be able to cope with our change.
They may not understand our change or they may say that we are a completely different person. Even when we change for the better, others may not understand. They may also feel like they have lost a friend or a drinking companion. However, if we do not learn to care for ourselves and advocate for our interests, we may be swayed from our growth and improvement. After all, if we do not stand up for ourselves, who will?
Standing up for Yourself: Boundaries and Self-Advocacy
Setting boundaries is one of the first steps toward self-advocacy. When we give in to the requests and the demands of others that go against our health and well-being, we are essentially saying to ourselves that we do not matter. We are relenting and telling ourselves that we are unimportant and that our goals are not as significant as the needs of others.
We need to learn to stand up for ourselves! We are important and our goals do matter! Beginning recovery from addictive behaviors is one of the first steps towards self-care. We seek out self-improvement and know that our lives are important. We start to establish healthy routines and set goals for ourselves. We start to lead our lives rather than going with the flow at the whim of the demands of others.
Recovery begins with recognizing that we need help and that we wanted something better. We are moving forward from old habits and taking charge of our lives. Saying “no” to others can be a critical step to moving forward. When we know what we want out of life, we will find saying “no” to others much easier. Once we establish some goals for ourselves, we will begin to recognize what goes against our self-interests.
Remember that caring for our own needs is not selfish! The best way to help others is by caring for ourselves first. Setting healthy boundaries can seem difficult at first. However, once we begin to see how much we can grow by recognizing that our needs also matter, we will begin to soar in recovery! We will be able to free up our time to focus on things that are important to us by respectfully saying no to every demand that goes against our growth and well-being.
What are your goals in recovery? What do you want to accomplish? What is important to you? These are questions that will help to guide you along your recovery journey. When you begin to grow and change, others around you may have a difficult time letting go. They may have preconceived notions of who you are and struggle with the new you. They may try to pressure you to engage in former addictive behaviors that led you toward your recovery journey. Learning to say “no” to others can help us establish healthy boundaries and can remind us that we matter! Your recovery goals are important and if you do not stand up for yourself, who will? You are not alone in your experiences and your recovery. Sometimes, we may need to seek others for guidance and positive feedback. Enlightened Solutions is here to help you with your recovery journey. Call us at (833) 801-5483 today!