Day Thirty Nine
In sobriety I get to decide how I want to be treated, and as long as my expectations are reasonable, it works out better for everyone involved.
As previously discussed, boundaries are lines in the sand that create healthy space between individuals, for the good of their relationship.
They help us heal, they communicate our needs, and they stop others from having to tiptoe around us for fear of emotionally destabilising us. I know I’ve been guilty in the past of having intense emotional reactions as a result of expecting others to be mind-readers. We are not mind-readers, and that’s why we need this level of communication with those we care about.
It can be painful; we have to look at where we have been betrayed in the past. We need to look at how we have been harmed by our lack of boundaries, or how we have not recognised other people’s boundaries. For me, I believed there was a scarcity of love, and if I had boundaries I would feel neglected – not recognising that boundaries are a deeply loving thing to do for sustainable relationships (unlike the instant gratification ones I talked about yesterday). When I continue withstanding behaviours that are causing me harm rather than addressing them, it puts me in a position to martyr myself, and fall into self-pity. It’s usually more harmful to the relationship, and I will begin to resent the person. I can avoid this with a simple template for setting boundaries with others:
“I have noticed [xyz]. When this happens I feel [xyz]. It makes me wish [xyz]. I need [xyz]. I will do [xyz]. This is important to me because [xyz].”
Are there any healthy boundaries you can implement to help your sobriety?
Three tiny things:
- Use the template above to practise how it feels to have a tough conversation around boundaries.
- Mend something that needs to be mended.
- Congratulate yourself on something you’ve done recently, big or small