By: Marc McMahon
Sometimes in recovery, we have to set boundaries that protect us from the behavior of others, keeping us a safe distance from it, as not to be affected by it. This can sometimes make me feel like I am isolating myself from friends or acquaintances but for my own protection. For example, my new friend who I talked about maybe being alcoholic but he’s not thank God. Anyway he just rented out his spare bedroom to a couple I just found out yesterday uses Methamphetamines, and yes in his house even though he does not and never has.
When he told me this yesterday after considering not telling me he said but he did thank God cause that would have ended our friendship that lie but he did not so it is all good. But he told me this and my gut about dropped because I go to his house and hang out and play cards and all that visit his dog, eat, and now knowing this I can’t. Or I could but I won’t. Not because Ill use, not because I will even see the stuff but I have worked too hard to put myself in a situation where there are illegal drugs in a home I am in. It is not happening for any reason not in this life.
Now in making that decision, I am taking from myself the one thing I do outside of my home regularly which is going to his house and now I cant and it frustrates me, to say the least ya know. Like losing a friend but not really but I miss the damn dog a lot. It just is hard doing the boundary thing sometimes, but recovery can’t happen without them. Firm lines must be drawn in the sand with friends so they know where your boundaries are and they must be Clearly marked in order for people to have respect for them I have found so I not only mark mine but put the equivalent to Trump’s damn wall around my recovery and the National Guard guarding that. It is very protected and if I have to do it friendless I shall lol.
You know I told him I won’t be coming by anymore but it was like he chose not to here me and still expected me to come by. I was like brother I told you I will no longer be able to do that and he is upset but nothing I can do about that because today I come first, period as selfish as that sounds. Now there is plenty of me to go around but my needs in recovery trump all other right now and rightfully so it has to be this way and I do not see that changing. Call me pretentious or whatever but it is what it is, my recovery!
Firm and healthy boundaries are such a priority whether in recovery or not. This applies to life in general not just my recovery. People need to respect you for your boundaries and it is our job to teach them how to do that. We do that I believe by setting our boundaries and being non-flexible with them. Keeping them rigid so to speak as to not be influenced by outside factors other than the well being of our recovery. I mean, after all, that should be our number one priority if we’re in recovery without a doubt.
I understand it is a hard thing to do. I myself struggle with the internal dialogue back and forth with myself about how going there will be ok and all that but I simply do not go regardless of what my other half inside of me says, you know that devil with the pitchfork on one shoulder and the angel on the other, both whispering your ears but which one do you listen to is the question. The one voice is of reason and truth and the other leads straight back to your addiction just in a very deceitful and despicable way.
Two important things I have learned in recovery before I go is the fact that boundaries are so very necessary and the fact that yes we will, in fact, lose some aquaintances setting them. But, this too I have learned which is equally important. True friends stick around regardless they just want what is best for you. So some will be lost but many more healthy ones will come. I think it is part of the natural cycle of recovery if you will. Thank-you all again for stopping by and I love you all.
About the Author: Marc is a 49-year-old Author, Speaker, and Soldier in a war to loosen the grasp that Substance Abuse has on our society. He is a Father, Son, and friend to all those seeking refuge from this incorrigible disease. Marc resides in the beautiful Pacific Northwest where he enjoys, writing, hiking, and kicking the disease of addiction in the teeth, every chance he gets. As Marc always likes to say, “be blessed, my friends!”