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Recovering alcoholics need to set boundaries

Alcoholics have identity issues and suffer with co-dependency which is a pattern of abnormal dependency on approval from others in an attempt to find self-worth, self-esteem and identity. People with alcohol dependency and emotional problems would probably identify with the words “people pleasing” and it is a serious psychological problem. Co-dependency is also the extreme exaggeration of natural and normal behavior with work, eating and alcohol abuse, requiring moderation by changing belief systems.

One of the main issues for co-dependents is lack of boundaries. When you have weak personal boundaries, you often feel responsible for other people’s thoughts and feelings and are unaware of your own. People without personal boundaries set themselves up for being used and abused, either emotionally or physically. Setting boundaries enhances your self-esteem and builds up your confidence when dealing with the outside world.

Where do I start?

  • You are the one who sets the rules. Let people know from the start where you stand on an issue and don’t back down just to keep the peace. Your self-esteem suffers if you compromise.
  • People get to know what buttons to push to get what they want. If you have set boundaries, people will learn, after many attempts to cross those personal boundaries, when to back off.
  • Tell people what you want and don’t want and how you feel. If people continue to invade your space or cross your boundaries, let them know that you will have to separate yourself from them and their negative behaviour, either temporarily or, if necessary, permanently.
  • If someone gets angry with you or abandons you just because you can’t do something for them immediately, this suggests that person is “not-so-nice.” Maybe you need to examine why they are in your life in the first place.

What exactly is a boundary?

Set of parameters, which make you a unique, autonomous and free individual who has the freedom to be a creative, original, idiosyncratic problem solver.

  • Emotional and physical space between you and another person.
  • Demarcation of where you end and another begins and where you begin and another ends.
  • Limit or line over which you will not allow anyone to cross because of the negative impact of its being crossed in the past.
  • Established set of limits over your physical and emotional well-being, which you expect others to respect in their relationship with you.
  • Emotional and physical space you need in order to be the real you without the pressure from others to be something that you are not.
  • Healthy emotional and physical distance you can maintain between you and another so that you do not become overly enmeshed and/or dependent.
  • Appropriate amount of emotional and physical closeness you need to maintain so that you and another do not become too detached and/or overly independent.
  • Balanced emotional and physical limits set on interacting with another so that you can achieve an interdependent relationship of independent beings that do not lose their personal identity, uniqueness and autonomy in the process.
  • Clearly defined limits within which you are free to be yourself with no restrictions placed on you by others as to how to think, feel or act.

If all of the above is a bit too much to absorb all at once and you would like some help to clear away the cobwebs of your mind, I suggest taking some , which is necessary for the manufacture of Dopamine and noradrenaline, which are required for concentration, alertness, memory and a happy, stable mood. Tyrosine is also needed for the production of enkephalins, which are substances that have pain relieving effects in the body. Tyrosine can also relieve emotional pain as we are often very sensitive people.

can be taken before bed to assist with a deep and restful sleep.

If you would like help with your toxic relationships, food or alcohol addiction, depression, stress or anxiety, contact me: counsellor@scoastnet.com.au or visit www.couragetochange.com.au

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