With Greg, boundaries are a non issue, we have compatible operating systems and shared values- prioritizing each other’s peace, comfort and pleasure. Goes without saying, but Sweet Greg is much better at seeing to my needs than I am to his. It is not for lack of awareness on my part, but grief, depression, and recovery take the bulk of my energy. Nothing about recovery life is natural for me. It requires, of me, constant contrary action, and that has been tiring. Unlearning takes time and energy.
A large part of my program focuses on conscious contact with God (Before recovery, each of those words would make my nose and upper lip curl) God speaks to me through others. And during my era of wound-licking, I have needed much solitude and to some extent this left me partially blocked from God. Now, attending church with regularity, a monthly neighborhood girls’ game night, author/speaker events and spending more time with Favorite, is elevating the quality of life–more good people = more God and goodness. It was not enough to distance myself from given sources of unnecessary pain, those vacancies
must intentionally be filled with people, activities, and places that add purpose and Good Orderly Direction to my life. Transitioning from survival to recovery feels slower than a snail’s pace. I did stop the bleed, cleaned out the infection-these are miracles. AND– there is apparently much more to living, then tending to old wounds. My spirit before program was figuratively in a diaper and on a feeding tube. I was non-dead, but now, I am alive-ish.
As one who is promptly flattened by sensory and emotional stimulus overload, I am, at last, learning to practice appropriate self care–intentionally creating time and space for recharging as well as limiting/avoiding proximity to given sources of overwhelm. I shut down completely, as a result of over exposure. As a mother, faithful hostage to our dogs, partner, employee, and head of household, there is limited time to effectively retreat. Prioritizing good care for the person whom my people and animals count on-ME, is sanity and responsibility—gifts of recovery. For some, resilience is innate, and coping comes with less effort and need. I was not blessed in this way. Those who love me, respect my limits as uniquely my own and non-negotiable. How cool is that? No pretending nor debating how I feel with my people! I love you!
Recovery taught me the hows, whats, and whys of healthy boundaries…boundaries are like spiritual skins(that differentiate us from others-where I stop and you begin–this is essential info). Boundaries are the rules which I uphold for myself, acknowledging my needs, limits, and responsibilities-all with the assumption that people, places and things will continue to be and do as they will. If a person, place, or thing is damaging to me, my boundary offers us each space and permission to be exactly as we are. You do that over there and I will be me, over here, nobody is forced to change or pretend. In recovery, we call this practicing acceptance(accepting the facts of reality–an action not a feeling). Boundaries allow us all to live lives which are more flow than force.
Boundaries are self-care and self love. My boundaries are strictly about and for me. Good personal boundary (as taught in recovery): Since your event is well past our dinner and bedtimes, we will have to take a raincheck. Bad boundary: You cannot host things so late and expect us to come. Good personal boundary: If you are going to say or do things that make us feel bad, we will step back until it feels safe. Bad boundary: You cannot speak to or treat us that way. Good personal boundary: I will provide foods for my children, according to their preferences and needs. Bad Boundary: You must provide food items, quantities, and serve at times which consider my children and our family. Good boundaries not only make it clear/easy to know when it is a yes or a no— but are large part of mental wellness and maturity. They have come to me late in life. Let’s be well and grow up together. Clear boundaries are wholesome and badass–and they are too much for some.
Boundaries kick ass! They support love, life, connection. Let’s live, love, connect. Together, one day at a time.
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