One of the challenges many of us face when dealing with our addictions and mental health issues is our inability to create healthy boundaries. Many of us have spent years of our lives in codependent relationships where both of us are dependent upon the other person to fulfill our emotional needs. Often when we are not emotionally independent and self-reliant, we haven’t developed healthy coping strategies to deal with our difficult emotions. Sometimes we look to other people to carry us through our difficulties because we haven’t yet learned how to stand on our own emotionally. When we are in this place, it can be really difficult for us to create healthy boundaries for ourselves, in part because we haven’t yet done the healing work we need to do in order to really understand ourselves.
We may experience a lot of conflict and turmoil in these kinds of relationships. Many of us never learned how to resolve conflicts, how to argue amicably, and how to coexist peacefully, often because we grew up in divided families where we didn’t witness these things being modeled for us. When we grow up experiencing any kind of trauma, including unhealthy family dynamics, we can later find ourselves unable to function in healthy ways or maintain healthy relationships. We often attract people just like us who also need to do a lot of healing work before they can have a healthy relationship. Our mental health issues and addictions contribute to our relationships being toxic, volatile and abusive. Boundaries in situations such as these can be practically nonexistent with such intense levels of emotional turmoil.
We often have little to no sense of how to create healthy boundaries in our daily lives and in our relationships. We don’t know how to prioritize our needs within our own lives, let alone in our relationships, and we struggle to communicate our needs with other people. Often we don’t even know what our needs are.
We allow the people in our lives, and our issues with them, to dictate our feelings and moods. We often don’t give each other enough time and space to be alone, to develop ourselves as independent people. We don’t learn how to work through our issues on our own. We don’t feel strong in our sense of self, our identity or our purpose. We might let people walk all over us, control, coerce and manipulate us. We might do the same to others. Recognizing our lack of boundaries is an important step in creating healthier relationships, habits and behaviors for ourselves.
Understanding our relationship patterns and interpersonal dynamics is an important part of recovery. Vista Taos is here to support you. Call (575) 586-5078