In active addiction, you might've let a lot slide.  I was numbing everything.  Living in a constant state of a hummmmm life.  I said yes...all of the time.  I am pretty sure the people closest to you notice you being willing to remove boundaries to accommodate them first.  People who expect  you to change reasonable boundaries are not respecting you.  You need boundaries to be sober.  You need limits. 

For example:  The compromise you make about sharing the responsibility of the dishes starts out with... I will unload the dish washer when I make coffee in the morning.  It will be empty and we can just rinse and load our dishes as we go.  We both share the responsibility of keeping the dirty dishes out of the sink.  We compromise.  But, maybe your day starts out with your husband eating cereal.  The dishwasher is empty.  Yet, he eats his cereal and sets his bowl in the sink.  Year one.  You say, "honey, I unloaded the dishwasher...can you just slide that in."  Year two, " I unloaded the dishes.  90% of the work is done...all you have to do is put the bowl in the dishwasher."  Year three. "Put your damn bowl in the dishwasher."  Year four. Break the bowl.  Scream.  "Just put it in the dishwasher, wtf is the matter with you."   Year five. Slide the bowl in yourself after pouring yourself a glass of wine. Year six-ten.  Never complain.  Just drink wine and do it yourself or let them pile up.    

You've given up.  You've removed your boundary because someone could not respect it.  You are the one who stopped with your expectations.  You are the only one who can keep your boundaries.   What he was showing you is that no matter how you feel, it did not matter to him.  And, you gave up asking. 

I no longer give up expectations anymore.  I cannot.  The sober mind does not numb the part of your brain that feels let down and sad.  You cannot drink a sparkling water after someone disappoints you and expect yourself not to feel pain and hurt.  So this is where I am learning my boundaries. 

I am learning to say no at work and not to pick up the slack when other people are lazy.  I am learning that in a relationship, you care about the other person.  I've learned when to let go.  Sometimes friends and partners do not treat you with the respect you require of them.  If they cannot live within your boundaries. Let it go.   

How do you know when someone has reached a point that does not fall within your boundaries.  When you stop asking.  

For example, you're engaged.  You say, let's set a date.  You offer dates.  You are reasonable and give 6 months of dates and he cannot choose one because he is too busy.  You have not become unreasonable.  You have set a boundary.  He is the one not appreciating your feelings.  If you stop asking and maintain status quo when it is not what you want.  You have created your situation, not him.  Leave.  Find someone who values you and your expectations.  Even if you're a raging high maintenance bitch, there is someone out there that will live every bitchy thing about you. 

This work in friendships.  This works with work colleagues.  And, sadly, this is the same with family.  Do not let other people control your boundaries.  You are the only one that has that control.  You are the only one keeping yourself sane enough to stay sober.   


Sober StyleAPRIL