Emotional Sobriety Excerpts About Boundaries, Bouncing Back and Beginning Recovery

1.  From Natalie/NML writing at Baggage Reclaim: “Stop Explaining. Stop Justifying. Stop Talking. Boundaries are Upheld With Action”:

“There’s no point in recognizing that you need to have boundaries if you don’t apply them. There is a reason why there are code amber and code red behaviors – one is stop, look, listen, and if comfortable, proceed with caution and the other is abort mission.”

“If you struggle with boundaries, when you get a code amber, you ignore the information or have a half hearted conversation and proceed anyway even if you’re not comfortable. When you get code red, you try to convince and change them because you don’t trust your judgement, possibly because you’re scared that if you do, in two shakes of a lambs tail, they’ll turn into Mr/Miss Perfect with someone else. You don’t want to try again – you want thisone to be it.”

“You know what people who have boundaries do when they experience something that they know is a no-go for a healthy, mutual relationship? They walk. They don’t Bet On Potential, deny, rationalize and minimize. They recognize that that they deserve better than selling themselves short.”

“Know and show your limits and if you haven’t gotlimits, get some. The idea of knowing these limits isn’t for you to bounce them in the hope that they’ll chase after you and make promises that they can’t keep. You should be bouncing them because you have no room for certain types of behavior or for feeling bad about yourself.”

“Stop talking. They don’t need a lecture on the error of their ways or an attempt to make them feel bad about something they’re entirely comfortable with being and doing, even if in your eyes, you think it’s outrageous and ‘needs’ to change – youneed it to change; they don’t.”

2.  From Karen Salmansohn writing at Bouncing Back: “Think Like a Lion Tamer About the Hurt in Your Life”:

“Graham Thomas Chipperfield, a star lion tamer with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, got bitten by Sheba, one of his 500-pound lionesses – when he was merely trying to save Sheba from being hurt by an attacking lion.

“It took a while before the mauled Chipperfield healed from his injuries. During this time, Chipperfield made the choice to truly try to understand what happened to him from Sheba’s point of view. When Chipperfield mulled over how he got mauled over, he recognized how lions tend to think of the trainer as another lion. And so Chipperfield figured out that when he bounded into the cage to help Sheba – Sheba unfortunately assumed Chipperfield wanted to join in on the fight, too.”

“Did Chipperfield sit around blaming Sheba for her inaccurate thinking? No.”

“Did Chipperfield waste his time cussing out Sheba for hurting him — when he was only there to help her? No.
Instead Chipperfield took the time to see the biting from Sheba’s perspective – so he’d make sure this bad event would not happen again. And he made sure to take the time for this analysis before he stepped into any lion’s cage ever again.”

“Being bitten by a lion is always the trainer’s fault,” Chipperfield has been known to chipperly say.”

“Robert “Dusty” Staub, a psychologist who counsels people who have been through failure agrees with Chipperfield philosophy for moving forward. In fact, Staub describes the number one top cause of career and relationship failure as: “not being able to adopt the viewpoint of others.”

3.  From  The Act of Returning to Normal: “What?!? No Ticker Tape Parade?:

“When I first quit drinking and told people about it, I had three typical responses:”

  1. Apathy: many people really didn’t care either way. Either they weren’t close enough to me to realize I had a problem, or were unaffected by it. For the most part, their own relationships to alcohol were such that they didn’t really think very much about addiction.
  2. Disdain/Fear: Some people insisted that I didn’t have a problem at all and was being somewhat reactionary. As a result, I think they were suddenly concerned about how I would view their drinking habits. (aka – if I didn’t have a problem and thought I did, would I look at them and decide they did as well?) There are the same people who suddenly don’t know how to invite me out with them, because they suddenly realized how many activities revolve around drinking.
  3. Distrust: Because I’d promised and promised already, some people who were close to me just didn’t trust me to follow through on this new promise.

“I had initially expected…applause? Yes. Dammit. I did. I expected people to be so thrilled that I was taking this step, in part because it is the most difficult thing I’ve ever attempted. Also, because I spent most of my childhood wishing for that one miraculous event with my dad. I put long hours into daydreaming about how perfect my life would be without alcohol.”

“Still. I was fairly surprised at the responses I received. As a result I had to learn how to be sober for me, rather than looking outward for approval and support. By owning my sobriety I have the freedom to define my own needs and wants and don’t put it at risk because I feel I’m not supported. I learned that actions really do speak louder than words and that I can rebuild trust if I’m patient.”

Photo credit.

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