Early in recovery I heard a very intersting share at a local meeting I was attending. A man said: "If you don't know what you want, others will use you for what they want." It sounded so cynical at the time, but over the years I've come to see that that statement is profoundly--and sadly--true. There are indeed a lot of people out there who, if given the chance, will use and abuse those of us not so savvy to the game of life. That's why learning what a boundary is and learning how to set healthy boundaries has become such an important part of my recovery. It's what allows me to stay feeling safe and sane in a world where the takers sometimes seem to outnumber the givers. Had I not learned early on about boundaries I don't think there's any way I could've or would've managed to stay sober these past 13 years. I know I've hurt feelings along the way and have even lost friends and alienated family members, but the demands of sobriety really never left me any choice. Good recovery demands not only hard work and consistency but also that at times I'm willing to take risks, and for this alcoholic, who always loved winning approval and people-pleasing, setting boundaries turns out to be one of the biggest risks of all. But, loving sobriety as I do, that's a risk I'm always willing to take.
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