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Understanding Boundaries

Okay, what is up everyone? Welcome back, welcome back! We are here and this is live, so if you’re watching this in the present tense it is Saturday, March 23rd of 2024 at 9:15 a.m. Pacific Standard Time. So if you’re here right now with us, welcome, and as you trickle in to say hello and check in and all that kind of stuff I’ll go ahead and give a quick introduction of myself, and what it is we do here, and what the intention and the purpose of this group is. So this group is for anybody who firsthand or secondhand has experienced any type of pain as a result of mental illness, addictions, trauma, grief and loss. It is for those who are trying to level up their lives and go from where they are to where they want to be. Ooh, sounds exciting! It is for anybody here that just wants to get a little bit of education in this space. So whether you work in the field, or you got a loved one that’s struggling with something, or you’re struggling with something, the topics rotate and they change. We’ve been doing this very consistently for four years now which is just mind-blowing to me. It was actually Covid that was the inspiration of the beginning of these live streams. Before that I was old school. I was like, “no, no, I don’t want to be online. I want to do this stuff in-person,” and Covid kind of helped us get there, which is what I think is really important here.

So my name is Parham. I have a master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. I’m a licensed Addictions Counselor. I got a dog that’s biting my hand right now. “Go downstairs, dude!” Let’s see, so I am in recovery myself – June 13th of 2008 is the day that I say I changed my life around and I went from living a very low vibration experience to living a life that’s connected to self and others. I do coach high school basketball and I’ll share a little bit later about my class that’s starting here at a community college locally in Orange County. By the way, this is an interactive talk, so three people have written comments so far. For example, Counselor Jim: Just want to say good luck in the upcoming few weeks, my friend! Speedy recovery! We look forward to having your wisdom back at Buckeye in person every morning. You’re the first person in the door which says a lot about who you are. And Katalin, what’s up? Jaleh Joon, what’s up? Jessica: “made it on time!” Oh, time management skills are improving, a few years later. So if you write whatever in this chat I could put it up here is what I’m trying to say and if you watch this later in recording feel free. Oh Allan, what’s up? I just gotta say Hi to Allan. Allan said, “Parham, whenever you see me on these chats it means I’m doing good.” So you know what my friend, I’m going to take your word for it and just assume that you’re doing good because that’s the best version of you that I want you to be able to experience all the time. 

So today we are going to talk about something that’s very very very important in the space of recovery, healing, transformation, and it’s this thing that is oftentimes talked about but nobody practices. So my goal is to be able to raise your insight, your awareness of why it’s important in your life and then understand if there’s some signs in your experience that your boundaries are broken, and ultimately give you some tips on how to set these. If you’ve heard boundary talks before but you still struggle with setting boundaries then probably continue to listen because there’s something that you missed along the process. So give me just one second, let me just see if I can remove this pup from my experience. Let me see if I can do it. Okay so my hand is getting bitten very very hard at the moment but I’m gonna start now. Okay so everybody, let’s get into it. 

What we’re gonna do is get right into this talk and there is a quote that I love, I mean I genuinely genuinely love this quote and here it goes. It says, “If someone throws a fit because you set boundaries it’s that much more evidence that the boundary was needed.” Okay, I’m gonna say that again. So if someone you love, someone you know, someone in your life gets upset and throws a fit because you set a boundary I want you to know that that experience is more evidence, is more proof, that the boundary that you just set with them was needed. Because if I set a boundary with someone who is healthy and understands, they say, “you know what, I understand, I get it.” But if I set a boundary with someone who just fights back or gets upset or this and that it’s like, “Yo, that’s exactly why I got to set that boundary with you.” When we talk about boundaries some people don’t even know what a boundary truly is. So let’s just think about it this way. A boundary is just a line – it’s a dividing line that separates one thing to another. Now that could be a person to a person, that could be a country to a country, that could be an experience to an experience, but it’s something that separates it. And why do we need to separate it? Because when boundaries don’t exist, or they’re weak, or they’re a mesh, people don’t know where the limit is. And when you don’t know where the limit is there is no limit. And that’s why people constantly say, “I feel like a doormat. I feel like I get stepped on, stepped over all the time.” I know where that accent came from – all the time! Wow, first time I’ve ever done that in my life. I think it’s a byproduct of too much caffeine on an empty stomach. Oh I love Jim! Thank you so much for saying this because you know I will. By the way, when you recover one of these talks we’re coming back and delivering on what we promised last week. To have you do a little split screen with me like we did back a couple years ago, and just have you share some wisdom, maybe some of this stuff. He says, “Don’t set boundaries if you can’t or won’t enforce them.” The worst thing you can do is set boundaries and then just be like, “ah, it’s okay.” What did you do in the first place? If you can’t set a boundary that you know you can’t enforce then don’t set it yet. Set it when you’re ready because if you do it sends the wrong message, the wrong signal. That “oh it’s okay, my boundaries don’t mean nothing.” So that’s a key point right there. To be able to only set boundaries that you can enforce. I want to go through and share with you some different boundary types because people don’t even know really what boundaries are first and foremost, and then that there’s types of them.


1. So number one is boundaries around your time. Okay, how do you spend your time? Do you have a time budget? Someone might be saying, “a time budget? What the hell this guy talking about?” Yeah, a time budget. I mean, you got 24 hours in a day. Do you budget how you will spend that time? If you have $1,000 in your bank account you must budget how you will spend that. I know that Starbucks or the convenience store takes up a significant amount of our financial budget. I read something that was pretty funny – it said, “my debit card is a food diary of ways that I’ve spent money.” But you want to budget your time. So how are you spending it? Do you budget it? Who are you spending it with? Who are you spending your time with? Such an important element. The next one is physical boundaries. And this could just be your physical space. It could be things like physical touch. But I think our physical boundaries are important. So when you look around your room and you look around your house and you feel clutter, overwhelmed, you feel stressed out, there’s something that needs to happen. When you allow people to get too close to you whether it’s intimately or just platonically, there’s a physical component there that’s really important to address. And we all have different physical boundary limits based on the things that have happened or not happened to us growing up. 

People have popped up right now: Marilyn, good morning! Jose Jan, good morning! Just saying what’s up to you guys!


2. The next one that we have here are your conversation boundaries. So important! What kind of conversations do you get involved in? I was doing this talk with our program participants this morning. I said, “When someone starts talking about or glorifying their drug use you know what I do? Peace, I’m out!” I mean, I get it like if you’re young and you’re like 17 or 18 and you want to talk about that stuff, cool! It’s new but if you’re a grown adult talking about the days that you did this and that it’s like, “Come on, let’s get out. Let’s raise our vibration, let’s raise our energy, let’s raise the things that we talk about.” If someone’s gonna talk and by the way like some of these kids will be like, “Yeah man, I used to get direct pickups from the Mexican Mafia,” it’s like, “No, you didn’t. If you were working with the Mexican Mafia number one, first of all you weren’t. Number two, you wouldn’t be in a therapeutic recovery space using your parents’ insurance to be receiving treatment.” I just don’t talk about that stuff. When people are talking about other people, like gossiping, saying negative things about other people, I’m not going to be in that conversation. I just walk away. People are talking really passionately arguing over political or religious views, get out of here. To each their own, whether you’re the farthest left hippie liberal of all time, or you’re the farthest right extremist on that side, I’m not gonna sit there and talk to you about this. What’s the point? I’ve set boundaries with people in this chat about that stuff and it’s like, “we’re cool with it.” Love and respect, very easy to do but if you get into that whole divisive stuff I mean, come on. 


3. There’s relationship boundaries. Sometimes I tell people, “you got to set boundaries with your kids,” and they’re like, “But I love my kids. They’re the apple of my eye.” What does that have to do with anything? I sometimes tell clients, “you got to set boundaries with your parents,” and they’re like, “no, they’re going to feel I’m disrespecting them.” Oh man, you got to set boundaries with people you’re in relationships with because it’s where one thing stops and one thing starts. If there is no line then there is no line, then anything can happen. 


4. You got to set boundaries around content. What do you expose your eyes to? What do you watch? I showed the program participants. I went on my cell phone and I showed them how many minutes a day I spend on social media and it was 16 minutes a day. I’m not including this. On Instagram, 16 minutes a day. I did the same exercise with the kids that I coach basketball at Aliso Niguel High School. Three hours a day was on their phones. Tik Tok average three hours a day. What kind of content do you expose yourself to? What do you watch? For those of you who are serial television watchers, and you watch show after show and you binge watch, you got to set some boundaries around that.


So those are the different boundary types. Now I’m going to go over some signs that your boundaries are weak or even broken. So all the parents watching this right now, you codependent little cupcakes, I’m going to tell you some stuff right now. And a majority of you will be able to identify whether in the past you’ve done this, you are currently doing this, and then you got to decide if this is what you want to continue doing. So the following are signs that you got to watch for, to know that you have weak or broken boundaries. 

1) Number one, you constantly mention what he, she or they have done wrong in the past. You give them guilt trips, you let them know that. “Don’t you know what I’ve done for you? Don’t you know how I’ve sacrificed my life for you?” I’m telling you man, that whole martyr thing is something that you got to look at because if you continue to sacrifice everything you are and all you have for another person you’re just a martyr. And you’re like, “Well, what do you mean? It’s my loved one, it’s my son.” And just because you do that doesn’t make him not your son, or not your daughter at some point. You can’t keep bringing up the past. If you’re not resolved with the past, find out what happened and why you’re not. Maybe go do some counseling, do some writing, do some work on yourself and then make a commitment to stop letting it happen to you. But if the person keeps repeating the past and the future (I’ll share a quote later that will resonate with that), you have weak or broken boundaries if you’re always talking about what they did wrong in the past.

2) The next one, this is parent 101 that they do. You are constantly telling them what to do or warning them what will happen if they don’t. Constantly telling someone what to do and then telling that, “Hey but but listen, if you don’t do it this is what’s going to happen.” News flash! Unless your child is 8 years old and they really don’t know what would happen most adults know exactly what happens if they don’t do what they need to do. There is no need to tell them. So when you tell them it’s a form of control. And by the way, whenever we do those kind of things it’s self-regulating our own anxiety. So I had this mom that for sure is not on this chat and probably not listening to this because she knew it all. Every semester she would go log on to her kids’ Community College portal. And when I say kid, her kid was like 27 or 28 years old. Every semester she would go there, she would study the schedule of classes, she would register for four classes for her son. Now the son has four classes at Community College that he didn’t sign up for, nor agreed to. And usually after week two, he dropped out because the parents said as long as he’s in school we’ll support him. So he would drop out and then they would cause this huge fight for years. And it’s like, “Come on, you know!” And it’s like, “If you don’t do these college classes this is what’s going to happen to you.” He knows. I mean at some point we got to realize our power and what it is and what it isn’t. So if you’re doing things for other people, telling them what to do, telling them how to live their life, just know it’s more of your own stuff and less to do with them.

3) The next one says you criticize more frequently than compliment. This is a perspective thing. I think everybody can be criticized including myself and I can criticize everybody. However, it’s a choice because you either look at what someone’s doing wrong or you focus on what they’re doing right. As soon as I see what someone is doing right I immediately let them know. I don’t wait to see them do something wrong and say, “Oh, you could have done this better.” Because by identifying the positive traits and the positive actions and the positive steps that human beings take and make it makes them do more of it. It’s management 101. I mean Jim’s probably the only person here that could vouch for this right now. I’m a little bit more hands off because we have people running the company, program directors, clinical directors, all that kind of stuff, which I really empowered them to be the ones communicating with staff. But for years, I mean Jim, from 2016 to probably 2021 anytime a staff member did anything positive an email went out. I was always the first one on the email chain saying, “Hey, appreciate you, wonderful job, you’re making a difference!” I believe that type of feedback to people about complimenting them, as long as they’re true and real compliments, goes a lot further than criticizing people, a lot further. And the goal is to always catch it immediately and compliment them immediately, because that’s when people actually know that “hey, all my actions, not just my negative actions have consequences.” Positive actions in life can also have consequences. They just happen to be good ones. Positive reinforcement, positive reinforcement. A sign of weak and broken boundaries is like negative reinforcement. Criticizing them, letting them know what they did wrong. Yeah, “Lift and motivate with positive reinforcement.” I didn’t even see that one when I was saying that, Jim. Telling you Jim, I think you’re finally getting ready to the days that you can start teaching this class instead of me. Just kidding, my man! I still learn from you all the time.

4) The next one says you give solutions when you haven’t been asked. Oh the parents love this one. Like someone opens up to them and before they’re even done talking they’re in problem solving crisis mode. It’s like, “This is what you have to do,” then all the way down. I learned something from a client in the family group. So every Tuesday as you guys know, if you’re ever in person in Orange County, California at Huntington Beach, every Tuesday from 6:30 to 8 we do an in-person family support group. It’s not on Zoom because it’s pretty therapeutic and people share some heavy stuff and I like to honor that but it’s for anyone who firsthand or secondhand has experienced pain as a result of addictions, mental illness, trauma, grief and loss. One of the program participants taught me something. She said when her 12-year-old son starts talking to her she says the following: “Do you want comfort or do you want a solution?” I was like, “Damn, I’m going to use that.” I’ll give her credit a few times and then I’m going to say it was mine. But I just love that so much because sometimes people just want comfort. I can’t tell you how many times clients have come and talked to me saying, “I called my loved one, I called my spouse, I called my partner, I called my parents, and I just wanted to talk to them but they immediately wanted to solve everything.” So do you provide solutions when you weren’t asked? A lot of you do, and again it’s your own anxiety, it’s your own stress, it’s your own inability to deal with unfinished business, or something wrong that forces you, compels you to do that.

5) The next one which is something a lot of codependents here have done: you cover for them. Like they call in sick for work, pick them up, all that kind of stuff, from a bar. I remember when my alcoholism was at its peak, you know 23-24 years old and I would go out, I’d either drink at home with bottles under the bed or I’d go out to a local TGI Fridays, you know. Rest in peace to those restaurants that used to be open a long time ago. I used to go to TGI Fridays and there was a few times my poor mom, at like last call, would come pick me up, or I would find a way home. And the next morning, early in the morning, she would have to drive me to the place so I can pick up my car that was left there the night before. She’s doing that because she was wanting me to be okay but that’s what I mean. You cover for people, you don’t let them go through the natural consequences of their actions. My mom was doing it with really good intentions, not knowing at the time that she’s enabling. But I’ve had parents calling work. So we have a program, an outpatient program – there’s been parents that have called in the counselor or the front office saying, “Hey, my son or daughter is not coming in today because they’re not feeling well.” I’m like, “Your kid’s like 40 years old you know. You probably shouldn’t be the one making this phone call.” “Yeah, but I was worried that they’re not going to call.” “Well, you still probably shouldn’t have made this phone call.” And they just don’t get it. Here’s the thing. They’ve even had talks about boundaries. This is the part that’s baffling. They’ve had people talk to them and teach them about boundaries, yet they pick up the phone and call. Fascinating stuff. 

By the way this talk’s really good for parents or people that are struggling with someone that struggles with addiction. Because the same way that you’ve heard all these talks about boundaries yet you don’t apply them is the same way your loved one hears talks about addiction recovery doesn’t apply them. People are stubborn and you start to implement and utilize these things that you learn if you want to get better. If you don’t it’s not going to happen. It’s really important to know that.

6) The next one: you are taken advantage of, or stolen from. So if you’ve had loved ones in your life that have stolen from you it’s probably a safe sign to say that your boundaries are weak or broken. Whenever I do this talk, sometimes people that struggle with addictions get on this weird moral high ground. And what I mean by that is this. They’ll be like, “Yeah but you know I’m not one of those kind of guys. I mean I love my family. I would never steal from them. I’ve never taken one thing from the house.” They get off on the fact that they’ve never stolen a material item from somebody and then I always stop them in their tracks and say, “Yo, have you ever stolen someone’s trust? Have you ever stolen sleep from somebody? Have you ever stolen somebody’s heart?” And they’re like, “Well, I mean yeah, but I never stole anything.” I’m like, “Bro, the trust is priceless, sleep is priceless. Yeah you can go take a piece of jewelry and pawn it for a thousand dollars and do some drugs for a couple days, but when you steal the other stuff…” And some of them get it and some of them don’t. It’s sad, but if you’ve allowed somebody to steal from you constantly over and over again, it’s a sign that the boundaries are weak or broken. 

7) You walk on eggshells to avoid conflict. This one happens all the time. Parents are actually usually scared to set boundaries because they’re worried of someone’s reaction, that they’re going to get mad. Okay, what do you mean by that? So they’re going to get mad, fair enough. So if you tell them they can’t do this or they’re not welcome back here, they’re going to get mad. How many times have you gotten mad for them doing something to you? Thousands of times. But that’s okay you don’t matter as much as long as they don’t get mad. Some people need to get mad, some people need to get their feelings hurt, it’s okay. How many times have your feelings got hurt in your life? And why are you trying to protect your kid from getting their feelings hurt, or protect them from getting mad? Because you’re afraid of the emotional reaction and the potential things that they will or won’t do. But here’s the thing. Even without the boundaries and even without setting it, don’t they do those things anyways? At least if one person’s got to be protected here, protect yourself. By the way, by doing so, you actually start to help them. If there’s any feedback, any parents that have gone through the setting boundaries roller coaster, if you’re still struggling with it, if you have made some success with it, if you’ve had some success with it, whether it’s yourself your loved ones, feel free to write whatever that’s pertinent or relevant to today’s talk in the chat. I know it’ll help some people out.

8) The next one: we got three quotes to consider when it comes to setting boundaries. Number one, “We [ __ ] people who are capable of walking because we choose to carry them.” So I’m going to say that one on the camera because when I do so it’s because it’s important. “We [ __ ] people we choose to carry in life.” We really really do, and the sad part is, it’s not just anybody. It’s people who are capable of walking. If there’s someone that literally or legitimately can’t do something and you got to carry that person that’s okay. Sometimes people need that. But if it’s someone, for example, if I fall down and just shatter my femur in my leg or my knee and I can’t walk and someone comes and grabs me and picks me up and helps me walk, that’s okay. But if I’m a body and nothing’s wrong with me and I’m not injured and I can walk and someone chooses to carry me that person that’s making that choice has to also accept that they’re choosing to [ __ ] that person. Now this happens usually unconsciously. It’s not a casual thought. It’s not like something you go into intentionally – you’re doing it with good intentions. You’re doing it because you love them. You’re doing it because you care. But I’m telling you, the sooner you allow people to walk who are capable of walking, the sooner they will be able to walk, they will be able to jog, they will be able to run, they will be able to fly. Stop carrying people. I’m not saying stop caring about people. I’m saying stop carrying people. Let them walk. You might say, “but they don’t know how to walk.” Well, let them crawl, let them just sit on their butt and scooch inch by inch forward into life. Stop carrying them. And the sad part is, a lot of you have developed this role of the caretaker. You got to really look at that role. You didn’t start with your loved one’s addiction by the way. It started when you were a little person and you just continue to manifest and recreate it.

9) The next one we have here is stop asking why they keep doing it and start asking why I keep allowing it. Stop asking why they keep doing it and start asking why I keep allowing it. Anytime someone’s boundaries get violated say, “Why did you do this? How could you do this? Why do you keep doing this to us? Why, why, why, why, why?” Stop it. Turn the freaking turn it backward this way. Don’t worry about what they did or didn’t do, and say, “Why do I keep allowing it to happen?” I know, low self-esteem, fear, uncertainty, worry, I get it. But if you know those things then just realize it’s not about them. When someone does something to you over and over and over again, or someone does something over and over again, you got to make a choice at some point. And by the way, when you ask somebody why they keep doing something what do they say? “I don’t know. I don’t know, it’s just what I do, alright?” Well, if that’s the best response they have then just start looking at your part, because obviously they’re not looking at theirs. Do your work because obviously they’re not doing theirs. How long you want to wait for someone to get it before you can say okay, now I can set a boundary? Because they’re good. Setting boundaries when you don’t need to set boundaries is like the easiest thing in the world to do because they’re not crossing them anymore anyways. Setting boundaries when you’re in the midst of it, that’s where the magic happens. 

10) The last one here for quotes to consider is something you know we talk about in this room all the time. There’s a reason I do it for specific reasons. It just says, “No is a complete sentence.” A lot of codependents have a hard time saying No in life, and it’s not because they’re weak, or it’s not because they’re bad, or they don’t have any backbone to them. No, it’s none of that stuff. It’s because at some point in your life when you were growing up, your environment was such that you couldn’t really say No. You may have come from a dysfunctional home, you maybe had some specific things happening in the house, like you were caretaking for other siblings, or you were caretaking for an adult parent that was struggling with alcoholism or depression, or you were moving a lot to different places. You just couldn’t say no and so it becomes like this identity. And now that you have your own life and you got your own experience you still can’t say No. But it’s something you really got to learn at some point. Whenever I tell people to say No they just say, “Well if I say No to them they’re going to think I don’t care.” Who says that? Saying No to someone equals not caring? It’s something you’re coming up with. If I say no to them they’re going to think I’m a bad friend. Who says saying No to somebody equals being a bad friend? Why can’t saying No just mean saying No? “Well, they’re going to judge me, or they’re going to think I’m a bad person.” Maybe that’s how you feel when other people say No to you. Why are you projecting it onto the world? And if they do believe that, they’re probably not the best friend or the best person. Are you ready to accept that? Remember, because if someone throws a fit for you setting a boundary it’s that much more evidence that the boundary is needed. If someone throws a fit for you saying No probably that much more reason why you got to say No. Most parents usually feel a significant amount of blame or shame or guilt if they say No. They feel like they’re bad parents. Again, who says saying No equals being a bad parent? They also think that if they say No then the loved one’s not going to love them as much. Well, if love was conditional based on Yes or No responses then we would be really royally screwed in this thing called life, and you just got to build that psychological emotional muscle to say No. 


I’m going to give you some tips, now that we’ve kind of identified all this stuff. Tips for setting healthy boundaries. So we kind of touched on the first one a little bit with Jim earlier, but number (1) just says set your limits. Now, the limits are different for everybody in this talk. We all have different thresholds for boundaries and you just have to set what yours are. You got to set your emotional limits, your financial limits, your time limits, your conversational limits, your content limits. You got to set all those limits. And once you set them, like we were talking earlier, you got to make sure that you uphold them and enforce them. If you don’t there’s no point for them. It’s like having borders on countries, like those little lines on a map but it doesn’t mean anything. You’ve seen that, the problems that arise all over the world for that kind of stuff. Everyone has their own world and you got to make sure that you have a limit of where you start and someone else, where you stop and someone else starts. Set your limits, identify your feelings, because when you set your limits you’re going to start to feel some things. Like I said earlier, you’re going to feel some fear, you’re going to feel some guilt, you’re going to feel some shame. Identify those, it’s okay. You’re a human being, you can have feelings. What we want to do is we don’t want to feel those bad feelings so we don’t set boundaries and there you are again, getting the same repeated life experiences over and over again. Not why they keep doing it but why do I keep allowing it? Remember that.

(2) The next one, this is important. Consider the past, the present and the future. Wow, what a way to go about setting boundaries. You don’t have to go find some imaginary information and some imaginary book that tells you what type of boundary to set. No, look at your own life, look at your life experience with that person. Consider – I don’t say just exclusively – consider the past, what have you done before, what’s worked, what’s not worked, what’s helped you feel better, what’s helped them get better. Consider it all, the past. Consider the present, do you have the same financial means you had in the past? Do you have the same emotional bandwidth you had in the past? Do you have the same energy you had in the past? Consider the present. You’re a human being going through a human experience in the present moment. And then consider the future. Can I continue to live the way the past was? Can I continue to handle the past? Can I continue to go through all that stuff? So consider the past, the present and the future please, that’s where all the information is. You don’t need someone to tell you. You don’t need someone to tell you what to do – consider the past, the present and the future, and all the information you need to know is there, it’s all there.

Oh what’s up bro? Let me say Hi to this gentlemen. AG, what’s up dude? Long time man! We go back… what are we right now? We’re 40 years old. 18 years old we were balling together – it’s a long time to do that – that’s 22 years. Always good to see you man! I hope you’re still doing well. I know you were passionate about the film industry and all that kind of stuff and screenwriting and movies and yeah a creative mind. Wish you well, my man! Hope you’re doing well.

(3) So the next one that we have is direct communication. Be authentic. So remember the following. What is not expressed in life does not exist. So if you don’t directly communicate your boundaries with who it is that you’re setting your boundaries with you didn’t set your boundaries. “Well, they should know what my boundaries are.” No, they shouldn’t. I mean, who the heck says that? They should be a mind reader and know what they are? “Well, they just need to know that I can’t do this anymore.” Like who are you talking about? I’ve had parents – it’s so funny dude. I’ll be in the room, the parent is there, and the loved one is there that’s struggling with addiction, and the parent tells me that they don’t even talk directly to them. They already know what my boundaries are. I’m like, “Do you know what their boundaries are?” He’s like, “I have no idea.” “Well, they should know what my boundaries are.” People are so afraid of direct conversations and assertive conversations because of fear of what they’re going to do. So man, be authentic, be true to yourself, to thine own self be true, is what they’ve been teaching us in this thing called life. What is not expressed does not exist. Just because it exists inside your mind does not mean it exists inside of somebody else’s mind, nor their world. Express it directly. And if you’re not good at communication maybe that’s a sign for you, not them, to improve on your communication skills. Why not use boundary setting as a way for self-improvement?

(4) The next one I have is to honor yourself. Yes my friends, you are the most important person in your life. You might say, “whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa, I mean my children, they’re my everything, they’re my world.” Okay, you are the most important person in your life. I’m so happy to hear that you have children in your life that mean that much to you but if you don’t honor yourself, set boundaries and take care of yourself, you are not the best version of yourself for those children. You are not the person that you want those children to see you as. Some people say their partner, their spouse, significant other is the most important person in my life, I die for them. Okay how about you live for you? So you have a chance to be there for them? How about we don’t start putting ourselves second and sacrificing ourself for the betterment of another human being? A lot of people in specific caretaking roles do that. They sacrifice their whole life for others. They give every ounce they have for other people. They neglect themselves and at the end of it it’s a very sad ending, man. I mean you guys know my parents – I don’t know if they’re here right now but I love them dearly. Cool people, good people. You can ask a 100 people about my parents and 100 people will say they’re good people. I put myself first. You might say what a selfish man! No, I put myself first so I could show up the best version of a son I can for them. The intention is important.

(5) The next one here: make self-care a priority. We’re not going to get too much into it because I have 4,000 talks on self-care but when you’re setting boundaries you got to do self-care because here’s what happens. Let’s say you set a boundary with someone and you tell them they’re no longer allowed to do X Y and Z. They’re going to freak the hell out. You’re going to feel guilty, you’re gonna feel ashamed, you’re gonna feel like a bad person, you’re gonna feel like a bad mom, a bad dad, a bad friend. And then you’re going to be stuck with that emotional experience if you don’t apply some self-care and do some stuff to help your emotions in that moment, the odds of you going back on your boundaries, the odds of you going back on your word, the odds of you just giving in, becomes very high. Not why do they keep doing it but why do I keep allowing it? 

(6) And the last one is to seek support. I just worked with somebody last week and she needed some support with setting boundaries. She said, “I just don’t know what to say,” and I said, “Well, what kind of boundaries you want to have?” And she named off like 77 things. I’m like, “Well, there it is.” See, it’s not that they don’t know what to say. They’re just afraid that if I say it something bad’s going to happen. It’s such a fear-based approach. I went ahead and wrote down six or seven boundaries pretty much exactly as she told me and she’s like, “Oh thank you so much!” I can say seeking support sometimes give you the permission to do something that you know you need to do but you don’t have the psychological emotional muscles to do it. That’s okay, but eventually you want to be able to set boundaries authentically from yourself, knowing that there’s no way that you’re going to say this thing that’s going to go bad. If you’re true to yourself and know your intentions and your motives.


So all in all, today we talked about boundaries. A very very very important talk when it comes to the healing, recovery and transformation process. You cannot change your future unless you set boundaries. Because if you don’t, the past leads into the future and there you are again. Some of you have been there for a very very long time repeating the past over and over again, thinking that it’s because of someone else. If I tell you my friends, that you have the sole ability to transform your future by setting boundaries, you might say that I’m out of my mind, but I’ll tell you this. It’s the only way we do because what if that person that you’re not setting boundaries with never changes? That means your future will never change. Now it’s up to you. Do you want your future to look different than your past? If the answer is yes, gain the courage to set boundaries and see what happens. Love and appreciate all of you. I will see you next week, same time, same place. Have a wonderful wonderful weekend! Bye, everyone!

Call Buckeye Recovery Today!

Are you in recovery but not making progress? Recovery is not only possible but attainable, and it all begins with reaching out for assistance. By addressing both addiction and mental health issues, individuals can break free from the cycle of despair and embark on a path to a healthier, more fulfilling life. Contact Buckeye Recovery Network today and initiate your journey to recovery and improved mental health. Our dedicated team of professionals is here to guide and support you every step of the way.

Today is going to be the best day of your life.

Kelsey Gearhart

Director of Business Development

Kelsey carries multiple years of experience working in the substance abuse and mental health treatment field. Her passion for this field comes from her personally knowing recovery from addiction.

Prior to Buckeye she held titles of Recovery Coach, Operations Director, and Admissions Director. Kelsey was brought on at Buckeye Recovery as the Director of Business Development. She has a passion for ensuring every individual gets the help that they need, and does so by developing relationships with other providers.

Kelsey also oversees our women’s sober living environments – The Chadwick House for Women. She is committed to creating a safe, nurturing, and conducive environment for all women that walk through the doors of Chadwick.