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Boundaries are a tough concept for someone that struggled with a people pleasing personality as I have for most of my life.  I  wanted to make others happy and wanted to be the peacekeeper. Always. If you or someone you love struggles with these personality traits, you know boundaries are something that can feel very uncomfortable. In my last post I shared that I never practiced healthy boundaries with my older sister. I allowed her to come and go from my life and treat me however she wanted.  I thought this was because of a sheer desperation for a relationship with her and a deep need to be acknowledged by her. As I got older with more life experiences and healthy relationships under my belt, I realized allowing others to disrupt my peace was not going to be something I could afford to invite into my life anymore. I could no longer sacrifice my inner peace just to keep a relationship. Not everyone has access to me anymore. I had a front row seat to my brother's substance use disorder and I knew I needed to protect myself and my family from the painful experience we had with my older sister. It was not easy to tell him he couldn’t be around us if he wasn’t sober. It was one of the hardest things I have ever had to say. 

Check out this article about why boundaries around loved ones with substance use disorder are so important for maintaining your own peace. 

How do you practice boundaries around your loved ones?


Olivia Harrell lives in Baldwin, Maryland, with her husband, two young children, and a Bulldog named Lola. She lost her brother, Griffin, to an accidental overdose from Fentanyl on September 25, 2023. Her monthly blog examines the twists and turns of grief and healing. Olivia loves to spend time with her family, make sourdough from scratch, and exercise. She is also incredibly thankful for the community of LITT and invites others with a similar loss to participate in LITT’s Sibling Support Group. For more information click here.

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