Photo taken by contributor Carrie Hilgert, a photographer and painter from Northeast Kansas who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. After venturing into digital photography, she became interested in documenting her life with self portraits. This became particularly helpful when her life started to fall apart due to depression. All her other creative outlets left her, but she could always […]
my true love. You wrap me up and keep me warm – Comforted, loved, and safe from harm. You lift me when I’m broken down. I cannot live without you around. You give me strength, you give me hope. You make me stronger so I can cope. I somehow have the will to fight After we’ve […]
This is not exactly about a conundrum per se. I just couldn’t think of a better word and I can’t always think of a catchy title for a new draft post. I mean, I basically know the answer but I usually get the feeling that I’m missing something. Sometimes, I’m the last to know this. […]
H.A.L.T – Hungry angrylonely tired.
What is H.A.L.T.? These four words – (hungry angry loney tired) are often taught to us in addiction recovery. A big part of staying clean and sober is taking care of yourself and being aware of certain signs. When drinking or using drugs you probably didn’t consider certain feelings, continuing to just drink and use drugs. Using this acronym is an easy way to recognize certain signs and to help you stay clean and sober.
When you were drinking or using you may have felt hunger but you just suppressed that feeling with more drinks or drugs. Everyone needs to eat, it’s a basic function of survival. But is that the only hunger we deal with? No, we hunger for attention, love and understanding from others. Taking care of yourself emotionally is just as important and giving yourself the attention, love and understanding you need.
Physical hunger can be quite dangerous if not tended to because of excessive drug and alcohol consumption. There may be some questions you want to ask yourself throughout the day to maintain a healthy lifestyle, like when was the last time I ate today? What did I eat? Am I still hungry? Asking these questions and thinking about them can help you get on a routine of staying on track.
Many people tend to get angry, especially in early recovery with little coping skills at their disposal. Although anger can be used as a healthy emotion, not everyone knows how to handle it in the same way. For instance some say anger is a form of depression and others direct anger at someone or something.
The first step to conquering this shortcoming is to recognize the feeling and take a look at things to see where it is coming from. The next step is to diffuse the anger. There are multiple ways to do that. Ways to dealing with anger can vary from person to person. Some need to get the aggression out on activities such as exercising, punching a pillow and even cleaning can calm some people. Another method for is to start a creative project, something to turn anger into calmness. Others call their sponsor and talk it out with them or their support group to get out all the emotions. This can help figure out where the negative emotions came from, why they came out and to learn how to approach things differently for different results. Anger can be dangerous in recovery and can lead someone to pick up that drink or drug. It is important to find the best way to deal with your feelings of anger.
This leads us to loneliness.
Loneliness can be a very dark state of mind. Some may feel completely alone while being surrounded by people and that can be very dire to recovery. It can lead to depression, being overwhelmed and having anxiety. The way most addicts and alcoholics would handle this in active addiction would to continue to drink and use drugs.
In recovery there are other options to not feeling lonely. There are ways to unmask this feeling that most addicts and alcoholics experience when using. Some people have different opinions to handle this emotion, but the best thing you can do is turn to your sponsor and your support group and to let people know where you are at.
Other options for dealing with being lonely include running errands and even taking a walk to clear your mind which could help you identify this feeling. Going to a 12-step meeting and possibly sharing your feelings with other people or the group are highly suggested. These tactics will all help with getting out in the real world, feeling that you are a part of something important.
Everyone gets tired but to varying extents. Being tired can take a toll on the body, mind and soul and can often lead to depression as well as other dark symptoms. This affects your wellbeing and sometimes people just need a break.
Taking a day off from everything and everyone will help you relax. Also, make sure you are getting the right amount of sleep you need. Sleep is a very essential part of your life. You may be surprised at how taking a break from everything and recharging your body can work wonders. But never ignore the feeling of loneliness or feeling tired. It can lead down a path that could affect your journey in and out of recovery.
H.A.L.T. can be an important part of your recovery process as well as keeping yourself healthy. Not only can it affect your wellbeing but also your recovery. Staying clean and sober is saving your life and freeing you from the disease of addiction. Make it a daily routine to ask yourself throughout the day, am I hungry, angry, lonely or tired? Don’t ignore these feelings and emotions because one bad decision or reaction can be vital to your wellbeing and recovery process. The H.A.L.T. acronym is there to help maintain recovery and life on a daily basis.