As An Alcoholic, Remember H.A.L.T.

Posted on June 22, 2010

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This is a fabulous little tool I learned early in my sobriety, HALT-  Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired-  whenever I catch myself being grumpy, irritable, lazy, or negative, I go down this list to figure out what my problem is.  Remember, the problem is always ME!  If someone irritates me in some way or if I am short or snappy with people, it usually isn’t because something is wrong with them!  It is always my attitude that needs adjusted and I am aware of that.  So I go down this list of offenders and I almost always find some solution.  Hungry- for those of you that know me….I am always hungry, lol.  Seriously though, if I go too long without eating, or even too long without a cup of coffee, I can get super grouchy.  Angry- I don’t find myself angry too often but it certainly happens.  If I can identify the issue and figure a way to rectify the situation, then I can usually let go of anger pretty easily.  Lonely-  this gets me a lot and in ways that you probably wouldn’t think.  Like when I’m at work and I hear people talking about going out together and doing things I will feel left out.  The funny thing is, it is usually stuff I don’t even like to do!!  But being the super-sensitive alcoholic that I am, I want to be included.  Or, if there is something in particular that I want to do and I can’t find anyone to go with me then I will get bummed out.  For me, the key to battling lonliness is to reach out to people- I don’t have to sit back and wait for people to invite me, I can invite them also.  Or I can go to a meeting to be with like-minded people, or I can go to the coffee shop where I know sober people go.  And finally, the #1 offender- TIRED.  I am probably tired more than the other three combined!  Sometimes, even when I feel as though I ‘should be’ doing productive things, I have to realize that sleep is necessary.  I can easily work myself to a point of exhaustion.  I have my regular jobs, plus the blog, building a website, writing articles, constantly reading literature about recovery, blah blah blah….. = exhausted.  If I wear myself down to a point of being a raging, bitchy lunatic then I am of no service to anyone.  Especially those of you with kids!  Sleep!!  Take a nap when they take a nap, whatever you have to do to take care of yourself, do it.  HALT really is a great tool and I think you will be surprised how helpful it is.  Even if it just allows you to take a moment to yourself and think things through to adjust your mood or attitude, identifying the culprit is half the battle!  Let me know how it works for you!!

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