Have you heard the term HALT yet in recovery? It stands for hungry, angry, lonely, and tired – several triggers that can hijack a positive attitude and lifestyle in recovery.
The first few weeks or months of recovery can sometimes go by very quickly. Changing your lifestyle, quitting using, joining 12-step, and beginning to have hopes and goals can start to consume your time. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to do as much as possible now that you’re in a recovery program.
It’s easy for people with addiction to wear themselves down even when sober. After all, recovery is hard work. Even those who are working hard on themselves and establishing a new life need to pay attention to their basic needs. HALT is an excellent way to look out for warning signs that you’re spread too thin or ignoring your basic needs. When you’re experiencing it, it may be time to slow down.
Is Ignoring HALT Causing You Harm?
HALT can tell you when you’re neglecting essential parts of your recovery. When you were drinking and drugging, you probably ignored these warning signs. As a person in recovery, you’ll feel poorly if you’re entirely ignoring hunger, walking around angry or lonely, or working so hard that you’re ready to collapse.
You didn’t become addicted in a day or even a week. Your and brain need time to recover.
Using it as Recovery Tool
A breakdown of HALT can help you pay attention to your feelings. This means not only noting your attitude but also thinking about reasons you may feel that way. Here’s a breakdown:
- Hungry: Are you skipping meals or ignoring your hungry? This can make you hungry, weak, and even depressed. Treating your body poorly can also cause you to have a bad attitude. Can’t eat large meals? Try a protein shake or snack.
- Angry: Are you full of resentment or anger about something you can’t control? It happens to all of us. Talk to your sponsor about ways of letting go of anger. In recovery, anger can be a serious trigger for using.
- Lonely: Do you miss people from your old using life? Do you feel alone? This may be a sign that you haven’t created a support network yet. It’s time to start talking to your sponsor and sharing at 12-step meetings about these feelings.
- Tired: Are you working 12-hour shifts and then going to a 12-step meeting? All humans have trouble making decisions when they’re exhausted. Don’t run yourself into the ground or try to make up for lost time. Find a job that gives you reasonable hours and try to get a good 8 hours of sleep every night.
HALT is a great way to make sure that you’re taking good care of your mind and body in early recovery.
Getting Help for an Addiction
Do you or somebody you love have a problem with drugs, alcohol, or another addiction? Get help in a safe, supportive environment that provides science-backed detox methods and helps you plot your course in a new direction in recovery.