Hunger, Anger, Loneliness, and Tiredness: HALT In Addiction Recovery
Recovery takes more than sheer will power to stay clean. In fact, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is one of the most crucial ingredients for long-term recovery. What it takes is well-informed decisions taken to promote self-care. With a little bit of self-awareness, every recovering addict is able to recognize signs that help prevent relapse. HALT is one such phenomenon, knowledge of which can help in a sustainable lifestyle during early recovery.
HALT IN ADDICTION RECOVERY
HALT stands for Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired. HALT reminds us to take a moment (HALT) and ask ourselves if we feel any of these feelings. As humans, we tend to forget that the root cause of self-destructive behaviours is our basic needs not being met. In extreme situations, this may also lead to relapse. Even though hunger, anger, loneliness, and tiredness are easy to handle, we must ensure that our state of mind does not get affected due to any of these basic feelings. Therefore, HALT serves as an alarm system that warns us before things reach a breaking point.
AN UNDERSTANDING OF HALT HELPS YOUR ADDICTION RECOVERY GOALS
Hunger is both a physical and emotional need. It is not about just eating, but is also about eating well. Meeting the nutritional needs of our bodies allows us to work to the best of our abilities and to feel good at all times. Every time we HALT and assess our situation, we can relate a hunger for less tangible things such as love, achievement, and learning. That's why, it is important to have a support system in life. Your loved ones will always give you food for the heart, and ease your emotional hunger during tough times. To ease that kind of hunger, ensure that you do not turn to destructive habits and negative people. That is not going to fill your physical or emotional emptiness. Instead, find something wholesome to eat with a positive friend or beloved family member.
Anger is a normal, healthy emotion all of us experience. The important thing here is to HALT, and take time to reflect upon the root cause of your anger and constructive ways of expressing it. Perhaps you are furious about a problem you're unable to solve yourself, or about someone you care for, or may be you're just disappointed with your own self. It might be one little thing that turns out of control, or an ongoing event. No matter what is worrying you, always assess with a cool mind, whether or not you can confront what is angering you. If you cannot solve the problem, immediately, then it's best to let go and just focus on your recovery for the time being. Regardless of how you eject your anger, make sure you recognize it and release it in a constructive, not destructive, way.
Loneliness can crawl in when we are by ourselves or even when surrounded by many people. Staying aware that we do not isolate ourselves under any circumstances is crucial. By withdrawing into ourselves out of fear or doubt, you may put your recovery efforts at a serious risk. Being alone is a self-imposed risky behaviour. When you’re feeling lonely, HALT and ask yourself how you can reach out to someone immediately. Explore your options and build your own support system full of people who are there to hear you when you feel depressed, overwhelmed, or anxious. Sometimes, simply going out for a walk or going to your nearby coffee shop helps. It is far better than hiding from everyone and returning to drug addiction that you reach out to the world and connect with people and find a way to be happy and healthy once again.
Tiredness takes a toll on our bodies, mind, and spirit. Doing more than you normally do, and filling your days with mentally and physically exhausting tasks makes youlow on energy. When that compromises our ability to think logically, our capacity and coping skills get a significant hit, at least during those tired moments. Taking the time to HALT and analysing if you are doing more than is required is particularly important to avoid being tired. Satisfying the physical need to sleep, rest, and rejuvenate yourself helps kepp you in the right state of mind always.
MORAL OF THE STORY
Take a moment each day to check in with yourself. Ask yourself, “When did I last eat well?", "Is something making me angry?", "Have I been socializing with others recently?", "Did I get proper rest last night?” Honestly, if you assess yourself even once in a day like this and keep a tap on your feelings, you can strengthen your recovery in just a minute. Doing so will also make your day stress-free and your life along with the lives of your loved ones, much easier.
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This blog post is written by a recovering addict who found his wings in the hands of 'Shafa'.
Shafa Home is India's largest & oldest rehabilitation centre for correction, detoxification and treatment of alcohol and drug related problems. To see us in action, Please Visit our YouTube Channel.