HALT Hungry Angry Lonely Tired Even After All This Time

May 20, 2010 — 4 Comments

Those of us in recovery have gotten used to the acronym H.A.L.T which translates to hungry, angry, lonely, tired. But have we gotten too used to it?

By paying attention to these four areas of our being we are making sure that are very basic needs are being met. When we make sure that our basic needs are being met, we are less likely to turn to drugs or alcohol to solve any unmet basic needs.

But, things happen. Sleepless nights, skipped meals, solitude, and even the occasional angry outburst. It is really important to make sure that you realize that any of these basic needs left unmet can leave you searching for ways to artificially change the way you are feeling.

As time goes by it can be easy to forget the basics in recovery. Today I am having a particularly awful day. I had almost zero sleep last night and it has left me with these thoughts of either finding a way to stimulate myself artificially OR finding a way to knock myself out and sleep the day away.

I have thankfully taken a few steps back to examine what is causing these thoughts. I eventually came to the conclusion that I wasn’t paying attention to the age old wisdom of H.A.L.T.

Once I realized what the culprit was, I was better able to handle these weird twinges of wanting to use a mood altering substance to change the way I was feeling. I realized that these thoughts can be par for the course and I actually got a chuckle out of the whole thing.

I say to my addiction… “tricky, tricky”. “You almost got me”. Even on little to no sleep I was able to identify that “stinking thinking”. I’m glad I can now take a second and look at what is really going on.

4 responses to HALT Hungry Angry Lonely Tired Even After All This Time

  1. I think a big part of what makes recovery work is that we have others to remind us about things like HALT. Often times my friends (or sponsor) has to say to me, “So you’re tired, and lonely – that’s 2 of the 4.” Once they point it out, I immediately realize why I feel out of sorts an cranky and how much potential danger I’m in.

  2. That’s a great point Amy, thanks for the insight.

  3. I have beenn on Cymbalta for years now I’m not sure how many I think I recieved it when it first came out or not too long after. I have decided to get off of it because of the side effects such as weight gain, blurred vision, severe sweating, not being able to sleep, concentrate, no sex drive, ringing in the head and ears, and many other side effects. As I sit here to write now I can hardly stay focused. If you are a new user or if you have not started taking this drug but samples have been given to you PLEASE DON’T take it. Try to get something else that has been around for a long time. Reader’s I know deression is hard but your healthh means more. Take my word and either get a counselor or get an older drug that has proven to be okay.

    • still an addict October 6, 2010 at 3:31 am

      Anita. I have been on Cymbalta for years, since it first came out. I UNDERSTAND you have had issues and side effects from this drug and I understand weight problems and eating disorders also…are you taking other medications with Cymbalta? As an alcocholic, and addict woman, who has addictions to everything from A to Z, I too gained a considerable pound or 90. BUT I was on a number of additional medications. My doctor tried many different combinations of quicker fixer uppers, but remained confident that the Cymbalta was working. He was RIGHT…TOGETHER, WE FINALLY FOUND THE RIGHT COMBINATION, AND I LOST NEARLY ALL OF THE WEIGHT I GAINED. I understand that Your experience with Cymbalta was bad, and I feel for anyone else, like you and me, who has to take a medicine that adds to an already existing problem(s), but with all due respect, not everyone will have the same experience which you did, or I did. Everyone should remember that there are side effects to all medications…THANK YOU FOR YOUR TESTAMENT…I hope you feel better these days ;~)

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