H.A.L.T.: Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired

haltH.A.L.T (Hungry-Angry-Lonely-Tired)

When getting sober, you may hear the staff at this California alcohol and drug rehabilitation center talk about recognizing what it means to H.A.L.T.  This concept is best served by putting this acronym into action.

What happens when we are hungry?  Perhaps we become easy to irritate, edgy, unable to concentrate, and with our single-purpose focus on that gnawing feeling in our stomach, we may yet be somewhat befogged by the lack of fuel for our bodies.  With all of that, the propensities toward additional misunderstandings leave others, and we may include ourselves in this, prone to unnecessary tension.

How many of us lash out when we are angry?  The bile of fury rises in our throats and we spit fire, with the potential to incite riotous feelings within whomever we come in contact.  Perhaps it inflates our sense of entitlement, fanning the flames of our arrogance which in turn causes us to treat others as less than.  Maybe we become short, curt, and terse coupled with a sharp tone when communicating; we burn people with whom we’ve come in contact with the hot iron of our ire.

Lonely; the word itself may immediately create an idea of a cry for attention.  When we are lonely we may be inclined to seek company that is less than beneficial to our well being.  We may indulge in self-pity, believing we are worthless, never to feel connected in the world.  This encompassing feeling of aloneness shadows our relationships.  Perhaps we fail to be even willing to connect, leaving us reveling in our own pit of despair blindfolded to the truth while thinking only of ourselves.

Tired can cause an inability to think clearly and while markedly impairing our immediate judgment; it may also sharpen our tongue propelling us to quickly lash out at others.  We could, potentially, be unable to focus, our concentration eclipsed leaving us inclined to be unable to complete a task that is required by work or needed by family or an ear for friends.  Maybe we decide we’ll get behind the wheel and in doing that we put others and ourselves at great risk, similar to driving while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.  Falling asleep at the wheel can kill.

We are guided by the alcohol and drug rehab staff to check in with ourselves, noting where we are at, being mindful of our responses to others, and, when we find we are feeling one or more of these, we immediately stop and address the issue(s) at hand.  The resolution of any one of them can open us back up to being available to others.  Our self-care directly contributes to our ability to be present and, when we are present, without the anvil of H.A.L.T. weighing us down, we are serving our most important purpose; being of service to others.

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