Feeling Better

i feel better now

I just wanted to thank all of you for support and encouragement from my last post.  I am feeling much better and my thoughts have straightened out quite a bit.  The ground is not so shaky and I am seeing things in a better light.  A special thanks for those who commented:  Robert, Ulpal, Debbie, Jodi Lea, Noel and Laura.  You’re helpful insight and sober tools were a tremendous help.  Just knowing people care makes a big difference!  The world of blogging is truly amazing.  It never ceases to amaze me how people I have never met will reach out and give encouragement to a stranger.  There is still alot of love in this world and even though our world is in a fallen state, the love from people surely overcomes all evil.

I do realize I am not out of the woods yet and have to continue to be actively pursuing recovery on a daily basis.  Staying sober for me cannot be done without God and others like you.  It’s important that I keep my heart right with the Lord and stay in constant contact with Him.  Thank goodness for the Holy Spirit interjecting on my behalf when I am not able to pray.  It’s not that I am not able to pray, it’s more like I don’t always have the words to say what I need to say.  I especially find this to be true when I am in a darkened state of mind.  It’s like a barrier to prayer.

I am sure some of the people who read my blog may not have God as their Higher Power.  This is what works for me and I have tried many ways to remain sober in the past without God.  It never lasted.  I’m not quite sure how other people do it without God but I am sure there are many.  Although, I wonder how they get any peace and joy from not having God in their life.  But I will not judge your sobriety ways and ask you to not judge mine.  Do what works to remain sober.  Not everyone follows the same way and we all have to find what works.

So I have a very busy work week ahead of me and it starts in a couple hours so I better get ready for work.  Thanks again to all my friends who read this and may God bless all of us with peace and sober days this week.

Warning Signs H.A.L.T

haltOne of the best things I’ve learning in recovery is this world “H.A.L.T.  It stands for:

Hungry

Angry

Lonely

Tired

These simple words can be a great warning sign for an alcoholic.  All of us out there who are trying to stay sober must live a life of self-care and self-awareness.  Taking care of ourselves is a daily thing.  Being self aware of our behaviors, emotions and feelings should also be  on a daily check list.

Many times a person has relapsed because we have let our self get too hungry, too angry, too lonely and too tired.  Being aware of H.A.L.T. can help warn us something is happening before we reach that breaking point.

Hunger 

We should make sure our hunger for food doesn’t get misplaced into anger anddonebestupods irritability.  I for one can relate to how people act when they are hungry.  I work as a waitress and it’s funny how irritable and short tempered my customers can be when they first sit down at the table and yet once I’ve gotten food in their stomachs they are sweet as pie towards me.  I also relate to the feeling of hunger because in the past I found that if I was hungry the craving to drink was intensified and my resistance and strength were low which of course is a dangerous position for a recovering alcoholic to be in.

Hunger can also be an emotional need we to be aware of.  Hunger can also manifest into being hungry for love, attention and understanding.  Hunger can accompany bad moods, unclear thinking, low energy and a decreased ability to cope.  In those moments when we may be feeling drained, overwhelmed or irritable, we should ask ourselves, “When was the last time I ate?

Anger

angryjpg

” tred lightly…. I’m a little po’d “

We all get angry and although this can be a healthy emotion, most of us manage anger in a destructive way, an aggressive way and act impulsively resulting in a negative consequence.  The first thing to do is acknowledge we are feeling angry and why we are angry.   The next step is diffuse this anger in a constructive way.  Some examples are taking a long walk, getting away from the situation to cool yourself down.  Try cleaning house or punching a pillow.  Make yourself sit down and say a prayer while taking deep breaths.  Another good release from anger is simply venting to another person.  Make sure it’s someone you trust and has the ability to calm you down.  However you choose to release your anger the first step is to recognize it when it starts.

Anger was a trigger for me when it came to relapsing.  I noticed that if I got upset with my parents or my boss, my first thought was to use.  This is an emotion I have to be in constant awareness and in control of.  Many times, my response was inflated because I hadn’t eaten all day.

Lonely

Prior to treatment, loneliness was a big trigger for me.  I have drank many a times becomes I was just simply “lonely”.  Many alcoholics mask these feelings of loneliness by abusing alcohol or drugs.  Once we start in recovery we are taught that loneliness can be very seductive.  When we feel alone we can also become depressed, overwhelmed and anxious.  Drinking when we are lonely doesn’t solve anything.  It can actually intensify the feeling oflonely dog loneliness and intensify our depression and anxiety.

The solution to loneliness is to turn to support systems and connect to others.  There are soooo many AA and NA meetings that can help us in our loneliness.  Staying plugged into a program of socializing with others that deal with the same problem is imperative to our recovery.  Stay close and tell your feelings to a family member or spouse is helpful too.

Tiredness

Tiredness takes a toll on our minds, bodies and spirit.  Tiredness can be a product of difficult circumstances and depressions.     Getting a satisfying nights sleep can be rejuvenating and get us back to feeling normal.  I for one suffer from insomnia.  It can be difficult to function sleepyday by day when I’m not getting enough of a rejuvenation sleep.  When we are running on empty our thought processes and ability to cope are severely comprised.  I become more sensitive.  Little things will bother me and my feelings get hurt easily.  This can make our daily lives very difficult.  I know this personally.  Sometimes we just need to take a day off work and sleep.  We need to be aware when we overly tied and its best to relax, put our feet up and just take care of ourselves and sleep as much as we need to so we can get back to normal and handle our responsibilities once we get the rest we need to do out best.

H.A.L.T. can serve as a reminder to all of us that we need to take care of our basic needs every day. For an addict, that is even more important because neglecting your wellbeing can lead to relapse. So, take a moment each day to stop and check in with yourself. Ask yourself, “Am I hungry, angry, lonely, or tired?