After years of flooding your body with different substances, reconnecting with yourself physically and emotionally in early sobriety can be overwhelming. Some people describe the experience as similar to having a brutal sunburn: Everything feels uncomfortable and painful, and just sitting in your own skin can feel totally unbearable without the numbing effects of your drug of choice.
For many addicts and alcoholics, the best solution to that awful feeling was often to turn to drugs or alcohol. So how do you deal when that’s no longer an option?
This common recovery slogan, consisting of just one word, reminds you to stop, take a breath, and try to figure out what is going on inside your body BEFORE rushing into something you might regret. A simple acronym, it takes you through four of the most common uncomfortable feelings in sobriety.
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Consider each of the letters in HALT and see if any of them connect with what you’re feeling. If they do, you might be able to find an easy solution for your current state: a snack, a nap, or calling a recovery friend, for example.
But more importantly, you should be aware that living in the letters of HALT makes you much more vulnerable to relapsing into old behaviors. If you’re hungry, angry, lonely, or tired, take action using the tools of the program to get back on track to serenity. Have that snack, take that nap, and maybe try to get yourself to a meeting, too.