I am tired today. Tiredness makes my cravings stronger and makes me feel more vulnerable to those feelings.
Tiredness is one of the four elements of the acronym HALT which identifies physical and emotional factors which can leave someone vulnerable to relapse.
H is for hunger. This can literally mean hunger for food or equally may refer to hunger for attention, love or understanding.
A is for angry. Many of those who are in the process of giving up drinking say they experience anger. For me, I have had times when I have felt angry with myself for letting my drinking get so bad and times when I have felt annoyed and frustrated at the world in general. “Why can’t I drink normally – it’s not fair !”
L is for loneliness. Giving up drinking can be a very lonely process especially of you don’t tell anyone. This is where the online community has really helped. In real life my sober journey is often lonely. Sometimes it feels as if I am stuck in a bubble while everyone around me is getting on with their lives and having fun. I feel invisible. Online I can share with others and I know I am not alone.
Today I was asked to go to a conference at short notice. It is tomorrow morning and there is a hotel room available if I want to stay over tonight. If I don’t use the room, the booking will be wasted because it is too late to cancel. I don’t like waste.
When I was offered the room my initial thought was to accept it. A night in a lovely hotel, with a gym and no early start in the morning. I found myself thinking I could have a chilled evening watching TV and DRINKING WINE just as I would have done on business trips before. But then I remembered I don’t drink any more.
I thought about HALT. If I were to go to the hotel I would be all on my own (Lonely), frustrated at not being able to drink and cross with myself for feeling frustrated (Angry) and although I wouldn’t be physically hungry I would be away from Mr So and my daughters and I need them so much (Hungry). As I have said I am already tired.
I think that if I had taken the room there was a strong possibility I may have had a drink. My fragile sobriety would have been shattered.
So I have said no. I am going to go home, eat well, have a long bath and cuddle my girls. In the morning I will make an early, clearheaded start and my sobriety will be intact.