Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) has been a life saver for many people. AA not only provides a recovering addict with a community of sober people (or at least trying to stay sober) but there is also an entire philosophy behind life after addiction. AA provides a clear set of guidelines, a map that will direct you out of addiction, and an opportunity to create a new sober life. Many people greatly appreciate this map and all the tools that accompany it – including the many one-liners that describe the process of getting sober.
For instance, AA recognizes that when you’re Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired (H.A.L.T.), you’re vulnerable to substance use. And so, in order to stay sober, someone in recovery can easily avoid certain triggers by tending to their physical and emotional well being. Here are a list of ways to cope with the triggers that stem from being hungry, angry, lonely or tired:
Create your life so that you stay on a consistent and healthy meal schedule
This might be hard to do at first. However, you can ask others to help you. Family or friends can remind you that it’s time to eat. Or they might even cook for you on a regular basis. You might budget out a certain amount of money from your income for ordering out if you feel that cooking for yourself every day feels like a hassle. Use your resources of time, money, and loved ones in such a way so that you’re eating on a regular basis.
Express your feelings verbally and not through unhealthy behavior
If you’re prone to anger, start expressing your feelings. Talk directly to the person who made you angry. You might need to take a couple of days to calm down first so that you don’t do or say anything you regret. In general, if you can learn to express your feelings in words versus behavior, you’re more likely to stay out of trouble. However, be sure to find a way to express your anger in a healthy way so that it doesn’t lead to drinking or drug use.
Find new sober friendships
One of the great things about recovery from addiction is that you’re immediately in touch with a number of people who are in your same shoes. You can make friendships at AA meetings, at your sober living home, or at a community event supporting sobriety. You might also look for online chat rooms for sobriety or even a sober dating site. Sober and Single as well as Love in Recovery are two sites for those who are sober and looking for love. (It’s recommended to avoid dating if you’re early in your recovery.) Friendships are readily available and can help a person avoid feelings of loneliness.
Establish a sleep routine
Just like eating on a regular schedule, you might also find a routine that works for falling asleep and waking in the morning. If you’re used to sleeping at odd hours, this too might be hard to establish at first. However, if you stay consistent with the time that you go to bed, eventually, you’ll find that you’re waking at the same time each morning.
These are suggestions for avoiding the difficulties that come with being hungry, angry, lonely, and tired. If you can avoid these situations, you’re likely to avoid the triggers that come with them. And, in turn, you’re likely to stay sober.