I was in an online support chatroom and someone told me about the things that I should avoid during my quest to get sober. They can be remembered by the acronym H.A.L.T. which stands for Hunger, Anger, Loneliness and Tiredness. Someone else added Boredom too, but that doesn’t sound right as a part of the acronym.
I have been trying to avoid these and it’s working. In my case, I think the more dangerous ones are Anger, Loneliness and Boredom.
To overcome Boredom, I can find something to do, some hobby. However it’s been so long that I have associated alcohol to every pastime of mine, I don’t know how long it will be before I can enjoy anything without alcohol. I cant think of a trip, or a party or even watching a movie without getting drunk. I will need to re-learn how to enjoy simple things in life, without depending on Alcohol. Knowing that alcohol has just been a crutch and in the last few years it has not given me any real pleasure, will probably help.
Loneliness will be more difficult. I have driven away everyone from my life except for my immediate family – my wife and two sons. I have no friends or extended family left. I will have to start with my family and build up my circle of friends once again.
Anger will probably be my worst enemy. I need to stop being angry with the world. After all I have not been the most likeable person. I have done terrible things and hurt a lot of people, so why should the world be nice to me? I need to keep telling myself that I am in control of my anger and not others. I allow myself to get angry and I can control it.
Someone once told me that there are three factors which make us Angry. Expectation, Aversion and Ignorance. Expectation is when we expect something from others and these expectations are not met. Aversion is when we dislike something in others. Ignorance is when we are not aware of all the facts and we let our biases and life experiences to overcome our self control.
I think the first two are the worst – Expectation and Aversion. If I can understand why I get angry, I can avoid anger. I hope this works.