HALT is an acronym that i found on a self injury awareness website. it stands for "hungry" "angry" "lonely" and "tired." i added an extra h for "hot" and and extra t for "thirsty." there was a period of time during my journey when i turned to cutting as a way to lessen the emotional pain i was feeling by creating physical pain as a release. it worked. i cut my legs, sides, stomach, arms and at one point tried to cut my neck. in a different post i'll talk more about this and even post pictures of my first cuts. i know it was not a healthy thing to do. mercifully i haven't cut in almost 3 months. !! it's hard though. during part of this time i was also depressed and suicidal. when i found this acronym it clicked inside of me and gave me something to do before i acted in the moment and cut or did something else. as i am growing, i find that i am using this much less for moments when i feel like i want to cut, and more for moments when i am depressed, extremely anxious, unhappy//out of sorts, etc.
H - hungry .. so often my mood is lifted by a little snack or a meal .. work and schedules are good, but if you're not eating regularly then start penciling in time to eat. it really is that important. i try to eat well .. though my family would probably think that's hilarious - but i am doing my best for where i am right now.
H - hot .. i added this one because with the medicines i take it effects my nervous system and makes me hot. like hot hot. seriously i think my body temp has been raised to like 150 degrees and i'm always sweating. and i hate that. anxiety is such a funny thing .. it makes me go into "fight or flight" mode taking blood away from my limbs (fingers and toes) leaving them ice cold and spurs everything else into hyper mode = sweat. so if i'm hot i'm cranky ... maybe because i'm in the middle of a panic attack .. maybe because i'm worried one will happen if i have all the physical symptoms .. either way, i find it best to turn down the ac and sit under a fan. stay cool and calm.
A - angry .. am i angry? anger is such a powerful emotion, but it's not really what's bothering me. anger is a stronger emotion that protects the "little sister" emotions of hurt or pain. when someone asks how you are, you really won't get an understanding reaction if you say, "oh, my feelings are so hurt." but if you say "i'm totally pissed off!" people get it. i don't know why, i just know it's so. try to calm down. i like to write and use bold and underline and CAPS to express how i'm feeling. eventually what is really hurting me comes out, my anger goes away, sometimes tears come, understanding is had, and i can move on.
L - lonely. i wrote in my last post that i like to be alone, and it's true, but i also get lonely. living alone is different and difficult. i am blessed to have family close and dear friends who understand me and want me to come over to their homes and just be there. so i can choose if i want to stay alone or go be with people. sometimes i'm stubborn and bask and wallow in my loneliness. other times i can get over myself and go be with people who cheer me up. being alone is not good when you want to harm yourself.
T - tired .. naps are good. i repeat NAPS ARE GOOD! naps are so good. our bodies need rest. i'm of the old fashioned idea that anything under 2 hours does not count as a nap .. but as i am constantly evolving i will admit that we are all different and you are the expert on your body. if 10 minutes will do the trick then grab a pillow a soft blanket and claim the couch or your bed. if you're more like me, scoot pillows, gather blankets and settle into your bed for a nice long rest. either way, slowing down, resting, and becoming "un-tired" will help so much.
T - thirsty .. did you know that our bodies often confuse thirst for hunger? so if you're feeling out of sorts and think it's your tummy, don't forget to add water to that mix. ice cold water is so wonderful. when i became "crazy and paranoid" i quickly learned that one of my greatest anxieties was being someplace out of my home, becoming desperately thirsty and never being able to find water. yes, i understand now that that is quite unrealistic, but at the time the thought that not all of my thoughts are sanenever entered my head so i did what any person would do .. i solved my problem and bought a "crazy cup." (i named them that :) and mine goes with me everywhere. i always have water in it. it's always a hand reach away. best decision i ever made.
it's ok and good to take care of me.