In recovery whether it be alcohol, drugs, sex or food, H. A. L. T. has been used to stand for Hungry, Angry, Lonely and Tired. These are important feelings to avoid for the recovering sex addict as well. Simply put, keep yourself eating regularly and properly not allowing yourself to get too hungry which may make you more susceptible to less logical thinking. Some researchers believe that eating certain foods can help you in recovery. A book that discusses this aspect of recovery is Help Yourself, by Joel Robertson published by Thomas Nelson Publishing.
Anger can sneak up on you quickly and put you in an emotional state of “I’ll show her” and you can begin to rationalize why it might be okay to act out. Some sex addicts have a whole system arranged where they purposely start a fight with their partner, leave, act out and come back later justifying their acting out behavior because they were “Angry.” Anger can be an important piece of managing your recovery.
Lonely is a difficult feeling for a sex addict to handle. Feeling alone can make the sex addict vulnerable to want to medicate by acting out. Having an action plan or an “I will do” list available in your wallet for when you get lonely may be helpful. Some suggestions for lonely feelings are:
- Go to a public place such as a mall or restaurant.
Call someone in the program.
Plan ahead to avoid your alone time gaps such as weekends or when your partner may be out of town.
Help someone else with a project.
Go to a meeting, church or other social gathering.
Pray or meditate.
Ask others what they do.
Being “Tired” in your busy, fast paced life, is a familiar feeling. Tiredness can lower your resistance to the point of feeling “who cares.” To recover, we need to stay alert. Our sex addiction is a default program that wants to be fully activated anytime it can find a way to. To prevent tiredness, get regular sleep and if you need a rest here or there, take it if you can. List your action plan for the following feelings.
Submitted by: Alfred Monson