Tuesday, April 6, 2010


I didn’t have a good day yesterday. I was crabby. People got on my nerves. I was anything but serene.

My husband also seemed to be generally irritated. But he had a good excuse. He cut off part of his thumb off on Saturday. Not only was he in pain, he spent the day trying to negotiate the insurance companies and doctors’ offices trying to get a referral to a hand surgeon. He had reason to be grouchy.

Not me. I was baffled. I was prayed up, having devoted extra time to prayer and meditation in the past few weeks. I had been attending meetings, calling my sponsor, doing my daily readings, all the things I had been taught. Just yesterday, I was thinking how wonderfully calm I felt. What happened?

The answer finally occurred to me when I got home and went upstairs to meditate. I could hardly wait. I got comfortable, closed my eyes--then it hit me.

I was tired. I was tired and I failed to H.A.L.T.

Both managers at our family-owned business are out for a few days. One on a planned vacation, the other to attend a family funeral. So my husband and I had to go in earlier and leave later than usual.

I went to bed an hour early to get up an hour early. Only I couldn’t get to sleep, and I slept badly all night.

So I started out tired. I didn't want to be up early. I didn't want to be there at all. What I really wanted to spend time doing was work on some story assignments. Since we would be at the shop longer than usual, I packed a bag with my writing work.

Then I grimly went about everything that had to be done. I was on a mission, determined to do everything that needed to get done for the company as quickly as possible so I could do what I wanted to do. And I wouldn’t rest until I did it.

I didn’t take breaks. I took only enough time to eat a rushed lunch before getting back to work.

It was old behavior.

Only because I was tired, because I refused to take any breaks, I made mistakes. The work took me an hour longer than it should have. By the end of the day I was frustrated and exhausted. I never got to do the work I wanted to do.

I couldn’t wait to get home to meditate, knowing the relief I would feel. Almost as soon as I closed my eyes, it hit me. I needed to H.A.L.T.

H.A.L.T. tells me that when I feel agitated, I should stop and ask myself if I am Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired, and then remedy the situation.

I couldn’t take a nap, but I could have taken it easy. I should have taken the breaks that all the other staff are required to take. Ten minutes spent in the car in prayer and meditation would have done myself wonders, as it did when I finally got home.

I did not spend the day in acceptance. But thinking about the work I wanted to be doing instead of the work I was doing, I robbed myself of any joy that was in it. It was an inside job.

Last night, I went to a meeting. The topic? H.A.L.T.! The facilitator chose a reading from yesterday’s Hope for Today. I had read the same reading that morning. It was exactly what I needed to get through the day. God had given me exactly what I needed, exactly when I needed it. Only I wasn’t present enough to receive the message.

Sometimes, God has to hit me over the head before I can hear him.


  1. Sometimes my HP can tap me on the shoulder with a toothpick and I hear. Other times, a whack upside the head with a 2x4 is what it takes :-D I am glad you HALTED!


  2. Slips / draw backs happen. We are human. As long as you pick up again - all is fine. Remember being kind and gentle with yourself is easy when you feel good, however it is much more needed when you dont feel so good. Hugs and peace from Germany

  3. How many times have we gone to meetings and heard EXACTLY what we needed to hear? We are truly part of something so amazing!

  4. Falling back into old behavior is something I have trouble dealing with in a healthy way sometimes. I get down on myself when my buttons get pushed and I get angry. The anger is something I have learned to accept and not react to things but sometimes it is really difficult. I hope you get the rest, the mental and spiritual as well as physical rest that works best for you. Hugs.

  5. Kathy, sometimes I wished I could pick up the phone and just talk to you and go, wow, that is just how I feel!
    Then I read the other comments and I am still going wow, they are all feeling the same!
    I'm slipping with the program, haven't managed to get there for ages and ages (sick, church, work cam in the way) and my old behaviour is rampant and I am being harsh and critical on myself and yucky. There is nothing serene about me at all. I am always hungry angry lonely and tired.
    But I will push on. Again : )

  6. H.A.L.T. is a staple food for me. Hungry & Tired are the main two that creep up on me.

    I'm glad you went into H.A.L.T.

    Thank you for sharing.

  7. i love HALT. it's so useful. but yes, i don't always realize what is happening either until after some difficulty.

    i had a similar day yesterday. something was comforting about reading this just now. hearing someone else admit how i too was feeling.

    thank you~

  8. I have heard of HALT before, but I seem to keep forgetting about it. I'm going to post the word and the meaning on my desktop so I can reference it when I need to. As I get back to my life, this week, its likely I will find some occasions to use it.

    thanks Kathy. Another great post.