Had a hell of a day here yesterday on vacation. I don't know what happened, or why exactly - I think it was just that I missed having someone with me to enjoy everything, namely my wife. Sadly, had she been alive to do this, 1) the trip probably wouldn't have happened, and 2) we would've been drunk. But her sober company sure would have been nice.
I think it all started when I realized (very, very late Tuesday night) that I'd forgotten my mask for my CPAP machine. No mask means a long night of restless sleep, and I knew that, so I wasn’t happy at all. I got up Wednesday after about four hours of tossing and restlessness.
I should have remembered the acronym HALT sooner than I did, it might have helped snap me out of the funk much faster.
Just for those that don't know what HALT is:
H - hungry
A - angry
L - lonely
T - tired
These are warning signs, often preceding relapse, and I hit two of them immediately (lonely and tired). Because of that, i didn't eat like I should have, and I got shaky and irritable. This, in turn, made me want to calm down (which I used to turn to alcohol for), and that made me think of things I should not have been thinking.
I will report that i am still sober to this day (2 years, 25 days), thank fully. But I was pushed, hard. At some point in the day, the lessons I've learned in my recovery came to my aide, reminding me to HALT. Primarily “L” and “T”. “L” I couldn't do much about, especially since I know no one here, but “T” I could, and I knew that with enough sleep, I could do a turn around.
So I began making phone calls to locate a CPAP mask. Nearly **$200** later, a one-and-a-half hour round-trip (waiting time included), I got a new mask. I slept like a baby last night.
I've had a much, MUCH better day today. Today was how I had envisioned yesterday going, but at least I got in a grand day today. I’m so grateful for the lessons I’ve learned over the last two years. I remember my last relapse (about four years ago) - I didn’t have the tools I have today, or I might not have relapsed back then.
The “twenty four more” and “one day at a time” and “HALT” and others may seem stupid at first (for me they did), but I certainly rely on all of them now. I wish I could remember them all and write them down, but I find that they come to me when I need them most.
Another lesson I’ve learned: trust myself. I don’t have to worry about when the lessons will stand by my side, they’ll just show up when I need them. At least, that’s what seems to be happening these days.