Level 5 Storms


“I know how insane I was…” – Daily Reflections

I first heard the phrase “emotional hangover” in the rooms of AlAnon. The moment I heard it, I related. This phrase embodies the feeling I experience after I’ve been through the eye of the hurricane of insanity – most often with someone else.

These bouts of insanity frequently took place during my drinking and using days, but what stands out more is how, many years into recovery, I still find myself, on occasion, in the engaging in insanity with others. And now knowing the way to avoid it, but not doing so, makes these experiences even worse.

Sometimes it’s me who has lost control, disconnected from my higher power and the loving state of consciousness which I try to stay centered in. Sometimes it’s the other person who has temporarily gone crazy. The Level 5 storms occur when both of us have lost our grip on sanity.

The end result: an emotional hangover. So much unless drama, when what I strive for is peace, kindness, tranquility and love. So what’s the solution?

First I must make sure I’m taking care of myself emotionally, on a daily basis. I must pay attention to HALT: never get too hungry, angry, lonely or tired. I must feed myself spiritually, regardless of how busy I am. If I don’t put these things first, I’m surely opening the opportunity for insanity to enter my life.

Next, I must set healthy boundaries for myself, and understand what I will do if these boundaries are crossed. Then follow through by taking that action I committed to when my boundary is not respected. These boundaries aren’t designed to hurt or punish others, but to keep myself safe and avoid drama. For example, if someone swears at me or puts me down I’ve decided I will detach by walking away or hanging up the phone. Amazing how quickly others understand that their behavior won’t be accepted by me.

Today, I’m much better at setting boundaries and knowing what I’ll do if they are violated. I may not always follow through, but the good news is that my emotional slips are less frequent than ever.

Grateful for the solutions I’ve discovered in the rooms and very lucky that, because of them, ILML!

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