Principle of Recovery:
White-Knuckling

“White-knuckling” is an expression many of us recognize. When we physically “white-knuckle,” we react to our feelings of fear by grabbing on to something so tightly that our knuckles turn white; we use our physical strength to keep ourselves from “falling” or becoming “out of control.” In the context of addiction recovery, white-knuckling means I’m barely “holding on” by force or willpower to not slip into addictive behavior.

White-knuckling is not a way to remain in recovery.  However, knowing how it feels inside yourself when you white-knuckle is a powerful piece of knowledge which can serve as a “red flag” or “warning light” to encourage you to go and get support from a sponsor or accountability partner.


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