K is (White) Knuckling: A-Z Challenge

I admit it.  I’m kinda cheating with this word.  I rolled around topics in my head and white knuckling stuck.

It’s a term heard in the addiction world - trying to stay sober without a good recovery in place.  Like gripping the seat on a roller coaster with all your strength so you don’t fall off instead of trusting the safety harness to do its job.  Your knuckles turn white from the strain of trusting only yourself.  The belt is there to keep you safe, much like the tools of sobriety are there to keep you sober.

Addicts tend to hold onto a ton of anger, insecurities, resentments, and other unresolved emotions.  If these issues are not addressed, then the potential for relapse increases.  When relapse occurs, the addict can enter into that vicious cycle of addiction again: 


When I met my husband he was white knuckling it.  He knew he had a problem but wasn’t ready to admit it.  It didn’t help that neither one of us heard of sex addiction yet.  Although he stopped all of his acting out behaviors, he was an emotional mess inside.  It didn’t take long for the addiction cycle to set in motion again.

After I found out about his addiction, I white knuckled my own recovery.  I thought since I wasn’t the addict, (at least in his addiction) I didn’t need a support system of my own.  I felt reaching out for help made me a weak person.  I didn’t realize it takes a strong individual to extend their hand to someone else for help up off the floor.

In the midst of my recovery, I discovered my own need for emotional sobriety.  I had no clue just because I was 20 years sober from cocaine, I needed help dealing with unresolved emotions that led me to the addiction in the first place.  Once I learned healthy coping mechanisms, my life became calm. 


And, that rocks!

Have you ever been afraid to ask for help?


This post is part of the A-Z Challenge.  Wanna see more?