Are you white knuckling your recovery? This is a very important question to ask yourself if you are going through the trials of early recovery, and a question that you must continue to ask yourself throughout your life as a recovered person. White knuckling is dangerous territory to be in, as it may mean that there are no proverbial safety nets in place – the kinds of safety nets that working a program provides – to shield you from a potential relapse. This means that you are relying solely on yourself, and the power that you may believe you have over life, to protect you in the event that something cataclysmic takes place.
White knuckling can take many forms, as we are all different, and have different routines, life-styles and character nuances, but the main thing that characterizes a pattern of white knuckling is not trusting in your higher power in all areas of your life. It is a common delusion among drug addicts and alcoholics that we have power over not just drugs and alcohol, but our very lives. If our first step experience has provided us with anything, it is the knowledge that we are completely and utterly powerless, and that, with or without drugs and alcohol, our lives are unmanageable. If you decide during your recovery that you still have sufficient power over these things, and you decide that you can stay sober and not work a program, you are likely white knuckling. It can be hard to place trust in your higher power at every given moment of every day, and the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous says that we are not perfect, and that all we can do is strive for our best. It even says in the Big Book that the choice between living a spiritual way of life and dying a horrible death was a hard choice, so it can be tempting, and deceptively easy to fall into a pattern where you are no longer placing trust in your higher power. An easy way to determine if you are no longer placing trust in your higher power is asking yourself the question of how your prayer and meditation life is. Prayer and meditation provides a direct conduit to communicate with your higher power, and a lack of these areas in your life means that you are no longer seeking the guidance of your higher power in situations that arise in your life. Another way of telling if you are taking back power is asking yourself if you are continuously trying to humble yourself on a daily basis by being of service. Being of service is the way that we live in God’s will, and maintaining a program of action is a great way to keep from white knuckling.
Taking back power, and convincing yourself that you have sufficient power to overcome drugs and alcohol without a program is a dangerous road to traverse, and by maintaining a connection to your higher power, and continuing to humble yourself on a daily basis, you can avoid the dangers associated with white knuckling.