Why White Knuckle it?
July 16, 2012
I was recently talking with an addict I know who said his sponsor asked if he hated his addiction or as we say in SFT, escape behavior. He is at the point where he can say yes he hates his escape behavior he struggles with. Why is this question so important? Because not hating an escape behavior leads to white knuckling.
White knuckling happens when a person is sober, but has not addressed the wounds or emotional pain that has lead to the need to escape. Since the reason for the behavior has not been addressed, the person still has a need to use the behavior. The addict knows he needs to stay sober so he “holds on for dear life” so to speak in an attempt to stay sober even though he really wants to use. This is why mere sobriety does not equal full recovery.
Another form of white knuckling happens when a person recognizes that he needs to stop the behavior, but at the same time still wants the behavior in his life. Since his heart still wants to control and enjoy the behavior, but he understand he shouldn’t he white knuckles recovery. All forms of white knuckling leads to either relapse, power people in place to control the addict, or even a swap in addiction. None of these options lead to the abundant life that he seeks.
So what are better options that merely white knuckling through an escape behavior? First is seeking a life through the Great Physician Jesus Christ. Second, become a disciple of Christ which teaches how to further heal from emotional wounds. (The SFT four step process is based around Christ’s attitudes and skills.) Third, learn to hate the escape behaviors that enslave us as it is impossible to find freedom from something that we really want.