Hi Mervin here from mervintimothyreyes.com/free-addiction-training/
and today I want to talk about "White knuckling" Versus No "Matter What"
In addiction recovery meetings, there is a term widely used i.e. ‘white
knuckling’. As the term implies it is used to describe the experience of
an addict who is abstaining from drugs and fighting the urge to use it
with all his strength and willpower. It also implies that an addict is
doing it all on his own without any help.
White knuckling is considering in a negative way and used to describe
that an addict is not following his/her recovery plan or recovering in
the right way. Recovery Experts believe that addicts who are trying to
recover on their own will certainly fail at one point or another, making
the relapse inevitable.
On the other hand, there is another term i.e. ‘No Matter What’. An
addict who is undergoing recovery will be advised that when
everything else fails, he/she just have to focus on abstaining drugs.
They are advised to not use drugs, no matter what.
The advice is strong considering that your brain starts healings once
you stop using drugs.
Difference between White Knuckling and No Matter What:
Although both are implying the same thing, there is a major difference
between ‘white knuckling’ and ‘no matter what’.
The implication of no matter what is that you have to stay clean
through your willpower but in this case, you are also going to meetings
and have a sponsor.
White Knuckling is the same thing in every way but in this case, you
are doing it on your own, with no help.
When connected with 12-step programs, some addicts think that it is
the best and probably the only way to overcome addiction and live a
On the alternate side, few addicts think that 12-step is a sort of ‘keep-
the-person-occupied-centers’, to keep the addict busy in different
lively activities while working on staying clean.
Which is more effective for recovery – White Knuckling or
No Matter What?
When we talk about recovery we are actually referring to staying clean
from drugs/alcohol and healing our brain.
In recovery programs, you have a sponsor who will guide you through
every step of how to handle your drug cravings. You are often advised
and motivated to never use drugs, no matter what.
And this requires a lot of willpower. Same willpower can be used in
white knuckling also. Like we said earlier, you can call ‘white
knuckling’ is doing the ‘no matter what’ without any recovery program
The Outcomes of Both Programs:
The outcomes of both the programs – ‘white knuckling’ or ‘no matter
what’ remains the same.
If you are suffering from addiction and undergoing the 12-step
program, you will be advised and motivated to never use drugs no
matter what. This is actually a good advice for your health and life.
On the other hand, if you are not going to any program and recovering
on your own and if you managed to avoid drugs by yourself only, then
you should understand that you are still achieving success towards
With time and proper care, your addictive behaviors and cravings will
start dissipating and your brain will start to function normally again.
But remember, that addiction is a chronic disease and a person always
possesses chances to relapse even after staying clean for a long time.
You must remain cautious about situations, people, places that can act
as strong triggers for relapse.
What possess greater chances of Relapse – ‘White
Knuckling’ or ‘No Matter What’?
Relapse occurs when a person’s need to use drugs overshadows
his/her willpower to stay clean.
Although during a recovery, both possess a chance to relapse but as in
‘white knuckling’ the individual is alone and trying to quit on his own,
it possesses a greater chance of relapse.
In ‘no matter what’ your sponsor will be by your side, motivate you
every day, teach you great ways to stay busy and be cautious about
Both the programs offer a solid approach to overcome addiction, but
everyone must understand that every person is different. There are
multiple paths to recovery and require different methods, techniques
and willpower levels. There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution to
addiction recovery. Therefore it is suggested that every individual
should find a way that suits his/her needs for lifetime sobriety.
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