What everyone should know about white knuckle sobriety.
So it’s been nearly a month since I stopped drinking. 25 days to be exact and I have to be honest, it really hasn’t been that bad.Yes – I’ve wanted the odd drink but no – I haven’t wanted to rip myself apart craving one.
I have said before that I am not an addict but a heavy drinker. Yet I am open to the possibility that I have the behaviours of any addict. After all, I smoked twenty cigarettes a day for around 15 years, so I know I have the capacity for addiction. One site, described addiction as: “habitual intoxication; prolonged and excessive intake of alcoholic drinks leading to a breakdown in health and an addiction to alcohol such that abrupt deprivation leads to severe withdrawal symptoms”. I tick it all except the withdrawal symptoms.
With that in mind I’ve been doing a bit more research and have come across this term, White Knuckle Sobriety. This is the idea that some alcoholics will give up alcohol purely on will power but not change anything about their lifestyle, thus becoming more likely to relapse. Last Sunday I was very close to ordering a big glass of red wine. Despite it being less than a month since I quite, ordering a roast and anticipating crispy crackling on a pork belly made me crave the wine. It seemed to be a trigger. Perhaps I need to go vegetarian. 😉
Yet white knuckling is really about more than that.It is described on one blog as similar to “a scary rollercoaster; people just grab onto the handrails as tight as they can and wait for it all to be over.” Reading this made me wonder, am I white knuckling? After all, I am just quiting drinking but, as yet, nothing has changed in my life. I haven’t lost any weight and I’m no more physically active than before.
Then I found out that white knuckling is not just about that either. It’s about still being disappointed with your life after you’ve stopped drinking. Well that’s not me. Since I’ve stopped drinking. my career has improved ten-fold and I have much more motivation for writing and much more inspiration generally – there is a lot of positivity happening here.