All Paths lead to home
A person named “Wendy” wrote to tell me of an ad she saw on television. In this ad the person states, “I was an addict for 10 years, now I am not.” Wendy wanted to know how could someone claim such a thing when everyone knows, “once an addict, always and addict.” Here was my reply:
There are many paths to enlightenment and there are many ways to recover from addiction. I, for one, do not call myself an addict anymore. I find that labels tend to attract their own definition into our reality. I do say that I am a person in long term recovery from addiction. The distinction is that I am fully aware of the power of the disease of addiction and the cunning nature of the human mind. I have accepted that I have little to no control over mind and mood altering chemicals when they are in my system. Therefore, I do not partake in the lifestyle or activities that include drugs and alcohol in them.
So, for this person to say they are not an addict doesn’t concern me. A tiger always has stripes though even if we change its name. Watching the behavior and actions of another is the true definition of who they are. If they say they are not an addict and live a clean life they are in recovery. If they say they are not an addict and continue to do drugs and alcohol and exhibit the behaviors associated with addiction then they are just in denial.
Recovery to me is more than abstinence. It is a way of life, a way that includes self discovery, a softening of the personal agenda of life and a growing desire to lift others to greater heights. Recovery is about examining our behaviors and our beliefs and bringing them into alignment with who we wish to be. Recovery is a decision to face life on life’s terms.
So how do you help someone who is in denial about their addiction?
Well, if they are still exhibiting addictive behaviors you refuse to play the game. You speak from a place of authenticity and you tell them your truth. In Conversations with God it is said that “Yet despots cannot be allowed to flourish, but must be stopped in their despotism. Love of Self, and love of the despot, demands it.”
Addiction and despotism are of course not the same thing, yet the goal should be the same for all of us who claim to be loving beings. We should desire for each person to experience themselves in the next highest version of the grandest vision ever held.
Being vocally unwilling to enable the addict and refusing to take part in the lies, deception, and depravity of the disease is the best way to help someone who is experiencing it. They may cast you out of their life, but the pain of turning away someone they love for a substance will eat away at their conscience. Pain stacked up on top of pain will drive the addict to the tipping point we refer to as “the bottom.” The bottom is the place where the pain of using the substance is greater than the pain of facing up to who we have been.
The 12-Steps of anonymous programs work for some and not for others. There are other methods of recovery that work as well. Desire to recover and change is what it all boils down to. I am not going to advocate programs that claim to be able to help people modify their usage. I personally feel that is a path that all addicts have tried on their own with no success.
Alcohol is not something that is needed our useful to the human body. Anyone who claims to truly love themselves would never ingest even a drop of alcohol. I also believe the same to be true for other drugs. A person who is working on becoming more self aware, and returning to love, would be best served by being mindful food and chemicals they put into their bodies.
I would like to close this article with the “new Gospel” of CwG.
We are all one. Ours is not a better way, it is merely another way.
(Kevin McCormack, C.A.d ,is a certified addictions professional and auriculotherapist. He is a recovering addict with 26 years of sobriety. Kevin is a practicing auriculotherapist, recovery coach, and interventionist specializing in individual and family recovery. Kevin has a passion for holistic living, personal awareness training, and physical meditation. You can visit his website Life After Addicton for more information. To connect with Kevin, please email him at Kevin@TheGlobalConversation.com)