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




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  • Nicely said!


    everyone doesn’t know “once an addict, always an addict”. aa people know that, because that’s a belief that they’ve propogated, not any of the several other recovery methods or very many doctors nowadays. I think I clicked on this page to read something by neal Donald walsh and now im way too bothered to. I just hope for the person who wrote you to be able to one day think for themselves.


      also thank you for the thoughtful and truthful article.

      • Hi Fringeclass,
        I appreciate you taking the time to comment on the article. When I first read your comment I took a moment to go back and re-read what I had written. I do believe I could have used the quotation marks in the first paragraph differently and completely changed the way it read.

        I have been in communication with Wendy since her writing me and she is doing quite well. Her life is consumed with being exactly what she chooses to be for now.

        I truly appreciate your commenting here and welcome the dialogue. This is after all “The Global Conversation.” And it is my greatest desire to start just these conversations.

        How is it possible that we seem to all want the same things in life, yet are simply unable to do so?

  • Kay (Songflight) Clark

    Hi, Kevin, and everyone else who hops on here to read or join this conversation. I am very familiar with the 12 step materials, though not an addict in the traditional sense. I believe we are all addicted to something as long as we believe it is necessary to our well-being. I could also define myself as a survivor of abuse in various forms, from shaming, to bullying, to intimidation, ostracism, domestic violence, and emotional hostage-taking by a “friend”. In reading the Conversations material, I have begun to shift my self-definition to “Experiencer of…” And suddenly, I find myself back in a powerful position as Chooser of my experiences. It is a very new self-description, and not completely comfortable, yet, but just thinking about myself that way feels exciting and full of possibility.

    In a very real sense, we are all addicted to our own personal life story. Just think about how it feels when your perception of a past experience is challenged by another. I mean, really think about a moment in which you were confronted by this scenario…truly be with yourself in that place for a bit…Isn’t that knee-jerk denial of the other person’s point of view a pretty intense response to the simple possibility that your experience might have a different interpretation, and, therefore, a different meaning? So, I’m gonna do something a little silly, maybe even a little childish…I dare you, every last ne who reads this, to consider applying that definition to yourself…just for a few minutes, just within the context of one painful memory. I dare you to simply be The Experiencer of whatever trauma or drama is currently chewing a hole in your gut. I promise you that it is a life-changing shift of perspective, if you truly, sincerely, consider that you are simply The Experiencer of that hurt, or confusion.

    Even engaging the possibility that your current wound was actually a simple experience will give you a moment of distance from the hurt, and that moment of distance is all it takes to begin the healing process…Or…what if it gives you space enough to think about the possibility that, maybe…just MAYBE you don’t have to be wounded by it at all? How much could that change your llfe?