Recovery Connections

John Schwary is CEO of Transitional Living Communities, an 850-bed recovery program he founded in Mesa, Arizona January 9, 1992, when he had a year sober. He's in his 28th year of recovery.

In these posts, he views life mostly through the lenses of recovery. While the blog is factual, he often disguises events and people to protect anonymity.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Addicts and alcoholics frequently disappoint those in their lives. I was reminded of this yesterday when I received a sad call from an acquaintance who was trying to help her son.

The son, an ex-felon and a drug addict, had been arrested one more time. The mother, frantic, said that her son had been “framed” for a serious crime. She needed a good lawyer who would “get him off.” Not only did she need a good lawyer, she needed one who would take the case with no upfront money. As gently as possible I explained that attorneys don't work that way. I also pointed out that if her son couldn't afford an attorney, one would be appointed for him at no charge. She didn't seem happy that she wouldn't have a dream team lawyer to help out her “innocent” son.

This story brings home one more time the devastation our addictions bring to those close to us.

This woman's son, who is an ex-felon on parole, has a history of arrests for drug related crimes. In spite of this, he was still able to convince his mother of his innocence. Many times we addicts are able to persuade those around us that we are victims. We are able to convince our family and friends that the world has it in for us. And our families, wanting to believe that they raised us right, often go along with us for years and help us with our alibis and excuses.

Part of the recovery process is making amends to people we have harmed. If this twenty-something gets sober he may someday be able to clean up the wreckage of his past and make things right with his mother.