Recovery Connections

John Schwary is CEO of Transitional Living Communities, a 850-bed recovery program he founded in Mesa, Arizona January 9, 1992 when he had a year sober. He's in his 27th year of recovery.

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

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Sometimes our mission becomes obscured in the day to day running of our business. This was brought home to me yesterday during a group we were having after two members of our construction crew nearly came to blows.

During the group each of the antagonists tried to present his point of view. One of them thought the other one was looking at him strangely. The other claimed that he did not understand what the man was talking about, that he hadn't looked at him at all. It went back and forth like this for a while. Each of them tried to present their case, as if they were in front of a jury. Finally, the foreman of the crew, who was one of the group members brought everything into focus.

He pointed out the real reason that everyone on the crew was in our program.

"The main reason we are here," he said, "is to work on ourselves and our sobriety."

He went on to explain that the reason he had a morning get-together before the crew went to work wasn't to talk about the job. It was about finding out where the crew members were at emotionally. Even though he brought the crew together under the guise of planning the day's work, he said that the more important thing was to find out where everyone was at spiritually and emotionally. He did this because he didn't want one of them to be in a bad place and cause an accident on the job.

Once the foreman brought this perspective into the group the whole tone changed. Each of the antagonists changed their body language. The importance of why they were in TLC became apparent to them.