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, December 20, 2010

At last night's group the topic was awareness. The assignment was to finish the sentence "if I bring more awareness to my life..."

Group members liked the topic because it forced them to think about the benefits of more awareness in their lives. However, one member finished the sentence with a number of qualifiers. He used "might," "maybe," perhaps," "I should." One of the group members pointed out that he seemed pretty tentative about what more awareness would bring into his life. The conversation evolved to a question about how tentative the man was about his sobriety.

In a group this kind of tack can sometimes reveal a lot about a client, and much of the time the revelation can be negative. However, in this case, the client revealed his commitment to sobriety. He said each day, before he goes out on job search, he stops at a nearby church and asks God to give him strength to stay sober that day. When he said this the tone of the group immediately changed.

In my 12+ years of running the aftercare group I had never heard anyone say they'd stop by a church prior to seeking work to pray about their sobriety. The entire group shifted from questioning the man's sobriety to supporting him.