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.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Last Friday I received a gratifying message from a former client. His message read, in part:

“Out of pure curiosity I researched TLC. To be honest I have not thought about TLC since I completed my 90 day program when I released from prison a decade ago....man how time flies.

I remember walking into the Mac House and speaking to Frank (I don't know how I remember his name) and having him inform me that I had to stay on site for 72 hours....after spending the last five years locked up that was something that I truly did not want to do and I argued with him about that and he said that I could leave.

I had been sober during my entire incarceration and went through programs in ADC so I was very standoffish about starting from scratch again.

It has been an amazing 10 years since I left. I have traveled around America conducting seminars on personal development for the last 8 years when I started my own company. I got married 4 years ago and have a wonderful 2 year old little girl and two great step-kids. I bought a home in Southern California where we all live (when I am not traveling...I am writing this from Alabama).

What you do is an inspiration. While there are undeniably failures (my friend Kris Olson, a former TLC resident who had to be kicked out while I was there passed away from his disease last year) there are successes...I am proud to say I am one of those.

15 years sober, no arrests since 1996, small business owner, father, husband, and friend...”

Messages like this are so rewarding. Every so often one comes in, usually from a client who was here years ago and whose life is totally different.

Our mission statement says “We help recovering substance abusers rebuild their lives.” This man's story shows that sometimes our mission succeeds.