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, December 22, 2010

The news is bad, very bad. The stock market is down. Our team is losing. Foreclosures are on the rise.

I subscribe to the daily newspaper and watch cable news every day. But I've learned to not take "bad" news to heart. I've come to realize that bad news sells. In spite of what we hear about people not liking negative news, that isn't borne out by facts. Over the years major newspapers have done experiments. They will publish two versions of the day's news. One version will feature only good news. The other will contain bad news. Guess which one sells the best? Of course it's the bad news.

A coworker who also reads the newspaper came to the office yesterday depressed about the news.

"I don't even know why I read that stuff," he said. "It's nothing but negativity."

I agreed with him. My solution is to recognize the news is simply someone's interpretation.

Something in the human psyche likes drama. And good news doesn't offer the same dramatic overtones as bad. Newspapers, in an era when newspapers are struggling, use every means possible to improve the bottom line.

As someone in recovery, I try to be aware of how I react, not only to the news, but to all of the events that happened in my life. Because of my magnifying mind I can interpret things many different ways. I always try to be aware of how I feel when things impact me negatively.