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.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Someone close recently told me she wanted to move from Arizona to another state, maybe Hawaii or California.

When I asked why she said she wanted to “start over, to meet some new people.” While she's an adult and can do as she chooses I told her what someone told me before I came to Arizona many years ago. I told her about it because at the time it was a stinging remark that later turned out to be true.

What this person told me before I left on the trip was “when you get off the bus in Phoenix you're going to meet yourself at the bus station.” I remember thinking the statement was very cruel and an attack on my character, my whole being.

But the gist of what she told me was true. Wherever I go I take myself along. All of my character defects, as well as assets, go with me. In the case of the trip I took to Phoenix I had left California to escape pending legal issues, plus an addiction to alcohol and drugs that magically sneaked aboard the bus with me.

The point of all this is we can't escape from ourselves simply by making a geographical change. That kind of change is not enough to uproot the personality traits that sometimes take our lives in directions we don't want to go.

I told my loved one moving is okay, but don't expect it to change the internal things we carry with us wherever we go.