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.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The speaker at yesterday's meeting was the perfect example of how the 12-step programs work. He said that when he showed up many years ago he couldn't read or write. Yet within a matter of years he had gone into business and became quite successful.

His story illustrates what happens many times when people finally get sober. By getting the drugs and alcohol out of their lives they can finally live up to their potential. The barriers have fallen and they finally become the person God intended them to be.

As the man's story evolved he became very successful until the economy took a bad turn. Then he lost everything nearly as dramatically as he had achieved it. So, what did he do? Did he drink? Did he go back to his old ways when he lived on the streets and panhandled and hustled each day to sustain his habit?

No. He used the principles he'd learned in the program and applied them to the financial challenges that confronted him. Today he has no job and no money. Yet he's doing the same thing that helped him become successful. He is staying sober and using the principles of the program.

The topic he chose after he shared was “faith.”