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.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

This is when friends and family start asking about Christmas gifts.

“What do you want for Christmas?”

And I'm at a loss. I have everything material I might want. I have a home, a car, clothing. There's nothing I need. If I need it I can purchase it. I tell them don't give me gadgets or anything that might clutter the house.

What I enjoy though is the question, that anyone cares. The idea that someone loves me enough to consider my wants is perfect.

Because my life revolves around recovery and sobriety I long ago received all of the gifts a human could want: a reprieve to live a full life. Health. A loving woman. A great business that allows me to serve others. The list is long and incomplete.

My Christmas gift is the excitement of my grandchildren and the joy of being able to do a little something for others in my life.

A few years my grandson bought me some nice thick towels. I still use them. When he asked what I wanted, I told him to get me some more of them. I made it easy for him and I'll be getting something functional. And I believe it helps him to give, to help him stay in the cycle of giving.

Another blessed Christmas and 20 years of sobriety on January 14, 2011. To me that's the real gift of Christmas.