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.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Absent Alcoholics

An acquaintance spotted a missing friend the other day, a guy who’d been absent from the 12-step meetings for a few years. At first this acquaintance didn’t recognize him because the fellow was disheveled, had put on a lot of weight, and had signs of dissipation in his face. This was totally out of character because this man was known for taking pride in his appearance. He was a regular at the gym and ran several times a week.

A while back someone said he’d been seen drinking at a bar in a nearby city. On this occasion they’d spoken to the man. But he was so drunk he couldn't respond.

These sad events transpire in recovery. Someone will be attending meetings. They might even be doing service work. Then, all of a sudden, they're no longer coming around. Of course the obvious is to think that maybe the person has relapsed. And while this is not always the case, it’s a reasonable assumption.

What does one do when he encounters someone who’s relapsed? Do we try to take them to detox?. Or do we take them to a meeting? It probably depends upon the person. If they seem receptive then we help.

We must remember our mandate: carry the message to those who still suffer.