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.

Monday, April 18, 2011

I received a message from God the other day while sitting alone in a doctor’s waiting room. I was there to be fitted for a new kind of brace to help me deal with neuropathy which has affected my right foot for the past few years. I was semi-immersed in self-pity because I’ve always been a runner and racquet ball player and now my aerobic activity is restricted to riding a bicycle or using an elliptical machine. Alcohol and drug use from years ago is beginning to affect my nervous system.

But my funk was quickly dispelled by the next three patients who came in the door.

First in was a man who was only able to walk only with help from his lady companion, who was smiling and encouraging him as he labored into the lobby.

Next came a man with crutches who had braces on both legs. He seemed very angry and was short with the receptionist as she gave instructions on how to fill in the form. As he left the counter he apologized for his attitude, saying, “It’s not about you.”

The third patient, a developmentally disabled young boy with braces, was pushed into the office in a wheelchair by his parents. He seemed frightened and was communicating his fear to his parents, who were attempting to calm him.

My self-pity – like a butterfly emerging from a cocoon – transformed into gratitude for the relative health I still enjoy. God often reminds me to enjoy what I still have…