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.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

A Mother's Concern

A mother emailed to ask about her son, a new arrival at one of our Arizona houses. She seemed so concerned about his welfare and progress that I sent a lengthy answer that I hoped would soothe her.

It seems she’s been dealing with his drinking for a few years. So much so, in fact, that she has a well-done blog that deals primarily with her son’s drinking problems.

In my email I explained how our program works and told her I’d met with her son and that he seemed to be doing well.

This communication with the mother, while not unusual is a good example of how our alcoholism victimizes the others in our life. We addicts often have the idea that our disease only hurts us; that it doesn’t impact those around us. This assumption could not be further from the truth.

We wreak devastation and chaos in the lives of those who love us. It doesn’t matter much how we protest, family members and loved ones are profoundly affected by our disease. In our selfishness and self-centeredness we pay no attention to the pain and misery we inflict on others. Sometimes I have to remind alcoholics, even some with extensive sobriety, of how much damage they did to their loved ones.

If we can understand their pain we might hesitate a moment before we pick up the next drink.