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, May 15, 2011

100% Success

At a 12-step meeting a newcomer seeking a sponsor was directed to a man in his seventies who’d been sober for some 35 years.

“I’m looking for a sponsor,” the newcomer told the old-timer. “I hear you’ve been sober a long time”

“I have,” the veteran replied, “over 35 years.”

“And you’ve sponsored a lot of people during that time?”

“Probably hundreds,” he replied.

“And your success rate?” the newcomer asked.

“100%,” he replied.

The newcomer was astounded. “You mean 100% of the people you’ve sponsored stayed sober.”

“No, but I have,” the old-timer replied.

This apocryphal tale, which has floated around 12-step meetings for years, illustrates the benefits of carrying the message.

I’m often let down when those I sponsor relapse. But my sponsor reminds me that I’m still sober today and for that I should be grateful. And I am.