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.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Follow our Passion

I got lost and so was late today for an appointment with a new doctor in another city. However, when I arrived and offered to cancel the appointment because I was late, the receptionist told me it was okay. The doctor was with another patient and I would be able to see him when he finished with her.

While I was waiting, the receptionist handed me some paperwork to fill out. For some reason, even though I arrived late, I was resentful because I was still waiting. Then I read the last page in the intake paperwork. It was a letter from the doctor explaining his policies. The thing that stood out for me in the letter was where the doctor explained he took as long as he needed with each patient. He didn't believe in rushing. He liked to answer all of their questions before they left. He wanted to be thorough. And because he was a sole practitioner he was able to do this. So I filled out the paperwork and waited another 15 minutes before I was ushered into an empty examination room to wait for the doctor.

From where I was sitting I could hear the doctor talking to the other patient in a nearby office. He took his time with her questions. And I could tell by his tone that is he was a loving and compassionate doctor who cared about healing his patients. After listening a while I pulled out my iPhone and began to read a book. I was in no hurry after all.

This doctor’s love and concern for his patients is a good lesson for anyone – but especially for those of us in recovery. Here’s a man who’s following his passion with love and concern. What better lesson? If we perform work we love, whether it's helping other addicts or waiting tables, if we do it with passion and love and concern for those we are serving we’ll be better human beings. I know I was a better person when I left this man's office - just by the example he set for me.