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.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Cunning, Baffling, Powerful...

The last time I visited our Las Vegas facilities I was reflecting about John F., a man who worked for TLC for many years as a volunteer office manager at that location. He was a bright man and had two master’s degrees. He came up with innovative office procedures and helped things run smoothly. He attended 12-step meetings, and served as a good example for the men in the house. He had a small dog he dearly loved. But after being with us some seven years he one day just disappeared.

He didn't take his dog. He took a few changes of clothes. A few weeks later we learned he'd moved to a nearby motel and began drinking. Within a few weeks he was dead.

While this man had been retired for several years and received a military pension that would’ve allowed him to live comfortably outside our program he said he stayed with us because it was the only place he could stay sober. In light of that, I often wondered why he left the program to drink himself to death.

The 12-step literature tells us our disease is cunning, baffling and powerful. I know it was in this case.