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.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

A Father in Pain

I ran into a business acquaintance recently and asked how his daughter was doing. His expression told me she wasn't doing very well. Over the past few years she's been going in and out of treatment programs and halfway houses, attempting to get her life together. And the tragic thing is she has a small daughter, around three years old. The daughter ends up living with her grandfather when the mother makes another drug run.

The sad thing is the father doesn't understand the first thing about addiction. Like many parents who have no experience with alcohol or drugs, this man looks at addiction as a logical process. He thinks she should be able to see the danger she's putting herself and her child in - and quit using. But that's not the way the world works for us drug addicts.

Each time I talk to him I give him encouragement. I know he loves her dearly. And when we talk about his daughter he usually tells me about a new program or halfway house she's found. So far none has worked for her.

I suggest he not help her when she's using – yet to encourage her when she's trying to get clean and sober. As long as he’ll pick up the pieces she has a safety net when things get too bad.

Maybe one day her disease will convince her that getting clean is the better option. I know my life had to become a total wreck before I went into a detox and began to change. I pray this man’s daughter finds recovery.