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.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Sometimes I fail to realize how dysfunctional some of our clients are. I thought of this the other day while talking to a client about a woman he likes. I believe he is dysfunctional for many reasons, which I will go into later in this blog. In my opinion, though, there is no chance of this man ever having a relationship with this woman. While I know many strange relationships exist, there are so many differences between these two it would be a miracle if they ever got together.

For one thing, and this is not the largest barrier, she's half his age. The other part is this man has no social skills, and not much education - at least formal education. She's probably twice as successful financially as our client. She has a car, he takes buses. He's a client in a recovery program, and has another year before he graduates.

I believe this relationship mostly exists in his mind. I think he has romantic interests while hers are platonic. My experience with women says if they're going out with you for a few months they might want to spend the night with you. They're not visiting you every week or so. They talk to you every day, maybe several times a day. If their juices are flowing they express it through regular contact.

The one thing they do have in common is both are in recovery. Although he has more than a year of sobriety, she has less than a year. Perhaps that's why she's attracted to him: she sees him as a wiser, sober member of the program who has experience that he can share with her.

The real thing is that all of this is not my business. But sometimes I have to marvel at our clientele.