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, July 15, 2011

A Lament

A young friend, in recovery for a few years, called with a lament.

"It seems like I'm doing everything right, but things just aren't going my way," she said.

She talked of financial challenges, relationship issues, of feeling the pressures of being the mother of two small children.

My experience is that at times people get sober and face challenges they didn't expect. Life seems to get worse. They might lose their job. They may change their circle of friends because they're no longer drinking or drugging. They could face challenges at work because they're now a different person – no longer using drugs or alcohol - something their co-workers might still be doing.

And I shared with her my experience of expecting life to be much easier once I was sober. Even though I was sober life kept moving on. The big difference was I no longer had to hide from reality. I could deal with life on life's terms and handle the issues front of me without hiding in a spoon of heroin. Or in the bottom of a bottle of Jack Daniels.

I told her the best thing about our conversation was that she called me clean and sober. It was a testimony that her life was working in spite of her challenges.