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.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Tough Love Hurts

A father from Florida left a comment on this blog about a daughter who’s been addicted for six years. He'd read a post about tough love and agrees he shouldn't enable his child.

He mentioned another couple he knew who'd been trying to help their son get sober and had enabled him until he died of a drug overdose.

One of the more frequent comments I get is from parents who have trouble grasping the concept of "tough love." So it is refreshing when a parent writes to agree.

As an addict who struggled for nearly 40 years with drugs and alcohol I like to share with parents that I didn't begin to change until everyone cut me off from everything. I could no longer borrow money from friends or family. No one would let me use their car or sleep on their couch. When I got arrested they let me sit in jail. They were tired of my whining.

At the time I was really pissed off at everyone. I thought they were mean. They didn't love me. I felt so sorry for myself that I kept getting wasted to cover the pain. Finally, though, I figured out it must have something to do with me - that I was the problem. Only then did I begin to change.

I applaud this father for being willing to be tough with his daughter. He might save her life.