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.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Where I Want To Be

I was home from vacation for a day and someone asked the usual question.

“Do you wish you were still at the beach in San Diego?”

“Not really,” I replied. “I’m where I want to be right now.”

And a beautiful thing about life today is I’m exactly where I want to be at any given moment. Because if I’m not - why not? Today, because I’m sober, I find myself in exactly the space and circumstances I want.

Twenty plus years ago I was never in a great space. I was either on a mission to obtain more alcohol or drugs, in jail, or trying to escape some mess I was in. Even though I put myself in those situations I couldn’t stay sober long enough to get out - until I finally went to a detox.

Does that mean I didn’t enjoy the two weeks in California? Of course not. I had a glorious time hanging out with my sweetheart, my children and grandchildren. But I also enjoy my business life and work I do with addicts and alcoholics. And too much time relaxing is like overindulgence in anything: it can be cloying.

While writing this I was trying to remember a recent situation I didn’t want to be in. And I recalled a legal deposition I was required to witness as a corporate representative. I spent four hours trying to stay awake during boring cross examinations. And even though I didn’t want to be there I benefited by realizing that I was grateful for the life I have – that I don’t have a job so sedentary that I can’t get up and move around when I want.

A blessing of being sober is to be in places we want to be, to make the choices to be there.