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.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Season for Insanity?

Is this a time of year when insanity emerges? Is it because Halloween is next month? Are the planets lined up wrong? 

Earlier in this week's blogs I wrote about  a delusional former client who thought he owned part of our program. And then last night, half a dozen members of a notorious bike club showed up in our Mcdonald Street house, wanting to talk to a client who has been writing them fan mail. None of them said what was in the letters, but they didn't appear to be too happy. When our manager told them that the client who was writing them letters was likely mentally ill they seemed placated - at least for the moment. When our manager talked to this client, he denied writing the letters. However he has a history of writing to people he doesn't know very well- if at all.

We frequently deal with clients with various mental issues. We take them in if they seem functional enough to comply with our guidelines - and if they don't pose a threat to clients or staff. We accept nearly anyone who asks for help as long as they have a desire to get clean and sober. We even take clients who are seriously mentally ill as long as they can demonstrate that their medication allows them to be functional. However, we don't accept are sex offenders and arsonists.

Many times our intake staff will question whether someone is sane enough to be admitted to our program. When this question arises I usually ask them to recall how they were when they came in.

And I'll often remind them of something I heard a speaker say at a only meeting one time: "the only difference between us and crazy people is that crazy people say what they're thinking out loud."