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, November 27, 2011

Beyond Understanding


After occupying this planet for over 70 years there aren't many things that totally amaze me. But when I heard yesterday about a woman who pepper sprayed fellow shoppers so she could get an Xbox 360 at half price I was amazed. I kept trying to fit this incident somewhere in my brain, find a category where I could store this information so it made sense. I still haven't found that place.

I can't imagine doing this during my worst drinking or drugging days. I can't think of anything on the planet that's so valuable to me that I would assault 30 of my fellow humans to obtain it. The only reason for violence is to defend ourselves, our families, the defenseless, or our country. Other than that, there's no excuse for harming another person. So to commit this kind of act over an electronic toy is incomprehensible. And on top of it, this woman had two children with her.

Living in recovery changes one's values. And I ask myself, am I becoming so self-righteous that I don't understand things like this because I'm in recovery? But in my mind, grasping for material things doesn't make sense. I like stuff as much as the next person. But I'm only willing to go so far to get what I want. And that means not stressing over material things.

For me being sober means living with good values - and trusting that if I do my part my Higher Power will provide what I want or need.

Even if it’s an Xbox 360.