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, December 18, 2011

Lying Again


A client who nearly died the last time he was drinking is starting to exhibit the same old behavior. Once again he's begun to distort reality and has started lying.

The last time he was drinking earlier this year he ended up naked in an emergency room. His blood alcohol level was so high that doctors thought he wouldn't survive. When he regained consciousness he had no idea where he was, or how he got there. His last memory was of being in a city of 200 miles from Phoenix.

For the first few months he was back in TLC he exhibited a lot of willingness. He showed up to work on time. He participated in 12 step meetings. He found a sponsor. He did a great job at everything he was assigned to. It seemed like he was on a fast track to to recovery.

Then it was discovered that he was communicating with one of his old drinking buddies. At first he lied about it, but the man who let him use his phone told on him. When he finally admitted talking to the woman, he said he was "only trying to help her" and give her some encouragement. It might seem harsh to not let this man talk to a friend. But each time he's gone out it's been with a woman who's usually his drinking partner.

When later confronted about the phone call he tried to rationalize his communication with the woman. But when the group leader asked how could he help someone else when he hadn't been able to help himself he had no answer.