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, March 30, 2012

About Self-Discipline


Last night a group of new clients at the Macdonald Street house were upset about the rules. They didn't like the rule about wearing  a shirt when outside of their rooms. They didn't understand why they had to search for work all day if they didn't have a job. The list went on and on.

One house manager pointed out that there are always rules. The rules we ask people to follow are no different from the real world. Everyone works to support themselves unless they have an independent income. We follow laws when we drive a vehicle. We must pay taxes. There are myriad laws to guide us in the real world.

Before the meeting ended someone said the real issue among the complainers was attitude. Everyone in that meeting was there because of bad decisions they had made in the past. The reason people come to halfway houses and recovery programs is because they don't know how to live. They require structure and guidance to help them change, to show them the path. Some of the complainers didn't like the idea of being responsible.

Drugs, alcohol, and bad behavior brought them to TLC. We help them until they develop the self- discipline to guide their own lives.