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, April 27, 2012

Pissed off in Puerto


Being angry doesn’t work with my recovery. So I do what I can to keep from going there.  After all, for me it seems like a waste of time - because I have to work my way back from being angry to finding that pleasant place in the middle that I call serenity.

However, once in a while – when I’m unaware - I slip into anger.  And one of those times was a few days ago when I arrived at the car rental counter here in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. 

Now I’ve done this trip with the same booking company half a dozen times without issue. And because I don’t want to pay insurance rates that sometimes equal the price of the rental; I buy a liability policy from a Mexican insurance company – one that’s accepted across Mexico.

However, this time – even though I had my own policy - they wanted me to deposit $10,000 in lieu of buying their insurance.  No amount of negotiation helped.  Even though I told them I’d done this with their company a number of times they wouldn’t budge.

Feeling anger overcoming me I started rolling our suitcases to the street to hail a cab for a trip to another rental agency, However, before I left,  one of the nice drivers  from the rental agency pulled me to the side and told me in a confidential manner that he could solve the problem.  When he started telling me his solution I got really hot.

He said could get me the car for a week for nothing, plus $200 cash, plus tour vouchers, if we would attend a time-share presentation at a local resort. I left as quickly as I could before I really expressed my anger.

I was probably angrier at myself than anyone else.  Having been in Puerto a number of times I’ve seen the time-share sales people in their various guises. Sometimes they work as waiters, tour guides, and doorman. They’re always friendly and strike up a conversation with something like “Where you folks from?” or “Where’d you learn to speak such good Spanish?”

I have to admit, these guys snuck up on me. Anyway, we found another car half a block away for the half the price – a gift from God.

Today’s state of mind: anger gone, acceptance back, awareness raised, serenity restored.