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.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A Student


Yesterday evening I had a wonderful experience when a client at one of our Phoenix properties invited me to his room to show me his grades. I could see the pride on his face as he spread out his classroom materials while waiting for his computer to boot up.

Then he excitedly navigated to his school website and pulled up the page that showed his classes and grades.

            "See," he told me. "Just like I told you, almost straight A's."

I was as proud of him and his successes as I would have been had one of my children showed me the same thing. It’s so validating when we see success from someone with this man's history

He had years of smoking crack, prison stays, and homelessness. He reports that all he really knew was a life of using and being unproductive. He believed he was going to die a drug addict. Yet he decided to give it one final try and entered the TLC program.

He says he doesn't know how it's going to repay TLC for the opportunity he's been given. I told him he repays TLC by continuing to be the example he is and by helping others get into sobriety and change their lives. 

That's the kind of repayment that will make a difference in the world.