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 31, 2012

Love in Sobriety


            “I really love her,” the client told me, tears in his eyes, his voice trembling.

            “You don’t know anything about love,” I replied. “You don’t even care for yourself. How can you love someone else?”

While my reply might seem harsh, this client relapses every time he gets a few months sober. And usually it’s because he’s gotten in touch with this woman he says he “loves” and wants to “help.” When  they get together – it’s only a short time before he begins making drunken phone calls to the office pleading for help.

And while I understand the woman isn’t responsible for his alcoholism, she definitely has been a catalyst for his last few relapses.

The idea that I can love someone – while I’m busy pouring deadly chemicals into my brain and body – is the epitome of self-delusion.

Those of us who are capable of love, honor what God has given us.  We cherish our health, our sobriety, our serenity.
 
One day we realize that we are overflowing with so much joy and goodwill that we must give it away.  We fall in love with life and then we are capable of loving another human being.

Love is not about destroying and taking. Love is about giving of ourselves. And we learn that as we grow in sobriety.