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.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Mother's Gratitude

A mother who'd flown in from out-of-state to visit her son sat at my desk with tears in her eyes.

            "Thank you for saving my son," she told me.

While I was moved by her gratitude, all we did was provide a framework for her son to get his life back on track. He took advantage of the opportunity – and did the important work.

One thing people sometimes have difficulty understanding – particularly those not familiar with recovery – is we don’t work miracles. While we have a wonderful recovery structure we can’t do anything with a client who's resistant, who doesn't want help.

There's nothing so wonderful as when a client comes in full of fire and wants to change. And that happens often enough to make this project worthwhile. And while I feel good when a client succeeds, I know our role is limited by the motivation they bring.

In this man's case he was pretty burned out. He was living on a park bench before he came here. His family was done, though they did provide him this last opportunity to change. Rather than trying to make another run in the drug world, he made the most of it.

Does this mean he'll be sober and clean the rest of his life?  It does if he continues to do the things he's doing today.

We wish him and his mother the best.