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, November 23, 2012

Changing Perspective


A new client was lamenting yesterday about how his ex-wife and her attorney had taken “everything” from him – including his business, his home and his car.  He was angry and wanted his stuff back.

But he kind of changed his perspective after I pointed out that most clients in our program have had “stuff.” 

Some have had great jobs. We’ve been married to great partners. We’ve owned homes.  Maybe we went to college. Perhaps we had a small business.  And though we might not like to admit it, we threw it away for drugs and alcohol.  And for us real addicts, it happened over and over again.

For many new men in our program, the initial issue always seems to be jobs and money. But our message is that once we get clean and sober we find we have everything we need.

And after a period of sobriety many discover that it doesn’t take nearly as much to live when we’re not wasting money on drugs and alcohol.  Soon we have a bank account, clothing, maybe even a car.

Before we know it we have our “stuff” back and more. Then we come to realize that the most important thing in our life is the recovery from which our blessings flow.