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.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Family Values


While on vacation in Mexico I was talking to a man who'd returned to live in Puerto Vallarta a few years ago. Several years earlier he'd gone to the United States to work and finish high school. After high school he’d found a job that allowed him to send money home to his family.

But he said he'd returned after his large extended family decided the most important thing was not that the children live in the United States and send money. The important thing was to be connected, regardless of how little or how much money they had. So the family returned.

This man's story interested me because of a study I read last week that showed Mexico as one of the happiest countries in the world – actually number six. And where was the United States? It was somewhere around 23 or 24.  Hmmm....

As a person in recovery, who works as a substance abuse counselor, I have an interest in values and what brings happiness.  And when I read something about a culture that’s rated as one of the happiest on earth I become curious. Maybe there’s something here that I can impart to a client to help him or her look at their lives differently.

This happy man I met found that his wealth was his relationship with his family. What are your values?