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 21, 2012

Giving Back


Today I saw another example of what makes TLC work.

A new client, who was referred to us today from a local hospital, was obviously confused and anxious about coming into a new facility that he knew nothing about.  His discomfort was apparent to all of us and we did our best to welcome him.

Then a few hours later, when I returned to my office to complete a project, I noticed a client sitting with him in front of the housing units, orienting the newcomer to our facility.

The interesting part of this is that the man helping the newcomer had only been with TLC for a month himself. Yet, already he was starting to give back, to carry the message to others.

A core function of recovery is carrying the message to newcomers, which is what this client was spontaneously doing on his own.

TLC has functioned this way for over 20 years – addicts helping other addicts. And it was pleasing to see the growth in a client who's only been with us for a month.