Recovery Connections

John Schwary is CEO of Transitional Living Communities, an 850-bed recovery program he founded in Mesa, Arizona January 9, 1992, when he had a year sober. He's in his 28th year of recovery.

In these posts, he views life mostly through the lenses of recovery. While the blog is factual, he often disguises events and people to protect anonymity.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Giving Back

A professional therapist with nearly two decades of experience was discussing a young client on her caseload who was “driving her crazy.”

The client had relapsed several times over a three month period.  She kept blowing up the therapist’s phone with normal addict drama.  She’d been assaulted.  For a time she lived in an alley. She couldn't get into detox. The hospital wouldn't take her. And on and on...

In addition, her family was calling nearly daily from the East Coast – either to get updates or to relate conversations they’d had with her in the middle of the night.

When I asked why she didn't assign the client to another counselor or take other measures she said she couldn't do that.

She explained that 25 years ago, when she was in her own addiction, she had many of the same issues as this young woman.  She’d been jailed and in and out of recovery more than once. She’d caused a lot of heartbreak.

But even though her parents, grandparents and counselors were frustrated and talked of giving up on her – they never did.

Because of the support she got from those around her she’s sober today.  And she wants  to try to help this young client get to the same place.