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 16, 2012

Hurting Others


The grandmother was on the phone, bewildered and in pain. Once more her granddaughter had relapsed- after a few months of being clean.  But this time, instead of doing it in her hometown on the East Coast, she was 2000 miles across the country in Arizona.

Completely out of reach of the family. And because she picked up again, she’s out of reach of anyone’s help until her disease forces her to seek help again.

For over 20 years we've dealt with this scenario: loved ones calling, trying to make sense of a cruel disease that grants no mercy to those who don’t fight it with every tool at their disposal. And even then, once sober and clean, it lurks in the shadows waiting for a moment of weakness so it can strike again.

Sometimes they think we’re cruel or unfeeling because we suggest they don’t send money or support while their loved one is using.  But we say this because few of us changed until drinking and drugging took us to our knees.
Once we suffered enough we understood on a gut level that living sober was less painful than being broke, sick, in jail, homeless and on and on…

I pray that this grandmother one day has a clean and sober granddaughter in her life so her love for this child won’t be wasted.