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.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Life's Lessons


While leaving my office yesterday I encountered a man shuffling toward me, his arm dangling at his side. He struggled to put words together as he introduced himself.

As he explained his condition he told me the day he left TLC three years earlier he’d injected a large dose of methamphetamines and had a stroke that paralyzed his right side.

He went on to describe the challenges he had in learning to speak and walk on his own again.  While he still hasn’t fully recovered, he says he wants to stay away from drugs and rebuild his life.

After we parted I reflected on the many TLC clients over the years who’ve had experiences like this man – or worse.

And he reminded me of how blessed am to be sober these many years. Once I got into the 12-step programs and started enjoying some of the early benefits of recovery I never looked back -  for which I'm grateful.

Talking to this man yesterday reaffirms that getting sober-and staying sober- was one of the best things I ever did.