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, December 28, 2012

Likely Story

A client whose drug tests have been turning up dirty said he couldn't understand why. He claimed he hadn't used marijuana since he started treatment.

          “Maybe,” he suggested to the therapist, “you could talk to my wife.”

           “And why would I talk to your wife,” the therapist asked. “She’s not our client”.

            “Yeah, but she’s still smoking. So maybe I’m dirty from second hand smoke.”

He kept trying various explanations for the rising THC levels in his weekly tests, but the therapist would hear none of them.

This client’s replies are typical of addicts in denial. However, he seems to be an inexperienced user who doesn't realize that counselors have been hearing excuses like his for years. So he’s likely to keep stumbling along until he loses his job or his freedom for drug violations.

As a counselor, who’s also in recovery, I’m not judging this client harshly. And that’s because I did the same thing for years before I finally figured out that the best plan for my life would be to get sober.

But it’s still interesting to hear the excuses we use to explain our behavior - before we finally get honest.