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.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Motivation was Monday’s aftercare topic. And, of course, different clients had different things that motivated them.

One client got sober because he awoke one morning sleeping under a bush in a mud puddle. He was freezing cold and knew at that moment that he needed to change his life.

Another client was motivated by the happy people he met at 12 step meetings. At first he thought they were part of a cult. But after attending for a while he realized their happiness was real, and based on genuine values.

Another addict was sick of going in and out of jail. His life consisted of short periods of getting high, followed by long periods of incarceration. He’d leave jail, start smoking pot, then within the week would have a crack pipe in his mouth. He knew the cycle of self-destruction was killing him.

Others had various motivators, including losing relationships, being homeless, and suffering the black demoralization of addiction.

Pain and suffering seemed to motivate them all.