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 14, 2012

Road to Relapse

A twenty-something client who relapsed said she had a good time for the first few hours. But from then on it was hell.

In some thirty days of using she was robbed, beaten and sexually assaulted. For a few nights she stayed in an alley or behind a convenience store.

She also became alienated from family and friends. They’re weary of helping because they recognize that she’s on a dark path of destruction. They can only watch her downward slide.

Because she was spoiled all her life she has a difficult time accepting that no one’s going to show up to help her one more time. Her history has been to use until she gets into serious trouble – then let her family pick up the pieces.

It's frustrating dealing with this person because one minute she acts as if she’s willing to do whatever it takes to recover. The next minute she has problems with everything. She doesn’t want a roommate, She doesn’t like the food. The program’s too far from the bus line. And on and on.

One issue in trying to help her is that- in spite of a few years of using drugs – she somehow maintains a cherubic demeanor of youthful innocence that can beguile others into giving her what she wants. And she plays it to the max.

The last time we met I pointed out that one day there’ll be no one around to pick her up – that consequences become more serious each time we relapse.

I’m not sure she heard me. But then my job is to carry the message. The rest is up to God.