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.

Thursday, December 20, 2012


A friend in new recovery called today, in disbelief about her teen son, whom she’d caught "sexting."

I’m sure most of you know what “sexting” is. But if you don’t, here’s the Urban Dictionary definition:

” the act of text messaging someone in the hopes of having a sexual encounter with them later; initially casual, transitioning into highly suggestive and even sexually explicit.

While this seems to be what occurred in my friend’s life, I thought she was overly upset. After all, we're talking about a pubescent, hormonal teenager doing what teenagers do – which is often about having sex.

The only difference here - from what youngsters have traditionally done - is the use of new technology.

Because we live on a planet dominated by Mother Nature, I tried to explain that this behavior – while modern and up-to-date – is what youngsters have done for centuries. But I'm not sure she heard me.

I know it's a shock to a parent when they realize their baby has a sexual nature. A nature that will quite likely continue to express itself throughout their lives.

Even though I was raised in the Stone Age, I was blessed with a mother who had frank discussions with me about sexual behavior. I believe she gave me a healthier outlook about sex.

However, when I first recognized my own children were sexual beings, it took a minute for me to accept that they were acting like healthy young people dealing with a sudden burst of hormones.

My job was to give them direction, which I did my best to do.