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, January 31, 2013

Change Happens

Last week a client came in who seemed impossible.

He was demanding.  He was self-centered.  Everyone was wrong.  He hated his family and his family hated him.   He didn't need recovery. He didn't get along with his roommates. And they didn't care much for his attitude.  His prognosis wasn't good and none of us expected him to last more than a few days.

This week, though, there seems to be hope.  That he may be around a while is now a distinct possibility.

When clients arrive they’re often angry about not being able to use drugs or alcohol. They don’t like the housing, or the food, or the schedule. The list goes on and on.

But after a while, if they don’t run away, the influence from other clients wears off on them. They see their peers going to meetings, listening in groups and talking about the joys of being clean and sober.  If they’re at all receptive this kind of input can start them toward positive change.

So this week an impossible client seems to have hope.