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.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

First Steps

While counseling a young addict yesterday, one who'd been a pain to everyone his life, I saw at sign of change. And the sign might have gone unnoticed to most people.

But it jumped out for me because it was the first time in the several months he’d been a client that I’d heard him express – even in the smallest way – an interest in anyone but himself.

It was when he said he needed to stop accepting financial help from his family, that they’d done enough for him. And I agreed.

It was a big turnaround because his entire conversation consisted of me, me, me. And, I want, I want, I want. Or, I need, I need, I need. There was nothing about another person unless it was about what they could do for him. So it was refreshing.

How he’d reached the point where he started considering others is not important. It could have been step work. It could have been guilt. Or any number of things.

The important thing is that he’s beginning to see the harm he's doing. If he continues along this track he’ll first start thinking about the money. Then he might think about other ways he’s hurt them with his addiction and self-centeredness.

This is when he’ll start growing,  perhaps get on the road to recovery.