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.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Job Security

A problematic client keeps apologizing for his whining behavior.

"I know I make you mad,” he's said on more than one occasion.

He’s wrong about making me mad because I rarely go there. And while he can be frustrating, his behavior makes my job more interesting. In fact, I look at bad behavior as job security. After all, if clients were well-adjusted and knew how to stay sober they wouldn't need us

When I tell him his behavior is pretty much what I expect from a new client, he seems puzzled and leaves my office with his head down.

But tomorrow he’ll be back with another strange idea about what he needs to make his life better or to help him stay clean. And, of course, I’ll tell him it’s another bad idea and we’ll have a few more rounds.

The positive thing about clients like him is that they still show up. If they keep showing up and coming back for more then I believe that change will happen.