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 24, 2013

Priorities out of Whack

A young addict sat at the other side of my desk telling me of his challenges.

     “I need to get to work.”

    “ I owe a lot of money.”

     “I have to register for school."

      "I want to start a career.”

His list was longer than this, but you get the idea.

When I asked if he’d had jobs and money before, he agreed that he had. And he also had worked in more than one field where he’d experienced success.

     “Did these things you need keep you sober?” I asked.

He seemed irritated at the question. So I pointed out that he’d said nothing about his addiction.  Or being serious about treatment.

He had no money. He had a fractured relationship with his family. Someone else was caring for his child. Yet his whole conversation was about trying to get everything back in his life – even though these things had never kept him clean.

By the time he left my office he was trying to absorb the idea that he might have to re-align his priorities if he wanted to change his life.