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.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013


Most of us know the benefits of giving up our addictions. But challenges sometimes appear as we start down this road.

A friend may invite us to share a bowl of dope. A lady may ask us over for a drink. Pain may drive us out the door for another fix. Our nerve endings cry out for a smoke after we enjoy a meal. The pitfalls are myriad and real, overcoming the most serious desire to change.

I was reminded of this today when I heard of a longtime friend whose smoking habit has put him in the hospital twice in the past three months. The first time he was there for a few weeks after doctors replaced a heart valve. He was told he would die if he smoked again.

However, he moved back to a home where others smoked. And before long he started again. Soon he was back in surgery again for more repairs. Will he survive?

When we’re in the early stages of recovery it’s easy to say “one won’t matter.” “Or I’ll just do it today, and quit tomorrow.”

But that’s never proved to be true for those of us suffering from addiction. The tried and true cliché, “One is too many and a thousand are not enough” applies to us addicts.