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.

Friday, February 22, 2013

He made a Decision

“I just called to tell you my wife and I got back yesterday from a 15 day cruise to Hawaii,” said the man at the other end of the phone. “I never dreamed I‘d even have a wife or be taking a trip like this.”

The man is a true miracle, a former TLC client and employee who never succeeded in our program.

Even though he worked for us, he ended up being fired for stealing. While he worked for us several years ago I called to see how he was doing. “Fine,” he responded. “I’m sitting at the bar drinking up the money I collected for you last night.”

Once we found him he lost his manager’s job and was banned from returning. In fact, we didn’t take his phone calls for nearly four years.

He submerged himself in the drug world for a time, then finally got sober. He began working for a religious recovery program that he’s now managing. Eventually he made amends to TLC and has helped with donations and jobs for our clients. We have a great working relationship.

Even though we periodically have to give up on someone, this man is an example of how addicts can do something different once they decide to change.

When he came to us he had all the ingredients for success except one: he couldn’t stay sober. But once he decided to change he became a success in every sense of the word.