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.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Doing Research

A former halfway house client I barely recognized was waiting on a bench outside when I left this evening. As soon as he saw me walk out the door he stood up with a wide smile, his hand outstretched. You’d have thought we were long lost relatives.

But the real connection between us at that moment was he knew I had money. And he needed $10.00. When I handed it over, I suggested he should take off before the liquor store closed. But he set me straight.

“I don’t drink,” he said. “I just smoke crack and do a little meth”

Well, pardon me all to hell I thought. But I just smiled and segued into a conversation about an addict I’d talked to at that exact spot the last week of January.

When I saw that man I told him his disease would kill him if he didn’t get help. And while I was simply nudging him toward recovery with my prediction it –sadly – turned out to be true. The man was found dead in Phoenix two weeks later.

I hope this man’s life turns out better.