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.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Great News

There are many entries in this blog reporting bad news. Addicts overdose. Sometimes they steal money. They go to jail. All kinds of negative stuff.

And of course I put them here because I hope that someone finds lessons that will help them remain sober. But I also put in the good news because that will also help us stay sober. And today I received an email report from a former client who's doing surprisingly well.

And I say surprising, because when this man came to us he was pretty much what I would characterize as a hopeless alcoholic. He’d never been able to stay sober for more than a few months. He lost everything over and over. When he came to us, like many, he was homeless and had virtually nothing.

But, unlike many who come in, he stuck around. He did exactly what was suggested to him. He got a sponsor right away. He went to all of his required meetings from relapse prevention to Big Book study. He paid his service fees by working for TLC for nearly a year. He became a Blue Shirt and was proud of his membership in that group.

Then one day he scared all of us by saying he'd found a girlfriend, a woman he met on the Internet. And this scared us, because many times our clients get into relationships. And often that's the beginning of the and.

But once again this client surprised us. He took it slow. He consulted with his sponsor about the relationship. He took periodic passes to spend time with his new sweetheart. But he proceeded slowly and cautiously.

And when he left he did it the right way. He gave notice. He had a job to go to. He had money saved for an apartment. He didn't just leave because all of a sudden he was tired of living in a halfway house. He had a plan.

And today in his email he told me about his success. He and the woman are still together and planning to be married. They both are working. They attend church. He goes to meetings and has a sponsor.

And these are the kind of stories I like to relate in this blog because for us it's all about helping people rebuild their lives.