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.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Not the Greatest Idea

A client who intends to leave the program before he graduates met with some of our staff today. It seems he's returning to a more stressful situation then he had when he came in.

Before, he was living with a relative who has his own issues. Now he’s going back to the same place – but in addition has a sick family member he’ll be helping care for.

After some discussion, it appeared he was determined to leave. So we wished him well and offered our help with his transition.

Even though he's been sober for nearly 90 days we advised him against returning to a situation more stressful than the one he lived before his arrival. In most cases we recommend a slow return to the community and normal life.

Caring for a sick relative. Starting a new job. Moving. All of these are high on the list of stressors that can create an overload even in so-called "normal" people.

Of course, all we do is give advice. We're not a locked facility. People may leave anytime they choose.

We reminded him, however, that recovery can be challenging in the best of circumstances. And in his case the circumstances are not the best.