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 23, 2013

Pissed off Bhuddist?

Maybe our Buddhist teacher wasn't exactly "pissed off." But, I will say she was somewhat perturbed about the behavior of one of our addicts who didn't show up with when he was supposed to with some equipment she needed for a class.

One thing that makes running a halfway house or treatment program challenging it that addicts and alcoholics can be inconsistent and undependable – to say the least.

And because of that they often try the patience of nearly anyone, even the spiritually fit.

TLC has around 72 employees, including those who work for the outpatient treatment clinic. And all of them, with the exception of three or four, are in recovery and have come up through the TLC program. The exceptions, of course, are those in positions that require medical or other professional degrees that we seldom find in our population.

After having worked with recovering addicts and alcoholics were 22+ years nothing really surprises me. We have people we pay a living wage and we still can't get everything done we need. But part of the success of our program is that we are able to point out their shortcomings and teach them to become better workers and more responsible human beings.

After all, the majority of addicts come to us with little or no training. Most have never held a responsible job. Some of them don't have a high school diploma or computer skills, and often little or no desire to learn anything new.

So our challenge is to teach that to have a well-rounded recovery they have to learn to keep commitments so they can get what they want from life.