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.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Accepting Blessings...

In 22+ years of working with addicts and I think I’ve pretty much heard it all. Then I get surprised.

It kind of evolved from this: TLC has been doing very well for the past several months. And when TLC does well the staff does well. When times are good we pass out raises and bonuses. So this past week employees received double pay - plus a performance bonus.

And while some might think this extravagant, during the years when the economy was in a downturn many of those same employees took a pay cut. No bonuses. No raises. They tightened their belts to help TLC survive. And, above all, we recognize loyalty.

Which brings me to the point. Sometimes addicts and alcoholics have a tough time accepting positive recognition – even when they deserve it. This came to my attention after I received a call from a manager whose employees were wondering what was going on.

Why’d we get this bonus? Was this some kind of severance pay maybe? Is our part of the program being closed down? All kinds of scenarios were going through their heads.

And the reason for their conjecture is that their part of the program has suffered some setbacks financially due to government regulations that prohibit them from helping alcoholics the way the rest of TLC does.

However, those of us in the corporate office are well aware of their situation. And even though they’re not prospering they’re doing their best under challenging circumstances.

But the bigger issue is that they let their low self-esteem and insecurity – likely part of their disease – keep them from accepting blessings in the spirit they were given.

We addicts benefit when we learn to accept the good the world gives as one of the rewards of living sober.