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.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Angry Alcoholic

Yesterday morning started off with a lesson in patience – tempered with some humor.

It started with an early morning email from a man on Social Security who lived in Massachusetts, asking if we had facilities in his state. So I gave my usual response: no we don't have facilities in your state but we have many people from other states who come to Arizona. He’s welcome to join them.

But instead of saying no thanks, he wrote back, saying that I must be "stupid" to think he might want to relocate to Arizona.

Well, that early in the morning his answer inspired me to write something to the effect that our Board of Directors would like nothing better than to go to Massachusetts and build a facility just for his self-centered ass.

The conversation went downhill from there. He called me a whole bag of mofos. He said Arizona was nothing but a bunch of Mormon rednecks. And that I was lucky I wasn't in Massachusetts because we'd be shut down. That I was running a cult that was living off the sweat of alcoholics.

Also that he was reporting us to the IRS so they could pull our funding. Which didn't scare me at all because we get no funding from any anyone anyway.

Finally though, I had to get about the business of the day so I told him that no matter how angry he was he was welcome at TLC.
After all one of our specialties is turning angry alcoholics and addicts into sober productive members of the community. And who knows? This guy might just become one of them.