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.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Feeling like Royalty

A manager - on vacation in California - sent a text message that said he knows what royalty feels like. Because everywhere he goes in the beach side resort where he's staying the staff addresses him as "mister."

Probably more than anything else this text message outlines what we do here at TLC when we accomplish our mission, which is "We help recovering substance abusers rebuild their lives."

This man has made profound changes since he came to us many years ago. His resume included prison time and a career as a meth user. He had no one who cared about him. On one occasion he took one of our company vehicles on a long joyride with no intention of giving it back. Eventually though his addiction brought him back to us with a new attitude.

This time he was serious. He dug into himself and started working a program. He had a lot of energy that he applied toward positive things. Eventually he worked his way into a responsible job in the corporate office where – of all things – he's now working in the accounting department.

Today he has a lovely family including two young children who've never seen him use drugs or alcohol. He has a decent apartment, and is currently looking for a home closer to our corporate office.

It's always rewarding to those of us on the Board of Directors and those of us who participated in the development of this project over the past 21 years to see how some people have changed. Many thousands more have not enjoyed the benefits that this man has only because they are not ready.

But we don't concern ourselves about those who don't make it. We just do our best to keep the doors open for those who do want to return.