Recovery Connections

John Schwary is CEO of Transitional Living Communities, an 900-bed recovery program he founded in Mesa, Arizona January 9, 1992, when he had a year sober. He's in his 30th 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.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Left too Soon

I often beat the drums about clients who focus on jobs instead of recovery. The letter below is another example of a client who left too soon. And even though he says he didn't relapse, his message indicates he was getting something important from TLC.

“I hope all is well with you. I wanted to write you to see if I could possibly come back. Last time I was supposed to do a Hard Six but got scared and left before I started.

"I am sorry for this, but being an IT person, living without a computer is hard. Computers have become my lifeline and refuge. I can talk to my friends when I am down and so on. But if you guys are willing I am willing to do a Hard 6 or even Hard 12 program. I am not asking this because I fell off the wagon. In fact I have not had a drink in years and I never did drugs. I am asking this because I am tired of a meaningless life.

"I have come to realize that while I was at TLC I was able to help people and they in turn helped me. I was afraid that if I stayed I would not be successful in life. But what I did while at TLC I have come to see as success. I will always need the program for the rest of my life. And I am very thankful to you and everyone at TLC who work hard to help others."

His statement about viewing the work he did at TLC as a form of success in itself indicates this former client may be ready for change.

There are many who've been at TLC for years; one for more than 20. Many of these men view TLC as a large family, one that supports their efforts at recovery. A family they can count on when things are tough.

Of course we'll accept this man back. And if he sticks around for a while we'll know he's ready for something different.