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, June 23, 2013

A Guiding Light...

Tomorrow, the 24th, is my sponsor's 39th sobriety birthday.

And I make note each year in this blog because it's important for those of us in recovery to understand the significance of having a guide, a mentor, a friend who has experience in the program.

I've never gone to him with a question where he scratched his head, and said "I have no idea of what you should do about that."

Instead he listens to my concerns, then gently makes suggestions about how I can resolve my issues. Much of the time when I go to him I believe I have the answer. But I still like to bounce it off of him because I want to know I'm on the right track. Often, he simply smiles, and says "you already know what to do."

He's been there for me at many crucial times during my recovery. He was there for me 13 years ago when I started my divorce. He propped me up till it was completed three years later. It was helpful to repeat out loud of the things I was thinking during this trying time. He kept me from doing irrational things that wouldn't have been in anyone’s best interests.

He was at the hospital in 2004 when I went through stomach surgery. During financial ups and downs at TLC.  Dealings with my grown children. And later he gave good advice when I was preparing to remarry – something I’d promised I’d never ever do.

So this morning I get to hear his gentle, funny wisdom when he speaks at my home group. And even though I've heard his story 20 times, I always leave the room inspired.

He exemplifies the better way of life that we find in recovery.