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, June 21, 2013


Clients love to get caught up in drama. For example, the other day a client said she wanted to discuss an issue concerning her medication. But before I knew it, here I was 20 minutes later listening to her tell about how she saw her mother spank her sister when she was six years old – and that was part of her issues today.

Finally, when my brain was about to explode, I asked what that had to do with her original question. And she looked at me like I just didn't get it. And she was right – I didn't.

A common issue for clients in recovery is they believe that everything they’re feeling is very important. They’re so totally focused on what they’re going through that they must share it with the world.

And when I explain that what they’re feeling probably doesn't require my immediate attention they act almost as if I insulted them. 
One reality for many addicts is that they pay homage to their feelings and base their behavior on how they feel at the moment.  And sometimes that feeling of the moment leads them to the bar or the dope house.
Feelings are wonderful gifts from God   But he also gave us other tools with which to guide our lives.