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 16, 2013


Something else to be grateful for.

I was searching through my phone contacts today, getting ready to call someone, when I realized I had over 200 phone numbers.

Some are friends. Many are family. Others are business associates and acquaintances.

So what's a big deal about 200 phone+ numbers? I know many of you with cell phones have at least that many; maybe more.

But I'm comparing my list to what I has over 22 years ago, when I got sober.  I had one number – and that person didn't want to hear from me. And I didn't have a phone. Either a cell phone or a house phone.

How life changes when one gets sober.

Today I have the numbers of many people who wouldn't have given me the time of day 20 years ago. In my contact list are doctors, bankers, clients, real estate brokers, investors, counselors, therapists – people who would have stayed far away from me in my previous life.

I guess more than anything else, these phone numbers represent how much my life has changed in two decades, how I've re-entered the world and become part of the mainstream.

And, once again, it all started with my recovery.