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, June 24, 2013

Listening to My Own Music

Last week a long-time business associate stopped by the office to chat. During his visit he related how he ran into a businessman who was giving me a lot of credit for his recovery.

"He saved my life about five years ago," he told my friend.

There was more to the story, but apparently the man told how he’d come to TLC homeless and broke. He stayed almost a year, then went on to rebuild his life. Today he has his family back, a nice home, and is earning a six figure income. My business associate was impressed.

"Doesn't that make you feel good?" He asked me, noting my lack of reaction.

"It does," I replied. "But it's not good for me to spend a lot of time listening to my own music."

I explained to him that we provide a structure for people who want to get clean and sober. Whether they do that or not is between them and God. The way I provide the structure is between me and God.

It’s unhealthy to spend much time thinking about the good things people say about me and TLC. If I did that, then I'd also have to pay attention to the bad things people say. Positive outcomes and negative outcomes say a lot more about our client than it does about me or the program.

The one who deserves the credit for success is the man himself. Just like all of those who succeed at TLC, he put in the hard work to make it happen. And the same goes for those who don't make it: they're the authors of their own failure because of their lack of effort in improving their lives.

Yes, I love compliments. But for me to have a healthy outlook I can't pay a lot of attention to the good or the bad things people say.

Any credit at all it goes to the loving God who saved my life.