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.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Following the Rules

While on vacation I realized that my grandchildren are much different than I was at their age.

This came upon me after an incident over some fireworks which some of our group had brought to set off on the beach after sunset.

It was an amazing display even though it was short-lived. But it was long-lived enough to attract security personnel because fireworks - unknown to us - are prohibited in that area. Even though they never found out who’d set them off they were looking for the culprits. But they never found them;

A few days later someone suggested setting off the rest of the fireworks. But right away my grandchildren and their cousins began to object. None thought it was a good idea. They thought security might come around again and we'd be in trouble.

For some reason their willingness to comply with the rules resonated with me. I realized their willingness to follow guidelines and rules will help them avoid finding the same path their parents and grandparents took.

Because at their age anytime I was told I couldn't do something it was on. I always did what I wanted. And I paid a heavy price over and over. And this attitude continued when someone suggested I shouldn't use alcohol or drugs. I spent forty years trying to prove them wrong.

Hopefully my grandchildren will maintain their attitude when they are offered drugs or alcohol.

And there's a good chance they will because when we left for home the fireworks remained on the table -unlit.