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.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Small Victories

A client on a weekend pass made a strong step toward continued sobriety.

The report is that a visiting relative offered him marijuana, which the client declined. Reportedly, he not only turned down the offer to get high - he also became angry at the person who made the offer.

Those of us who work with clients who exhibit this kind of progress got a small feeling of satisfaction at this report.

And while this may not seem a large achievement to those who are unacquainted with this client, to us it's great progress. Because when this client arrived in our clinic his prognosis was not good.

He was completely self-centered. Everything was about him.. He wanted everything. And he wanted it now. He didn't understand why the rules applied to him. He was constantly arguing. Responsibility was a word that wasn't in his vocabulary.

Eventually, though, after many setbacks he started to change. Sometimes he’d take one step forward, then two steps backward. On more than one occasion there was discussion among the staff about whether we should keep working with the client because it seemed so futile.

Yet today, the young man is looking toward going to school and resuming his life as a sober member of the community.

Small victories,. But we’ll take them.