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 21, 2013

Surprising Maturity

A client who came to us as a spoiled brat surprised me the other day with her new found maturity and insight.

This young woman, not yet in her 20s, was extremely demanding and impetuous when she arrived. She was embroiled in disagreements with other clients. Whatever drama was going on in the house she was at the center of it. She was making unwise choices from the day she arrived. She wasn’t happy to be here.

She frequently was the subject of group meetings and one-on-one confrontations. None of us would have been surprised if she stormed off and didn't return. In fact, one time she did leave in a fit of anger, only to return several hours later once reality set in.

But the other day her house manager requested that I meet with her. That she had something she wanted to discuss with me. And when we met I was pleasantly surprised.

She was beginning to have anxiety about her impending graduation. She wasn't sure if it was wise for her to return home. She was concerned about the drama she might face once she was back with her family.

And at the end of our discussion we might not have reached a solution. But the point of all this is that the idea that she was even considering consequences is a huge step forward for this young woman. Because at one time she would have done whatever she wanted to do based solely on how she felt.

Sometimes the rewards of this business are found in small moments when we meet with clients who exhibit a surprising maturity after such a bumpy start.