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.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Train Wreck

“The fact that you even know me means your life is a train wreck,” a manager told a client who's having difficulty adjusting to the rigors of TLC’s Hard Six program.

And it’s true that if one is acquainted with our Hard Six staff they’re pretty much at the end of their drinking and drugging career.

A client only gets into the program after failing at three previous attempts in the regular halfway house program. The only way they get a fourth shot at TLC is to become a Hard Six – an eighteen month commitment.

The challenges of the program include a six month (hence the name) restriction during which the client goes nowhere without a staff member, works six days a week, has only $5.00 pocket money and attends daily meetings and groups. Most don’t make it.

Those who hang with the 18 month commitment generally go on to success. Many graduate into working on our 65 member management team and often become our best managers. Some re-unite with family. Others go on to college. Some start businesses.

And maybe the reason they succeed is because they had the energy and fortitude to complete one of the most stringent recovery programs in the country.