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.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Want to Help?

A client came to my office to tell me he was thinking of leaving because he was bored. He'd come back to TLC with the idea of helping others in recovery. But he said that all he was doing was working, going to meetings, and not much else.

I explained that because he had a college degree it would be easy for him to be certified as a substance abuse counselor by taking a few courses. But he would have to be patient for a while because we don't always get what we want when we want. And, of course, that's the conundrum for us addicts.

However the bigger point I made is that we don't need a degree help others. We don't need a certificate to reach out. If it's in our heart to be of service we can do that each day.

There are those around us who are suffering. It might not be visible. But many of those who walk in our doors are terrified. They don't know if they're in the right place. They have anxiety about everything. They project an almost visible aura of fear.

And that's when those of us who want to be helpful can be helpful. We can greet the newcomers. We can help them get a sponsor. We might give them a word of encouragement. Share hope, the same hope someone gave us when we arrived. These simple small things are helpful.

And if we do a good job of being helpful, God will find more ways of using us. He’s always looking for recruits to do his work.

If we truly want to be helpful we'll be busier than we ever planned.