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, August 26, 2013


Sometimes we addicts feel sorry for ourselves and wonder how we’re ever going to get out of the mess we’ve created.

Here we are in a recovery program one more time, starting over. We might have felony convictions. Maybe we owe a mountain of child support. Perhaps we’ve racked up some more criminal charges. We might be in bad health.

Our family long ago quit speaking to us because we might have ripped them off – or maybe it’s simply that they’re disappointed. After all, when they brought us home from the hospital they probably had no idea they were changing diapers on a little drug addict or alcoholic. Not in their wildest dreams did they think they might be visiting us in a halfway house or prison.

Kind of depressing, huh? With all our issues who can blame us if we don’t succeed?  However, before you go down this road, let me share with you the story of Richie Parker. And after you see this video tell me about your challenges.

You see, Richie was born without arms. Probably no one would have blamed him if he’d given up. Maybe gone on welfare, waiting each month for his government check. After all, he’s “handicapped,” right?

But this man took a different course. He learned to drive his classic car with his feet. He learned to design auto parts on a computer – again using his feet. He learned to ride a bicycle.

Click this link to see his compelling story.

After you see this, think about the so-called challenges in your own life. I did.

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