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.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Meeting Ourselves...

A client came to TLC outpatient clinic from clear across the country to receive treatment and all of a sudden wants to go back home.

That desire to return home is not unusual among our clients. Somehow they're surprised when they show up at a new place and find that they meet themselves when they arrive.

Kind of like "what are you doing here? I thought I left you behind."

They meet their addict self at the airport. Or the bus station over and over again, wherever they go. And this keeps happening until they confront their issues and get into recovery.

The reality for us addicts is that things never change until we start digging into ourselves and get into recovery. Somehow the idea, or the illusion, that changing locations is going to make a major difference is a myth.

To get into recovery we must face the painful realities of our life. We have to accept the idea that we’re addicts and alcoholics who need tools so we can change our lives. Is it painful? Yes, most of the time..

But when we confront our disease with courage, with conviction, then somehow the pain subsides. The rewards of recovery start showing up right away once we make the commitment to change.

All of a sudden our minds are clear. We start sleeping better. After a few weeks our families are receptive to our phone calls. We're not looking over our shoulders, maybe wondering when the police will show up.  We’re not hiding from bill collectors.

And if we continue living in recovery one day we’ll go somewhere, maybe on vacation, and be happy with the person who meets us when we arrive.