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.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Wired Backwards

A call comes late last night about a young client who wants to leave the treatment program.

It seems that - all of a sudden - he needs to work. He owes his family. Pregnant girlfriend. He's bored. Needs to stay busier. The list goes on and on.

And the problem with this thinking is that when you run this idea by the normal square citizen they say "yes." A man does need to work. After all our country was built on hard work. Everyone respects the man who's willing to work. What could possibly be wrong with that?

What's wrong is that this man's issue is not working or finding a job. When he's not stoned out of his mind he works just fine. When he's not drunk he does great on the job.

His issue is that he can't stay sober long enough to keep a job or know what to do with the money when he does get paid. Like many of our newly arrived clients he’s wired backwards.

I told him the same thing I tell all of our clients. His only issue is staying clean and sober. Once he gets that part straight, then everything else falls in place.

Once a client’s sober for a few months it's amazing how life changes. They've saved some money. Bills are paid. Creditors back off.  It's surprising how money accumulates when it's not being taken to the dope man or to the liquor store.

Hopefully this young client will stick around long enough to see the miracles happen. Good things flow from a foundation of positive recovery.

Blessings show up: Jobs. Better relationships. Improved health. Self-esteem.  It only takes patience.