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.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Luxury Problems?

A talk show host this week was talking about ungrateful people on his radio show.

He brought the subject up because many consumers are outraged because major outlets are planning to open Christmas shopping on Thanksgiving Day, rather than on the traditional Black Friday. It somehow offended their sensibilities.

Dismayed at the controversy, he pointed out how trivial and petty their concerns were. Particularly in light of the devastation that has swept across the Philippines. And the tragic war that is engulfing Syria. He said people should be grateful for having so-called “luxury problems” – as opposed to the life and death issues facing many in the Third World.

And I couldn't agree more. In the rooms of recovery – because of the personal devastation many of us survived - we talk of gratitude for simply being sober and alive. The topic is never about when we should or shouldn't be able to shop.

And because many newcomers are starting over with nothing, it’s rare to hear them talk of anything other than the real challenges of staying sober. Like regaining their health, restoring trust with their friends and families, and trying to put food on the table.

We're simply grateful for having escaped with our lives.

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