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.

Thursday, December 12, 2013


In a group where the topic was acceptance, a client didn't quite seem to grasp the concept.

As he was talking about someone with whom he'd have a problem over the years, he said he did accept them.

"I accept the fact that the guy's a dishonest moron," he said. And of course, the group laughed. But pointed out to him that that's not exactly the idea of acceptance.

This man’s story is that someone he once trusted had ripped him off for a large sum of money that was rightly his. And he'd been seething about it ever since. He was upset because the man – who he once trusted – "should" have behaved more honestly.

The group had a lot of input for him. But the crux of it was that many people never behave how they "should." They behave how they behave. The quicker we can accept what they've done then we can decide a course of action. Sitting around stewing about the other person's bad behavior is not acceptance. It's resentment..

In the recovery literature one finds the words "acceptance is the answer to all my problems today."

And the passage goes on to say that we'll never find serenity until we accept whatever it is we're facing.