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, December 11, 2013


We never allow anyone to abuse our staff – verbally or otherwise.

So a few days back when a mother screamed at our house manager because she hadn't been alerted when her son arrived, one of our volunteers called her.

For some reason the mother had the idea that we should call when her child arrived. Even though the "child" was in her late twenties. A “child” who wasn't scheduled to come to the program.

"What kind of place are you running down there, anyway?" she demanded.

When our volunteer explained in strong terms that we don't allow anyone to abuse our staff, she angrily hung up. But before she did, she said she would no longer call us about anything. That's fine with us if she’s going to be abusive.

While this behavior doesn't occur often, sometimes we learn a lot about the client simply by listening to parents. In the case of this client, who has many psychological issues, we recognized the problem might be genetic.

Even though, it's still a test of our patience and tolerance when parents behave this way. We get over it by remembering that our mission is to help clients get clean and sober.