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.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Keeping On

"I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed." - Michael Jordan

So how does this quote by Michael Jordan apply to those of us in recovery?

I think it gives encouragement to those of us who have fallen prey to serial relapses.

Often clients come to TLC discouraged because it seems like nothing has worked. In spite of their best intentions, they've failed “over and over” again. In fact, so often that they’re prone to the depression that might lead them back to their drug of choice.

I ask these clients to focus on the positive: the fact that they're sitting in my office is a testimony that they're still willing to work on recovery after repeated failures. And sometimes what I say seems to help.

We can often take the same perseverance that led us to repeatedly try to successfully drink or drug and turn it into something positive. Anyone who can go through misery for countless years in pursuit of their addiction can take that same drive and turn it into success.

For those who don't remember, I want to remind them that living with an addiction to the exclusion of everything else is hard work. In fact, it seemed like I worked day and night to supply my drug habit – it was a full-time job.

Eventually I turned my failures into success - something you who have repeatedly failed can also do.

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