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.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Winning the Lottery

Last week it seemed everyone was excited about a Power Ball jackpot that was projected to reach nearly $1 billion. Even though odds of winning were a gazillion to one, people were opening their wallets anyway.

But I didn't get excited because I won the lottery January 13, 1991, when I got clean and sober

From that moment I’ve been blessed with more riches than I can enumerate. I enjoy financial independence. I no longer look over my shoulder to see if police are behind me. I don’t lie to my employer. I no longer steal to feed a drug habit. I am free. And happy.

One aspect of this excitement I found interesting is that people – who’d never buy a ticket when the lotto was only 10 or 15 million - will buy one when it’s in the hundreds of millions. As if multiple millions would do a lot more for them than one or two.

Because after one takes care of basics how much can we really spend? Food, shelter, housing, transportation doesn't take that much.

While money eliminates some basic problems, after that it becomes a different set of challenges. All of a sudden, one has to think about taxes.  Who are our real friends? 

To me, real riches come from living a full life, having friends and the opportunity to be of service to others.

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