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.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Resisting Temptation

A client relatively new to recovery said he was strongly tempted to use yesterday at work when he found drugs in a car. He didn’t succumb to the temptation but broke out in a sweat and had an upset stomach for a while.

He said that when he entered the customer’s car there was a substantial amount of marijuana loose on the floor. Because this was a drug he liked, he had to make a quick choice: pick it up and use it later? Or just ignore it and go about his business? After all, no one would have missed the spilled marijuana. And, he might have gotten away with smoking it.

He chose to ignore it. Then later, he found a fat bag containing white powder in another part of the automobile. At this point he called the customer and told him he should probably retrieve the drugs before one of the other employees found them and maybe called the law.

While this client did the right thing and didn't use the drugs he faced a situation which many of our clients encounter – especially on the job.

And when this occurs it’s sometimes a test of our recovery. Are we going to use? Or are we going to invoke what we learned in the 12 steps and resist temptation?

Because, of course, drugs or alcohol are never the problem. They are merely substances we once abused. The drugs do nothing. We do everything. No one forces them upon us. The question is: what do we do when we encounter situations like this?

This client said that even though he probably could have used without anyone knowing, that his recovery was the most important thing in his life.

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