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.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Where's the Son?

A mother writes us about her thirty-something son who is “in need of help for his addiction.”

And for me, of course, the question is this: why isn't your son calling us or writing us for help? After all, he's the one with the problem.

But we all know what this is really about. Quite likely, the son doesn't even know his mother's getting in touch with us. He's likely out there somewhere in the world happily using or drinking, not caring how his behavior is affecting others.

I know that my family and friends were concerned about my addictions probably 25 years before I decided to pay attention to the issues I was having. My attitude towards them was why didn't they mind their own business? Didn't they know how to have a good time? Didn't they know how to party?

No matter that I was going in and out of jail like it had a revolving door. No matter that I couldn't keep employment. No matter that I didn't finish school. None of this mattered while I was in the grips of my addictions.

It was only after everyone stopped trying to help and began to shun me that I realized that maybe I had the wrong outlook on life. That I did have a serious problem with drugs and alcohol. It was only when people started losing interest in me that I began to change.

Hopefully this man will have enough pain that he'll decide to get help on his own. In the meantime his mother is bound to experience more frustration.