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.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Moral Code?

While confronting a client suspected of stealing food and cigarettes from other residents he responds with indignation.

"I'm not a thief!" He told me. "It's against my moral code to steal."

I didn't bother to point out to him how incongruous that statement sounded. After all, I've never met too many drug addicts of any kind who weren't also thieves. It comes with the territory. I mean, come on, an honest dope fiend?

But I did point out to him that each area of the program he's lived in has had problems with theft. And when he's moved, the stealing stops. And then the new area he moves into sees a rise in theft complaints. Hmmm, what a coincidence.

Then I confronted him about something else that seemed inconsistent with any kind of moral code. It seems this man has a fiancé who's pregnant, a woman he's been involved with for some time. A woman he says he loves.

Yet recently he was engaging in casual sexual activity at TLC with a different woman, something he admitted to when confronted by management. (For those unfamiliar with our guidelines sexual behavior on TLC property is prohibited).

When I asked how that squared with his statement about his "moral code" he hung his head. And he had no answer.

In any event, the purpose of this confrontation was not to be judgmental. It was about helping educate him about his behavior. Perhaps about giving him some ideas so he could construct positive guidelines for a sober life.

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