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, February 15, 2014


An eminent characteristic of those in recovery is that they’re responsible for their lives and their behavior.

They don’t blame others. They accept that they’re the source of their own misery. They look in the mirror and easily admit that the person looking back is the one who brought them to this point. They’re not into the blame game.

I talked yesterday with a young man who has difficulty accepting that he’s responsible for the way his life’s going. He’s often on restriction for minor infractions. He believes everyone "has it in for him,"  that they’re “out to get him.”

He seemed surprised when I suggested that few us are that important. We are so irrelevant that most of the time others are unaware we’re even around.

Each time I attempt to discuss this young man’s behavior he tries to point the conversation in the direction of what someone else has done.

Like, “I don’t know what her problem is. She’s jealous. That’s why she’s in my business.”

He became irritated when I told him that he and I were the only ones present. That I wouldn't allow him to deflect my attention by discussing someone who wasn't present. I’m not sure he got what I was talking about.  

When he does accept responsibility, he’ll find some personal power that will lead him to recovery.