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.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Saving Ourselves

Most of those I meet who work with substance abusers have a close connection to the disease. They’re either in recovery themselves. Or else they have a loved one who’s an addict. And TLC’s no different.

For example, we have some 70 staffers on the halfway house side of TLC who are all addicts or alcoholics. They serve as house managers, assistant managers, cooks, night security, maintenance, drivers, business managers, labor coordinators, and so forth.

In fact, on the halfway house side we only have two so-called “normies.” One’s a CPA; the other an accountant, both of whom act as consultants to help keep the books straight.

In the Outpatient Treatment Clinic itself, about half of the outside professional staff is in recovery. The support staff itself consists 100% of clients who want to stay close to their recovery. And a few are in training to become professional counselors.

In my own case I realized when I first entered recovery in 1991 that working with others would help me stay clean – which has been true. The mission has become my life.

Helping others is its own reward. And sometimes it even saves our lives.