Recovery Connections

John Schwary is CEO of Transitional Living Communities, an 900-bed recovery program he founded in Mesa, Arizona January 9, 1992, when he had a year sober. He's in his 30th 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.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Face from the Past

An employee, while returning home on the bus yesterday, saw a man who looked familiar. However, he couldn't recall his name.

He said he had a two week growth of facial hair. He also had a ripe body odor, as if he hadn't showered in some time. And he might have weighed 120 pounds.

But once the man spoke he recognized him as a former client and employee who relapsed around five years earlier.

After he left he’d periodically appear on the “Mug Shot of the Day” contest on the Maricopa County Jail website.

It was sad to hear of this man's condition because at one time he was doing the right thing and was a valued employee at TLC. He'd come to the program from state prison. Later, one of his addict sons came to the program after paroling from the same prison system.

For a long time both did well. It appeared they’d finally figured out how to stay away from methamphetamines. Then came relapse and a quick spiral back into insanity.

These kind of encounters are a sad reminder of how life changes once we relapse.

At least he knows where to go if he wants to start over.

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