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.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

A Grown Ass Man

An addict’s furious because he didn't get his way.

"I'm a grown ass man and I'm tired of people telling me what to do," he said.

Then someone in the group pointed out that the reason he's in a halfway house recovery program is because he can't manage his own life.  In essence, he pays TLC to tell him what to do.  And some of the time he doesn't like what he's told.

This is a common theme in our groups.  Clients are with us for three or four months and they start becoming resentful when managers tell them how to behave.  How to clean their room.  How to dress.  How to seek employment.  Sometimes, how to talk to another human being.  Sometimes, to just slow down.

After the pain subsides and addicts get a little clean time under their belt they tend to forget how rough it was out there.  They forget what brought them to TLC.  They forget how demoralized they were, how unmanageable their lives were.

We can always tell when someone is growing in the program.  When they're given advice they welcome it.  They appreciate the idea that another human being cares about their welfare enough to talk to them about how to live.

When we addicts get to that point, and become teachable, then we have a chance.