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, July 18, 2014

Grateful Graduate

The following letter came from a recent graduate:

"Dear TLC,

When I first came to Robson, I had lost – no given up – my children, everything that matters. I no longer had anyone left due to the control drugs had over me.

Then a stranger guided me year from Phoenix to Robson Street. I see now he was an angel as well as one of your staff members. The work that's done here - truly from the depths of my soul - I feel is God's work. I walked onto the property scared, lost, alone and hopeless. The welcome I received was so loving, something I didn't expect for someone like myself.

Unfortunately, I was still a bit delusional and I left three times with only five months of recovery. If it weren't for the compassion and understanding of TLC, which gave me a third chance, I don't know if my children would have a mother today. After coming back– they pushed me harder. But the patience and tolerance it must've taken to handle all my breakdowns and outbursts is unbelievable.

Still, no matter what, I wasn't given up on. Because of that I'm a success. TLC not only provided me with the structure my life desperately needed, it also restored my self-respect. It has brought me closer to my children and my Higher Power. And, most important, it introduced me to the 12-step programs, There, for the first time in my life, I feel safe and comfortable being just me.

They gave me a chance, not to barely survive, but to truly live.

I no longer wish to race to the finish line. Instead I tried to enjoy this new journey with peace of mind and a humble heart. I have purpose now! I'm not only 11 months sober. I'm happy, joyous, and free just for today. I'm now moving into a program where my children can be with me. I cannot put into words how grateful I am for all of you. TLC not only saved my life, it also taught me how to save my own.

Love always,"

 (name omitted for anonymity)