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.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

It didn't Work

Not long ago a client’s father agrees that it’s time for his son to leave the program to work a minimum wage job.

So the client, against the advice of the clinical team, moves out to go to work.

Unfortunately, the plan didn’t work too well. Yesterday the father calls to see if the son can come back to the program. He'd lost the job. Then he got drunk. Now he’s at a motel, still drinking.

This is a scenario that we’ve seen play out again and again over the past 23 years.

A client comes to us suffering from the effects of drinking and using. He, or she, has lost virtually everything. No transportation. No job. Broke. Demoralized.

Once the client starts feeling better the new goal is to go to work.

Now it’s almost un-American to suggest that someone should wait to get a job. After all, work’s a good thing. Isn’t it?

And of course it is. But only once everything else is in order. In this client’s case, as soon as he started working, he began missing meetings. Missing therapy sessions. Being late for meditation.

When confronted about how work was conflicting with his treatment he made the decision to give up treatment.

Hopefully he makes it back so he can finish what he started.

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