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.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Losing our Rights

A client is irate at her family because of the way they're raising her children

After not seeing her children for years because she lost herself in a haze of drugs and alcohol does she have a right to be angry?

She 's angry with them over a few things. In particular, she's upset because they changed the children's last names. They also changed changed their religion.

As a counselor, how do I respond when someone's distressed over something like this?

I offer her some reality.

I tell her she abdicated her rights years ago when she immersed herself in a life of drugs and alcohol.

She seemed to accept this.

But she wasn't quite so accepting of my next suggestions.

That was when I told her she should be grateful to them for caring for her children. And that she should also thank them. She froze up.

We addicts put our lives on hold when get into our addictions. And we expect everyone else to do the same.

But when our addictions come first we abdicate our rights to everything we left behind.