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.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

There's Hope

At least once a month I receive a heartbreaking email or letter from an addict's family or loved ones.

They're looking for an answer. Any answer. They're at wits end, in a muck of frustration that colors their lives.

They never in their wildest imagination thought their precious baby would morph into a drug monster. Change into a criminal who would trade mom’s wedding ring and family heirlooms for drugs.

They sent him to preschool. Kindergarten. Enrolled him in sports. They applauded him in school plays.. Sent him to summer camp. Then on to good schools and college.

They did all the right things. At least they thought they did. But now they question themselves. Maybe we should have done this? Maybe we were too strict? Even though they were doing their best a nagging guilt bubbles up.

I tell them there's not much rhyme or reason as to why some become addicts. Children can be raised in a terrible environment and become wildly successful. Others live in the lap of privilege, yet do nothing worthwhile with their lives.

But the positive thing I tell them is that there's a solution in treatment. And in the 12-step programs. They seem comforted by that.