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.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Any Lengths

In the 12 step programs we hear about "going to any lengths." And this, of course, means we'll do whatever it takes to get sober. And a few days ago, I met a man who seems willing to go to any lengths.

I first came into contact with him when his mother called seeking help. She said he was in a hotel in the deep South and was about to be homeless. She said he'd been struggling with alcohol and drugs for years. But that he never had any period of recovery at all.

After half a dozen phone calls between me and family members we made arrangements for him to go into one of our halfway houses. Sometimes it takes a lot of communication to put these things together. Especially when an addict or alcoholic is on the other side of the country, as this man was. After he got on the Greyhound and began the two day trip he kept me updated on his progress.

And during every call he seemed to have a high anxiety level, but he talked as if he were sober. Each time we talked I would encourage him to get back on the bus and keep heading our way. The last time we talked he was in Tucson and getting ready to re-board the bus for Phoenix.

A few times yesterday I reflected upon this man's determination to get sober. If he can maintain that determination after he gets off the bus in Phoenix he has a chance to change his life.

It's rewarding to be part of a story like this.