Recovery Connections

John Schwary is CEO of Transitional Living Communities, an 850-bed recovery program he founded in Mesa, Arizona January 9, 1992, when he had a year sober. He's in his 28th year of recovery.

In these posts, he views life mostly through the lenses of recovery. While the blog is factual, he often disguises events and people to protect anonymity.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Each One Teach One

At one of the halfway houses last week I overhear a group leader talking to a small circle of men.

Because his voice is familiar, I pause for a moment to listen to what he's saying.

He's explaining how to act at 12-step meetings. He tells them how to do a job search. He talks of their responsibility to TLC - how they should pay their service fees on time. That they should encourage each other. He goes through the program guidelines.

As I walk on, I reflect on the man running the group. When he first came he was often in trouble for his behavior. He couldn't keep a job. He often overslept. There was always something negative.

But after a few months he changed. He didn't get consequences. He kept his area clean. He showed up on time. He did his chores and paid his service fees. He moved to a higher level. He began helping others.

When we see clients change their behavior, as he has, we know our mission is working.

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