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.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Taking Care of Ourselves

A longtime manager yesterday told me the results of a medical procedure he'd had a few days before.

He said everything came out okay and I congratulated him. I also encouraged him to keep taking care of his health.

Over the years I've encouraged our staff and clients to do the same. And taking care of themselves goes beyond not using drugs or alcohol. It includes regular checkups. It includes finding insurance as soon as possible. Eating sensibly. Developing an exercise routine. Moderating stress.

More than once I've heard staff members say that they don't get checkups because they don't want bad news. But that's a head in the sand approach. One way or the other, if there's bad news we'll get it.

But if we care enough, we can maybe prevent a minor health problem from developing into something major.

Many of us in recovery have done atrocious things to ourselves. Sharing needles. Smoking strange substances. Putting God knows what into our veins. And it's a miracle we survived – because we all know someone who didn't.

When we get clean and start giving back to the world part of giving back means taking care of ourselves. When we rejoin society we start developing relationships with others – people who love and care for us.

After so much wreckage we owe our best to the world – and that means living healthy.