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 17, 2014

We Owe the World

As I see it, in recovery we make a commitment that goes beyond quitting drugs and alcohol.

When we throw away the bottle, the pipe, the powder or the needle we breathe a sigh of relief. The monster's at bay. We're not in jail. Or the hospital.

And for the first few months we're okay.

But then what? What about the rest of it? Am I still doing some unhealthy things? Do I smoke cigarettes? Or chew tobacco?

Am I loafing on my ass watching TV or playing video games all my spare hours? Do I eat mystery food out of bag handed from a drive-through window? In other words, am I still living an unhealthy lifestyle even though I've given up the worst things?

Why does it matter? It matters because just quitting our addictions isn't enough.

We've rejoined society. And now it's time to return the many blessings God gave us when she granted us life.

We must make amends to our families and friends. We have to repay a society from which we took everything to support our addictions.

And to do that we need to be at our healthiest and best to the return the favor the world has shown us.

When we start taking care of ourselves we start taking care of others.