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, September 11, 2014

Learning from 9/11

Most of us remember where we were and what we were doing on the morning of 9/11 when terrorists struck the World Trade Center. I was getting ready to leave for the office that morning when a business associate called and asked if I knew what was going on. I turned on the television to see what he was talking about.

For the next several days our whole world reacted to the shocking images. And at my house there was an eerie quiet in the sky because nothing was going in or out of the airport. I never paid any attention to the sound of the airplanes until they stopped flying.

I followed stories about those who died in the attack. Some had dates planned for that evening. Others had taken their children to daycare. One had a meal cooking in a slow cooker. They all had plans of some kind, but never made it home.

What I took away from this tragedy is that we should learn to live our lives to the fullest - to enjoy the journey. I sometimes talk of this event in group sessions to remind people of how fleeting our lives can be.

Most of us in recovery have wasted years chasing drugs and alcohol. We have squandered the most precious gift that God has given us: our time. And can we ever get it back? No.

But we can learn to live our lives so they have meaning – so we can contribute to the world.