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.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Real Life

I received this message last week from a former client. I thought it might help others understand the real life dilemmas we face when we get clean. She kindly allowed me to publish it here. Her name is omitted to help protect anonymity.


I was at TLC for 10 months. At Robson.

It was the best experience of my life. I got a job. Got my life straightened out. Went to all my meetings and Alano

I had a relationship with my daughter and granddaughter. I recently left TLC and moved back to my hometown after 26 years.

My life is good. I started going to meetings as soon as I got here. I got a sponsor. Working part time for now. Moving into a place with my best friend from high school.

The problem is that because I decided to live life on life's terms and let my higher power lead me where He may, my daughter, who lives in Mesa, is no longer talking to me. She feels I abandoned her just when she was starting to accept that I was going to be there for her.

I explained I will always be there for her but I have to do what is right for me. I have to be happy or I could potentially go back to doing what I was doing for the last 26 years. That is not an option. So now I'm giving her time to accept that this is how it is and if she wants a relationship she will contact me when she's ready.

I have no control over her. So I'm living my life and doing what I need to do to be happy and successful. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your program. TLC truly changed my life. 

God Bless you and Miss Rebecca."

This message illustrates difficult choices we sometimes have to make in recovery.

Once we're in recovery others often have their own ideas about how we should behave. Maybe how we're supposed to make up for the past. They don't understand that if we don't have a solid recovery nothing else matters.

Hopefully, her daughter's love will eventually help her understand what's important.

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