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.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Mother Love

Last week a mother calls about her twenty-something son who's in our halfway house program.

He calls her daily to complain. He's forced to get up early in the morning to work on a labor ticket. He shares an apartment with two other addicts, both older men who don't like his kind of music. He has to wash his own clothing. The food sucks. He has to go to meetings after work. He wants to go back home.

His list goes on and on.

She asks about getting him into our treatment program, but doesn't have insurance.

I can feel the pain in her voice and want to somehow comfort her. But there's not much I can give her in way of a painless solution. So I start talking about reality.

And the reality is that it's good for her son to start paying the consequences of his addiction. If he doesn't get the message at his young age he might find himself residing in worse places than our halfway house program.

Maybe a homeless shelter. A spot under a bridge. The hot streets of Phoenix. The big yard in Florence. Tent City. Not exactly living the dream.

She agrees that he needs to grow up and take care of himself. But it's painful to let go.

I suggest she not pay attention to his complaints. Don't let him back home. Encourage him to change.

If she does that she might help save his life.

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