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, October 30, 2014

Overcoming Self

"There is no passion to be found playing small - in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living." Nelson Mandela

Earlier this year I finished Mandela's autobiography, "Long Walk to Freedom."

And while I'd read reports about his life in the press, the insights in this book were inspiring. His life is an example of what one can do with enough perseverance.

As a recovering addict I like to read about how others overcame challenges. And I use these examples in my own life to keep things in perspective.

The value of this knowledge for us addicts is immeasurable. When we learn what others have done to overcome challenges we gain courage.

While we addicts don't face the challenges Mandela did, we have internal battles to overcome. And while they may seem small to others, to us they may seem insurmountable.

To live drug and alcohol free we must learn to live in a different culture. And change our way of thinking. Especially if we've had a long-term addiction.

It can be a shock to our psyche to get a job. To stop stealing. To start telling the truth. To be there for our families and friends.

But if we look at the suffering others went through to succeed we can find hope for ourselves.

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