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, November 16, 2014

Accepting Responsibility

"And we have ceased fighting anything or anyone...” the Big Book.

I like this quote from the 12-steps because it's straight up. It's so black and white there's no doubt what it means. Ceased fighting. Anything. Anyone.

I dangled this phrase in front of two addicts yesterday who had been fighting one another since they met. Not a physical fight. But talking smack and creating turmoil in their apartment unit.

While in group each wants to indict the other by citing what the other had done. And each time that happens I guide them gently back to focusing on themselves.

It's typical for our residents to place the blame on the other party. But I always ask them to identify their part in the issue. Because that’s the only part they might be able to control.

When I focus on my part in communication breakdowns things become clear. Not what the other person did or said. But what was my role?

When I find my role and accept responsibility, the fighting’s over. I can make amends and live in peace once more.

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