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.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Missing the Message

As I arranged the chairs for aftercare group last night, I thought of those who wouldn't be in the circle.

Several made predictions about the future.

One said "If I drink again it's going to kill me." And he was right.

Another said, "One thing for sure, I don't want to die with a needle in my arm." But he did anyway.

Their fears came true. And many others in the circle over the years shared their fates.

A couple didn't die of alcohol or drugs directly, just activities related to drugs or alcohol.

One died from gunshot wounds in a drug deal gone wrong. And another is serving a long term for murder - a sort of living death.

All these guys spent hours in groups and aftercare. Yet somehow the message didn't filter in. Or if it did, it didn't work for them.

These were all good guys, some were fun to be around. None was lacking in basic intelligence. Yet somehow they couldn't summon the will to change their lives and use the tools we gave them.

I hope those in our current group do better.