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.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

The Blessings of Family

A blessing of recovery is that I've been reunited with my family since the early nineties.

Between Christmas and New Years we meet in Las Vegas for three days. We exchange gifts, eat, shop and play. It'a an emotional time for everyone - especially me.

At dinner this evening I realized that only my two older children had known me when I was using. The other ten were either too young or else joined the family later.

I often share my personal story with our clients. Because many of them think they'll never get back with their families. They've done so much damage they despair of ever repairing the relationships.

Yet, it can happen. But it takes patience and perseverance. Just because we put down the alcohol and drugs no one's going to get excited right away. Most families have seen short periods of sobriety. To them it may be an old story.

After a few years pass, though, they may start to believe we've changed. We're working. We're not hitting on them for money. We're no longer wrecking cars. We send Christmas gifts. We're starting to act somewhat normal.

They welcome us back and that's when we realize the blessings of recovery.