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.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Watching our Thinking

"Your worst enemy cannot harm you as much as your own unguarded thoughts.” ~Buddha

How often have negative thoughts led us down the path to destruction?

Many times over the past 25 year I've seen clients come in with the best of intentions. Life has kicked their butts. They've lost their families. Their jobs. Maybe they've even gone to jail.

They're sick of the pain. They want to change their lives and everything about themselves. They start going to meetings. They get a sponsor. Their family is talking to them once again.

Life is good and their thinking is their friend. Their thoughts are only upon recovery. They're making amends. Maybe paying child support.

Then something shifts. The momentum has naturally slowed down to some degree. The pink cloud is maybe changing color as reality sets in.

At this point those of us in recovery come to realize that even sober people have problems. The pain that brought us to recovery has subsided to some degree, receded into the background. All of a sudden we're paying bills. Working every day. Our back hurts and we can't kill the pain like we used to. We've entered the land of the "normal" people - the one we left so long ago when our addictions took over.

And at this point our thoughts may become negative. We may start hearing the voices of negativity around us. We might start believing those who say recovery doesn't work.

And when these thoughts take over we're in trouble.

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