Recovery Connections

John Schwary is CEO of Transitional Living Communities, an 850-bed recovery program he founded in Mesa, Arizona January 9, 1992, when he had a year sober. He's in his 28th year of recovery.

In these posts, he views life mostly through the lenses of recovery. While the blog is factual, he often disguises events and people to protect anonymity.

Sunday, July 19, 2015


"Great opportunities to help others seldom come, but small ones surround us every day." 
- Sally Koch - Author

After newcomers to TLC get sober they sometimes want to help others do the same. That's also a part of the 12-step canons - to carry the message.

Some have the idea they want to go to school and become a drug counselor. Others want to start a program of their own, like what we do at TLC.

And these are great ideas and ambitious plans. But in early recovery we have an opportunity each day to help others on a small scale.

If we see a newcomer who seems lonely or fearful we welcome him or her. Maybe offer them clean socks, a snack, an encouraging word, a job lead - something to make them feel a part of.

You never know how your kindness can affect another person. And, if you start with small kindnesses you may find that you like the feeling of giving. You might enjoy the feeling of showing your humanity to someone who had little hope - and doing it without expecting anything tangible in return.

These small opportunities are all around us.