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.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015


I awake this morning in freedom. I don't have a hangover. I'm not dope-sick.

I have no fear. People with guns aren't looking for me any more. Not the police. Not the drug dealers who wanted me to pay them back.

I look around the bedroom and see the 5:15 light filtering through the blinds. I'm in the same home I've been in since 2001. It's a decent neighborhood with a low crime rate.

There are decisions to make: should I go down to the pool and swim for a while? Or instead use my home gym? I opt for the pool because it's a nice way to start an Arizona summer day.

I swim lazily on my back for a while, looking at the clouds, seeing the jets fly silently overhead as they leave Sky Harbor Airport. The neighborhood's still quiet, so it's a time to meditate and reflect.

My reflection is upon the many blessings I have in my life. I have a beautiful and loving wife. An extended family and a new grandson. I have many friends and associates. At 76 I'm still able to show up at the office and take care of our businesses. I enjoy four or five vacations a year. The list is long.

I never forget why I have the life I have. It's because almost 25 years I put down the bottle and the spoon. I surrendered. My way wasn't working any longer.

So I recommend recovery to anyone who wants a better life.