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.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Being Fortunate

I spent a few days this week revisiting my past when a relative came to visit from my hometown in California.

It was wonderful to spend time with a family member. And her visit reminded of how fortunate I was to have moved to Arizona over 30 years ago.

The people I knew - those still alive - are doing the same things they were when I left in 1982.

Some are slinging dope. Others are fighting criminal cases or Federal indictments. A few are serving so much time they'll rot behind bars. Some are living on the streets.

And I know that if I hadn't left there I wouldn't be alive. I'd have remained immersed in the drug culture underworld I grew up in. I knew too many people.

Somehow God and fortune smiled upon me though. I got off the bus in Phoenix in July of 1982 with $300 in my pocket. I didn't know a soul, but was still able to find drugs and alcohol. But it was never the same.

Even though it took me another nine years to get sober, I never sunk to the level I was at in California. I made a few half-assed runs at recovery. Until I finally had enough pain to want to change.

And since I made that decision I've been in recovery ever since - almost 25 years.

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