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.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Making Changes

I meet with clients, mostly young, whose lives are a constant war zone. But the war is rarely with anyone or anything else. The war is an internal one. It's with themselves.

They want to be here. They don't want to be here. They want to quit drugs, except for smoking pot. They want a job, but they don't want to look very hard to get one. They want to work out, but somehow can't get to the gymnasium.

The both love and hate themselves at the same time because they're stuck and doing nothing.

How do we help those who are in a constant battle with themselves?

My usual suggestion is that they commit to something positive. Nothing big, just something to get them started.

If they want to get sober they must abstain from everything, including pot. But not for the the rest of their lives. Just for today, a day a time.

If they want to get fit start out light. Take a walk. Do a few push-ups and sit-ups.  Don't get sore.

To find a job, start out by investigating the employment market. Practice on-line making a resume. Think about your skills, what kind of job might motivate you to wake up in the morning.

We addicts often suffer from black and white thinking. If the first thing we try doesn't work we give up because we think we failed.

But when we take challenges and life in smaller chunks we're more likely to succeed. And this small success can help us feel better about ourselves.

We may even find peace.