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.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Still addicted

Someone I've known for years ago is in the hospital again after a third heart attack.

She's had a valve replaced. She's had stints put in her heart. She has a pacemaker. The doctors placed her in a nursing home for a few weeks after her first heart attack. They wanted to give her a long period away from cigarettes before they sent her home.

But within days of being home she was smoking again. Not so much at first. But after a short time she was puffing away like before.

As someone who lost seven family members to emphysema and COPD I'm against tobacco use. It was excruciating to watch them slowly suffocate because of this horrible addiction.

And while I might sound preachy, I'm a former smoker who quit smoking 31 years ago.. I know it's not easy. It's hard. I kicked heroin a few dozen times. And quitting nicotine was the hardest habit of all to break.

I know we have the right to kill ourselves however we want. I hear addicts say all the time that they're not hurting anyone but themselves. Not true.

We all have someone who loves and cares about us. Whether it be children, spouses, friends, or co-workers, we have an obligation to take care of ourselves for them.

That is, unless we just don't care. And I don't think many of fall into that category.  Especially when we have loved ones in our life.

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