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.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The Dilemma

The recovering addict's dilemma is that he or she knows how to feel good. And it's easy to get there.

Snort a line. Down a forty. Slam some heroin. Smoke a bowl. Wash down a few pain pills. Ahhhh...

Yes! Instant gratification. Pain is gone. Hurt feelings are no longer there. Problems dissolve without effort.

But even though we know how to change our state we can never again live this way. Not successfully.

Over and over I've worked with those who can't tolerate a small amount of pain or frustration. Instead, they relapse so they can get a moment's respite. But I've never once heard of it ending well.

No one's ever sent me a post card that read "I've started using again and my life is great! I finally figured out how to do it right. Wish you were here."

Instead, we get reports from jails or the streets or hospitals about another addict whose life is a train wreck.

Those of us who stay clean and sober come to realize that life is sometimes painful. Disappointing. Depressing. That it has its ups and downs. We learn to live in the real world.

And while the real world is sometimes a roller of coaster of successes and failures, it's far and away better than where we came from.

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