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, November 20, 2015

Accidents Happen

As I drove to work yesterday traffic slowed for an accident ahead of me. It must have just happened, because emergency vehicles hadn't yet arrived.

As traffic slowed, I had a chance to see what was going on. What first caught my attention was a young man pacing back and forth. He was hollering something I couldn't hear and waving his arms.

Based on his emotion I feared someone was dead or badly injured. But he wasn't bleeding or limping and didn't seem hurt.  And I couldn't see anyone else.

But when I go closer I could hear him. "My car. Look at my fender. Oh my God!" He was loudly repeating the same thing over and over as I drove slowly by. And I noticed that the fender was pretty much trashed.

As I drove on I thought about his strong reaction to something so insignificant. Maybe he was in shock. But he seemed to be overreacting to something his insurance would take care of.

Perhaps I'm too judgmental, but wrecked cars and destroyed property are not things to be emotional about. Physical injuries, loss of life - those are the things of emotion.

Life is too meaningful to waste our time over the loss of material things. We can get them back. If we lose our health, our sobriety, our loved ones - those are the things of emotion.

That's my opinion. But then maybe I've wrecked too many cars in my life to place much value on them.