Recovery Connections

John Schwary is CEO of Transitional Living Communities, an 850-bed recovery program he founded in Mesa, Arizona January 9, 1992, when he had a year sober. He's in his 28th year of recovery.

In these posts, he views life mostly through the lenses of recovery. While the blog is factual, he often disguises events and people to protect anonymity.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Addict Drama

Back in the seventies a reporter asked the producer of the soap opera, "All My Children," how she came up with such wild plots.

She said it was easy. She just read the newspapers. She said most of her ideas came from the crazy stories in the daily news. Truth, she said, is truly stranger than fiction.

I think of this because I get emails that are sometimes unbelievable. In fact, some are incredible. It's stuff no one could make up.

A while back I got one from someone wanting help for a distant relative. He was kidnapped as a child by his mother, an addict just paroled from prison. She wanted her kid and took him from the foster home he was at.

So he went from the security of a foster home at age 13 to living with his addict mother and a biker boyfriend. They were on the run for kidnapping him. They managed to avoid the police for several years.

One day, in his mid-teens, he returns to their trailer park to find the mother dead of a drug overdose. By now an addict himself, he begins the life of a homeless bum. None of his relatives want anything to do with him because they've heard the stories about him.

At the time the relative wrote me the young man was 19. He has no skills. No money or insurance. No one wants to take a chance on him.

Can we help? So I explain how he can get into our program.

Most of the clients we take in don't have the dramatic narrative of this man. They're people like me, whose addiction was killing them and they had nowhere else to turn. Just boring addicts without a dramatic story.

But our mission is to help them all, no matter what their story.

Click here to email John