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.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Being Convinced

"I have nothing," an addict once told me. "I lost my job. My family. I wrecked my car. I only have the clothes on my back."

He looked at me in surprise when I reached across the desk and shook his hand.

"Congratulations," I told him. "Now maybe you'll be able to get sober."

And the last time I saw him he had a year clean.

It may seem cynical to congratulate someone on losing it all. Yet there's nothing more convincing than when our addiction trashes our life.

And I speak from experience. I went from vice-president of a nationwide company to living on the streets. And it took less than a year. At the end - with the one or two brain cells I had left - I realized I must change. Or die.

So when clients show up with nothing it's great.  I know they might have the humility to realize they're powerless.