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.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Look in the Mirror

"If you’re still looking for that one person who will change your life, take a look in the mirror." Roman Price

Most of us in recovery learned long ago that no one's coming to rescue us. When it comes down to making the decision to get sober, we're the ones who make that choice. And, ultimately, we're the ones who do the work.

I had a reminder of this last week when a probation officer from another state called. She'd lost track of a twenty-something man she'd sent to one of our halfway houses. Was he still with us? Could I help her? Of course I could, but I'd need to do some research before I could answer.

A database report showed that within a month of his arrival he'd relapsed and left the halfway house. A few days later he returned. But after two more days he failed a drug test and left again.

I sent the report to her with my return email. And I'm sure she was disappointed because she talked like she had hope for him. And now he'd picked up his habit in another state.

His situation is similar to many of those who come to us. They get on the plane or bus with great hope. Things will be different this time. Life will change. Everyone's happy they're willing to make the long trip out of state. To make a new start.

Then harsh reality sets in. I'm going to have to do some work. The same thing they wanted me to do back home. Quit using. Find a job. Pay my bills. Be responsible. Go to meetings.

And when these questions come up we must look in the mirror. Because that's the one person who's going to make the change.