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.

Thursday, November 26, 2015


It's easy for us in recovery to find reasons to be thankful on this day.

For me, I'm grateful to be alive after my history of drug and alcohol use. Compared to some, I've escaped relatively unscathed.

I'm grateful for a lovely wife. A relationship with my family. A circle of friends. A business that allows me to help others. What more could one ask? I'm one of the lucky ones who's living the promises.

Also on this day I think of those who didn't get the recovery thing. They couldn't work it into their lives so they're not with us. I'm not sure whether they're alive or dead - but wherever they are I hope they're on a good path.

In this business it's never good to cling to expectations for someone's recovery. Yet, I sometimes fall into that trap. It's only human to develop bonds with those who've been with us for multiple years. But it can leave one vulnerable to disappointment.

And that happened yesterday when someone who's been with us over the past ten years picks up a bottle. Then he left. Someone said he gave up because of health issues he was facing. Maybe he thought it was a good reason, but it was sad news for his friends in the program.

On this Thanksgiving I wish the best for all. And send a prayer for those who are still suffering from whatever.

Click here to email John