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.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Thoughts on Karma

I think of karma as what comes around goes around.

But mostly I've always thought of it as a long-term thing. Kind of like our reward for misbehavior in previous lifetimes. Which is a Buddhist or Hindu concept. But I've had to change my thinking.

Because in the world of drug and alcohol addiction karma seems to happen very short term. Particularly among those who continue to drink and drug as I used to.

In our TLC groups we predict what will happen to clients who continue to relapse. But it's almost like they're disconnected from reality. Or else the rewards of drugs and alcohol are so wired into their brains that fear of death means nothing to them. Many leave to use again.

They're not only disconnected from the dangers of continued use. They're also unwilling to follow the basics of health. Like quitting smoking. Eating well. And working out. It seems like they have an almost fatalistic outlook about their lives.

The idea that bad habits might affect them doesn't seem important. But karma eventually shows up for us all.