Recovery Connections

John Schwary is CEO of Transitional Living Communities, a 850-bed recovery program he founded in Mesa, Arizona January 9, 1992 when he had a year sober. He's in his 27th year of recovery.

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

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Planting a Seed

When I returned to my office yesterday I found a sticky note on my door.

Usually these are from salespeople. So I normally file them in the trash.

But this was a familiar name. It was a man who was among the first 20 clients in the program - back in mid-1992. At the time he was in his late teens and kind of a handful.

I hadn't heard anything about him after he left until about ten years later when I ran into him in a supermarket. He was sober, in business for himself, had four children, and was living the dream. It was good to see him. I hadn't heard from him since.

Curious, I called the out-of-state number he'd left. It seems like he's still successful in the business he's been in since he left TLC. It's provided him an income and helped him support his family.

But, he told me, there's an emptiness in his life. He feels like there's more he can do than just sell things. Kind of a spiritual crisis. He thinks getting in the business of helping others might make a difference.

So I suggested he try the recovery field, something he'd been thinking of for a while. I agreed to help him with the business aspect, sharing the experience we've gained. And he was grateful for that.

I share this anecdote because when we help others it often spreads. We never know what course their life will follow.

What we did was help a teenager. And 23 years later he's a sober and successful family man with his own business.

And now he's thinking of taking it full circle and giving back.

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