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.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Saving one at a Time

There's the apocryphal story of a man walking by the seashore after a storm. A storm that washed thousands starfish onto the beach, leaving them to die.

As the man walks, he reaches down every so often and picks one up and throws it back into the sea.

A man watching him asks, "What are you doing?"

"Saving starfish," the man responded.

"Yeah, but there are thousands of starfish on this beach. You're not going to make much difference."

"It'll make a difference to the one I threw back in the water," the man replied. And he continued throwing them back.

While this tale is not exactly analogous to what we do at TLC, it for some reason reminds me of the thousands that suffer from addictions. Maybe 14% of the population.

Sometimes they come from jails and prisons. Or shelters. Maybe the police bring them, or the fire department.  Maybe they're homeless.

We can't help them all. But we do make a difference to many of them. The lucky few who find their way to us.