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, January 28, 2016

Love him to Death

Working in the recovery field has it's rewards. We see people come into our program and their lives are a mess. They've lost it all.

The family has booted them out. They might have health problems. Maybe they're on parole. Have hepatitis C. No job or money.

After a few months they leave clean. They leave successful. Some have started college; others may have restored family relationships. Most have jobs. Life is brighter.

Then I get sad news today. I hear of a man in his early twenties who left more than a year ago - against program advice. His mother missed him. Mailed him a plane ticket home. She thought he'd "learned his lesson." Was sure he'd no longer return to heroin. But he did and was recently found dead of an overdose.

He made great progress while with us. Was beginning to understand the challenges he was facing. Yet, he accepted advice from his mother, a woman who had some idea that he should come home because he'd "learned his lesson."

There's no doubt she loved him. But sometimes we love our kids to death.