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, January 31, 2016

Proud of Mom

A mother writes yesterday about a daughter who's relapsed. A child who'd spent a while in one of our halfway houses.

She said she continues to be grateful for what we've done for the girl. Apparently she'd stumbled along the road to recovery, but had gotten back up and started over. Using some of the tools she'd picked up while at TLC.

The mother has a lot going for her today that she might not have had before. She can pick up on signs of drinking. She recognizes when the daughter says one thing, but means another. She's able to take more forceful positions.

The mother now interjects the word "contracts" into their conversation. This, to ensure that the daughter keeps her word, that she does her part.

Even though I've never met this mother I'm proud of her. She's put boundaries in her life. She's reaching out for some peace and happiness of her own - in spite of having a daughter with substance abuse issues.

  What I like to say to these mothers is that I don't know how you were as a parent. If you were like many of us maybe you lost the instruction book. But that doesn't mean you must live your life trapped in a matrix of guilt and shame.

We only go this way once - far as I know. And we should savor the journey. We mustn't allow our children to foist guilt or shame on us. There comes a point when a child must take responsibility for themselves.

 And it's marked on my calendar on their 21st birthday.