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.

Monday, January 18, 2016


This week I received congratulations from former residents about my 25 years sober. Some were with us more than 15 years ago.

Nice messages. And I was really pleased to hear from a man who shares my beliefs about fitness and self-care. He's doing well and has been sober a while.

He mentioned a former client with serious health challenges. He said he'd given the man advice about caring for himself. But apparently he didn't listen.

It's not that this man's a doctor. But I remember him as an athlete and runner who knows the benefits of exercise and eating well.

And I'm sure he was giving basic advice: exercise, eat right, and lower stress. Simple concepts that don't take a medical degree.

My experience is that once addicts get clean and sober they don't think much about their health. They continue to smoke. Eat crappy food. And do no exercise. Nor do they go to the doctor.

One thing we must realize is that - just like our sobriety - we're also responsible for our health.

Do any of us get sober to live an unhealthy life? Not me. I created enough suffering for myself with my addictions. Now that I'm sober, I do what I can to feel as good as possible.  And it's a routine that might take as long as 90 minutes a day.

I preach about this all the time. But few have the energy or motivation to follow through. But I’ll keep trying.