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.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Being a positive Influence

We learn from those who raise us.

For example, I grew up in an era when half of the people in this country lived on farms. So I learned how to work hard so we could eat.

My father was a carpenter who built three or four houses a year by himself, plus operated a 14 acre farm. He taught me and my brother those skills. Those were the positive things about him.

The negative things were that he was a raging alcoholic who beat anything that got in his way. His wife. Kids. Farm animals, including pets. My brother and I learned many of those skills, especially the anger, the fighting and drinking.

By the time we were in our early teens and went back to live with my mother we were a complete mess. I became a drug user and drinker in my early teens, spending most of my early years in juvenile institutions. My brother grew up an alcoholic who escaped home as soon as he could by joining the Air Force.

I bring this up because many of the addicts in our program were raised by the same kind of parents. Violent drug addicts, criminals, and alcoholics.

We get few clients who were raised by ministers, college professors, doctors, or lawyers.

If you're reading this and are raising young children don't be suprised if they turn out just like you. No matter what kind of a person you are.  Good or bad.

If you're sitting around and wondering what happened to your kids reflect back upon the values you gave them. Then you'll understand.  And there may be time to change what you're doing so you can become a positive influence upon them.