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, May 12, 2016


One of the interesting things about my job is how surprised we are when clients act just like we used to.

A while back we hired a couple of clients for management positions. And they had all the credentials. They were grateful to be sober. They were happy to given a position where they'd be able to help others. They could use a computer with some skill. One of them had done a little prison time. Like I said, they had the qualifications for the job.

However, within a couple of weeks we found out who they really were. We learned within a short time they were stealing from other clients, from TLC, getting high, and in general acting like many of us behaved before we got here.

Since this hadn't happened in a while, I was a little taken aback. But I knew I had no one to blame but myself. After all, I approved the decision to hire them on a probationary basis. Still, it's kind of a let down when we open our doors and welcome people - only to have them rip us off.

Now I know how all those people who trusted me must have felt when I returned their kindness with the kind of treachery an addict can sometimes give in return.