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.

Sunday, June 26, 2016


Sometimes it's not easy to practice what I preach. Especially when irritating and frustrating things happen to me. Because mostly my life runs smoothly with few bumps in the road.

And what I advocate for those who have challenges is to accept them as lessons.. Absorb them. Look at them as chances to grow. To have gratitude for what they have.

But this last few weeks has been an opportunity for me to practice what I advocate. And some of it's been frustrating.

For example, before we went on vacation last week both of my cars had problems. The first I caused by backing into the bumper of a truck in a parking lot. The body shop guy said no problem, not to worry about it. And the place I took the car said they'd have it ready by the time I was back from vacation. Great. Then I get a call yesterday afternoon from the shop. They said they replaced the bumper, but they didn't have the technical skill to fix the sensor they had replaced. In other words they couldn't get it to work. So Monday I get to take it somewhere else for repairs. I tell myself that I'm lucky to have a car at all.

Besides I have another car that works fine, parked in my garage. And I took it for a ride and found out everything worked fine. Except the air conditioning on the driver's side would put out only warm air - only the passenger's side had cold air. Oh, well I'd only have to drive it until my other car was out of the shop, then I could get it fixed. Again, I say to myself, well at least you're not walking.

Then at the last minute before heading for San Diego I realize I've misplaced the passports - which means no crossing into Mexico. Something I do each trip to purchase medication because they're 60-70% less expensive.  Oh well, another opportunity for growth.

And then to top things off, both of our air conditioners had stopped putting out cold air and we were greeted with a 100 degree house upon our return yesterday. Finally, my wife remembered that we have a swamp cooler. So that brought the temperature down to around 85 degrees.I'm not sure what I'm supposed to be learning here. But by the time it's all repaired I'm sure I'll have learned a bit more about patience.