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.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Patience

When people used to say "patience is a virtue," I really didn't understand it as I do today.

My attitude was to hell with patience. I want what I want. And I want it right now. You be patient if you want to. But I want it all. And the sooner the better.

But as time goes on I've come to believe that patience is probably one of our primary virtues.

Today I know that being patient is almost a spiritual thing. For example if 25 years ago I've have been given all the blessings I have today I woudn't have known how to manage or take care of them. Because I never had gratitude for the things that came to me without much effort on my part. I'd just fritter them away and move on to the next thing I could ruin.

In 1992 if someone has asked me to describe what life would be like in 25 years I would have drawn a small picture.

Of course no one asked me. I simply got up and went to work each day. I didn't move too fast. Yet everything I wanted showed up in my life just when I needed.

If I needed a house for incoming clients, somehow it would show up. Even though I didn't have credit for the first seven years of my recovery I was able to house hundreds of addicts. People would sell me property with no money down. Once I got three houses with no interest payments.

It became so routine for things to show up just when I needed them that I never worry about finances or employees today. If we need equipment, or housing, or a new staff member, I tell the staff to just tie off for a day or two. What we need will show up.

I get so many parents who write me about their children. Their letters are beautiful, sometimes so painful I want to cry for them. I suggest that their child is out there on the streets learning what doesn't work. And sometimes I get happy letters back telling me that their kid returned and he's in recovery.

I believe that God, our Higher Power, or the Universe has our interests at heart. And when we walk the path of patience we might get better answers than we even hoped for.

It happened for me. Today I have a wonderful life.  A beautiful wife who takes good care of me.  A staff that loves our clients and does their best to help them get better.  More material things than I need. And I attribute much of it to the idea that I've grasped the virtue of patience.