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.

Saturday, August 27, 2016


I've spent the past two days at home, a rarity for me. No, I'm not sick. Nor am I loafing.

Instead I was doing what I consider one of the more difficult jobs in the world: that of caretaker.

Thursday morning I took my wife to the hospital for surgery on her left knee. And because I had experience with the surgery on her right knee a few months ago I had the blessing of a little practice.

I'd learned to assemble a wheelchair and be available for the unanticipated simple things. A glass of water. Food. Moving furniture around so the wheelchair can get through. I learned to not run her into things.

But rather than writing about myself, I guess this is more an ode to those who take care of others day and night for years. They're to be commended for their lack of self-centeredness and their willingness to deal with those who can't do for themselves.

If one is learning compassion and mindfulness there is no better place to practice these things than in the role of caretaker.

I must admit that while this is painful for her - it's a chance for me to give back a little to someone I love. And that's good for someone like me - who sometimes lacks in patience and compassion.