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.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016


I don't rule the world, thank God. Well, maybe the three square feet I stand on. But no more than that.

But I have a difficult time understanding where people come from when they want help. And I just got off the phone with a guy I was trying to help. That' why I'm writing about this.

And his story was that he had been at TLC and that he'd had a heart attack. And because of that he couldn't do the hard labor we sometimes require. I asked him what kind of work he could do and he wasn't sure.

So I asked if he could answer a telephone. And he said he thought he could do that. So I was about to send a van to pick him up when he starts telling me that TLC is "all about the money."  I guess he didn't know whose number he'd reached.

Now anyone who's from this country and knows about money knows there are very few places where one can live for $110 a week. And that includes three meals. A bed. Utilities. Job assistance, and so forth. Yeah, we're nothing fancy, but we beat living in a dumpster behind Circle K or 7-11.

But anyway, you know that I didn't send a van to pick him up.

If the man had expressed an ounce of gratitude or humility I'd have been there quick. But I know that because of his ingratitude he wouldn't have lasted a minute or two anyway.

Oh, by the way I didn't say what I would do if I ruled the world. And what I would do is
remove the word "entitlement" from the dictionary.  It's a spreading disease and harms many addicts.