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.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Being Cynical

Monday night I found myself excited about the presidential debates. I wanted to see how the outsider did.  So I planned my evening around watching them.
But in the morning I wondered what I was so wired up about.
When I look back I try to think of one thing that has radically affected my life because of who was president.
When I wasn't in trouble over my addiction I was pretty much able to find a job. No one I know  has had a major change in their life because of who got elected.
Now it's true that the recession of 2008-2012 impacted a lot of lives, including mine. But I'm not sure whose fault that was. Was it the president’s?
In other words, how much does what happens in Washington DC affect my life?
I think if we had a president who was interested in helping drug addicts, that would be encouraging.  But that’ll never happen because we have this large lobby that believes addiction is a moral issue – rather than a disease.
Perhaps at this point of life I’m becoming cynical. We hear those who want our vote promise to change everything. And do it right away.
But once they're elected they find they have a daunting job. Once they arrive they have to deal with an entrenched bureaucracy so large as to be almost unwieldy.
Don't get me wrong. It's not a job that I think anybody can do well. There is only so much money to go around. And there are so many people with their hands out.
I'd be more excited if we had a government that really cared about those challenged by addiction. It would excite me if we had a government that would do something about poverty and violence in the inner cities.
Instead, candidates promise free stuff to anyone who'll vote for them. They appeal to the weak and greedy and lazy. To those who believe the government is there to take care of them.
But once they get to Washington they have to deal with the reality that's in place.

But the reality is that nothing is free.  And the biggest changes that will happen will come from what we do for ourselves.

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