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.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Cell Phones

I read an article the other day that about 35% of women would rather give up their boy friend or husband if the choice was between him and her cell phone.

Now that sounds almost unbelievable. But in the past few years we've had halfway house clients who also love their phone. One of the privileges of being in our program is that after a certain period with us the client can have a phone.

But, sometimes, when they break rules or relapse, the punishment might be to take the phone for three days or even a week.

However, many clients will leave the program rather than give up their phone. In other words, their recovery and their housing is less important than the convenience of a phone.

At one time we didn't allow cell phones at TLC. Then as time went on we realized that it was a tool to help clients find work. But it also turned out to be a distraction from their recovery. And a link to their old circle of friends and their dope man.

I'm not going to get into the whole thing about how electronic gadgets are changing our society. That's a discussion for someone else who's more philosophical than I am.

Plus, I'm someone who also has a phone. But it's not always on my ear. And it's helpful when I'm trying to get things done. I guess what I'm saying is that it's a handy tool for communication - which is what I use it for.

But I'm not in love with it.