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, September 17, 2016


A long time business associate calls yesterday. I figure he wants to discuss the contract we have between us. But instead it's personal.

When business associates call and there's drug or alcohol problems in their families they have a certain tone. It seems like almost unconsciously that their voices are lower. Almost a whisper, kind of conspiratorial.

He tells me the narrative of one his kids. Now approaching middle-age. A kid he put through college, until he developed drug problems. At that point he pulled his financial support and sent him to treatment. The kid promptly left. He sent him to another one. Same result. He walked within a week. So, dad did the wise thing Told the kid he was done. No more help. No more support.

Finally, the son straightens up, starts a family, and does well for several years. Then problems crop up. The problems don't get solved and the son's now divorced. And he's pretty much incommunicado.

His question is should he help the son once more. How should he deal with it? What's the right thing to do? And he talks of steps he's planning to take to help get him back on track.

I share with him how I dealt with my own son. I really just stayed out of it. I stayed out of it because I knew that he knew the right thing to do and where to find help.

But I also told him there's no cookie cutter template of how to deal with these things. His plan of action sounds as good as any. Tell the son he'll help him to treatment one more time but that's all. We'll see what happens.

We addicts don't realize, because we're so in love with our drug of choice, how much we rock the world of those who love us. Those who brought us up.

When we're in pain, instead of working through it, we turn to our drug of choice for respite. Then we find out that once again it has us by the balls until we either get sick, die, or go to prison.  Until we lose it all.

It’s a terrible thing to do to those who invested so much in bringing us up.