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.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Useless Knowledge

I find it interesting that some of our clients like to look at their pasts, trying to figure out when or why they became addicts.

Some think it was because they suffered childhood abuse. Others think it might be their genetics. That because some relatives were alcoholics or addicts they followed in their footsteps.

But my take on this is always the same: what difference does it make why or how we became addicts?

How will that knowledge make a difference today? If I know I became an alcoholic because my father was one, will that make it easier for me to remain sober?

No matter what the abuse or the cause, the reality is that I'm an addict. And that's an issue I can deal with today. Right now. This moment.

Unless one is into historical reminiscing, knowing the events that led to our becoming an addict is useless. At one time I just had to use something to function. It seemed as natural as breathing.

If I had the power to tell you what caused you to drink or drug what would you do with the information? Would you say, "Oh, that's why I shot dope. Now it'll be easier for me to remain sober."

While there may be no harm in knowing why or how we started - I don't believe there's a ounce of benefit either.

If I use the tools I have today, staying clean and sober is easy. And that's what counts for this addict.