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.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Christmas Parties

This is a time for Christmas parties and events. Saturday night about 40 of us attended the treatment program's annual dinner, which this year was held at Red Lobster in Mesa. And Sunday, the next day, I went to the annual TLC Christmas party at the "Name in the Hat" meeting room on E. Main St. in Mesa.

It's an event that usually occurs the third week of December each year. It has been taking place for at least 10 years. And we are blessed to have the same person speak each year: my sponsor Ralph, a man who has been sober for over 40 years.

It would seem that we'd get tired of hearing his story. But when a man has been sober all this time – and on the planet for 83 years – he could talk all day and not tell the same story twice. He has a nice manner of delivery, as well as a sense of humor.

There were several hundred years of sobriety at that meeting. Some of those had been working at TLC for at least 10 years, maybe longer.

A wonderful thing about this event each year is that it creates a sense of community, and continuity. And that's something that many of the addicts in the world don't get to experience. Unless they stay sober for a while, the only continuity they experience, the only traditions - are those of getting in trouble with the law and ending up in jail or the hospital. Or breaking up their families once more.

And the nice thing about that meeting is if an outsider walked in they would probably think it was the most boring gathering in the world. Yet it's something that those of us in recovery look forward to each year - celebrating another year of recovery,