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, December 11, 2016

Making Plans

January 14 of 2017 I'll be celebrating 26 years of recovery. It seems almost like yesterday that I first walked into a detox.

But a more interesting facet of this passing of time is that I had no plans to spend my recovery working with other addicts and alcoholics. My real goal, once I graduated from the halfway house I spent a year in, was to go back into the corporate world that I'd come from. The halfway house part of my life was just something I decided to do on the side. Something to help me keep in touch with my recovery, a way to help other people achieve sobriety, while staying sober myself. One might say that it was almost a selfish decision – a way for me to have the best of both worlds.

Once I graduated from the halfway house I did go back into the corporate world, but simultaneously I had the opportunity to obtain some houses and opened up my own program. It's funny how the world works when we start making plans. My grandiose plan was to open a 50 bed halfway house and work my corporate job during the day. But that isn't the way my higher power had things laid out things out. Within a few months I was so busy taking care of clients that I had to resign from my corporate job and work full-time in the halfway house.

Before the second year passed we had over 300 residents and were looking for property to house more. And even though I had no credit, or any savings or financial backers, somehow things always worked out. We were always able to pay our bills and mortgage payments and feed everyone. It was an exciting time because it required my total involvement to keep everything functioning.

And anyone who showed up and wanted to volunteer and who had halfway good sense was put to work immediately. To be honest, we did a lot of learning on the job.

Things kept growing. At one point we had 1100 beds in three states, including Nevada and New Mexico. We also were operating 10 small businesses, the proceeds of which went to pay the staff and support the clients.

So I guess the point is, if you have a dream for your recovery go ahead and pursue it. If your plan is a good one – or if it's the right plan – God will make it happen for you.

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