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, April 29, 2017

Sobriety Guarantee

TLC offers a 100% sobriety guarantee.

And to receive that guarantee there's only one condition: the client must do exactly as we ask him or her to do.

Now that may sound simplistic to the average person. Or to the parent of an addict who has failed over and over to maintain recovery. Or to an addict who has stumbled time and time again.

Yet the process of recovery is really that simple. There are no mysteries. There is no secret handshake. The road to recovery is clearly marked with directional signs. And the signs say things like "go to meetings" or "get a sponsor" or "stick with the winners."

Yet we meet clients who have been to dozens of sober living facilities, treatment programs, or halfway houses. And without success.

Over the past 26 years, TLC has housed literally thousands of clients. While we don't track success or failure rates because it's too costly, we do know that many of our graduate clients are living sober and clean lives today. And the reason they are enjoying success is because they followed our guidelines and directions.

Clients who don't make it in our programs are still having trouble accepting that they are addicts or alcoholics. They may say they have problems with things like having a Higher Power. Or they may think that because their drug of choice is marijuana that they can drink alcohol or use other drugs. But it doesn't work that way. Our experience has been that once a person is addicted to one drug they can't use any other drug, including alcohol.

Clients who are resistant and come back over and over again don't begin to change until they have encountered enough pain. And the pain takes the form of going to prison or jail. Getting a divorce. Becoming bankrupt. Living on the streets for a while. Overdosing. Going to a mental ward. Becoming sick. And so forth.

Our directions are simple and to the point. We don't get involved in a lot of bureaucratic mumbo-jumbo. Or psychobabble. We simply teach our clients what they must do to change their lives.

And we feel blessed when they follow those directions.