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, April 4, 2017

What Happened?

A few days back a man who had recently left after being with us for over 18 months called.  He wanted to share his progress with me.

He said he'd found a mobile home near his place of employment so he could walk to work.  That was a good deal for him because he hadn't gotten his license restored yet from an old DUI.  So he felt fortunate about the way things were falling into place.

He sounded confident about his recovery and pleased to have his life back on track. I wished him well and thought he might have a chance of making it.  And that was great, because he had a history of relapses over the past 20 years.

Then today - maybe two to three days after he'd called me - someone told me that he had started drinking again.  He'd called friends at TLC to let them know.

And my question is what happened?  He did all the right things while with us.  He had a sponsor.  He went to meetings.  He worked hard each day.  Yet within ten days of leaving he's back in the grips of his disease.

I could make a lot of judgements, but that would serve no purpose.  It would just be my opinion.  I do know that alcohol and drugs had a powerful grip on me.  It took everything I could muster to get into recovery and stay there.

And underlying everything, I had a burning desire to change and be a different person.  If we don't have that it's questionable if we can stay sober.