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.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017


"Why compare yourself with others? No one in the entire world can do a better job of being you than you." Unknown

I heard a young man in a meeting the other day talking about things he didn't have – but that others did have. Because he was new to recovery he didn't have a job. He didn't have a wardrobe. He didn't have a relationship with his family anymore because of his addiction. He had a long list of reasons to be unhappy. And all because he was comparing himself to others and what they had.

He could as easily have found reasons to be happy. He was sober. He seemed healthy. He lived in a relatively peaceful country where he was safe. He had opportunities to do whatever he wanted with his life. But because he hadn't been sober long, it was difficult for him to look at the positive side of things.

I was in the same place at one time. But after several years in recovery, I realized that life was pretty good. I started looking at my situation and knew that I was very blessed that I didn't have to be anyone other than myself. I didn't have to have a better car than my neighbors. I didn't need a bigger house. I didn't need to impress others with expensive clothing because nobody really cares how we look anyway. I accepted myself and my life just the way I was.

And once I took this attitude of not comparing myself to others life became much more enjoyable. I no longer had to be better than others. Nor worse. I knew that I had talents and abilities others didn't have. And, conversely, others had talents that I didn't have.

When we accept ourselves as we are we can flow with life.