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.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Recovery Blessing

Tonight I had an experience that I never would've had, had I not gotten sober. I had the pleasure and privilege of watching my 18-year-old granddaughter graduate from high school. The ceremony was held at Wells Fargo Arena at ASU in Tempe.

I'd been sober about seven years when she was born. And because of her demeanor and comportment, she became one of my favorite granddaughters. She always did her best to excel in school. She stayed away from drugs and those who use drugs. She didn't drink alcohol. And she never got into any serious relationships. She was a loving and respectful child who never asked for anything.

She's already passed her exams to go into the Air Force and probably will be entering the service sometime in the fall. It didn't surprise me that she did that.  Because she always had a desire to be independent and take care of herself.

When I first got sober I really didn't think about anybody but myself. I never thought about having grandchildren. I never thought about seeing them graduate from school. The only thing I wanted when I got sober and clean was for the pain to stop. And it did as soon as I stopped putting alien substances into my body.

But for those of you who are newly sober or in your first years of recovery I'd like to point out that there are a lot more benefits and life – beyond recovery. 

And that's when we get to see our families blossom and grow. I've seen my daughters get married. I've seen them have children. I've seen them succeed in life in so many ways that I was unable to because I was such an addict. The best I could do was drag myself out of the house every day and live as a predator, trying to get enough money for the drugs and alcohol I needed to kill my pain.

I never dreamed there were so many blessings living in recovery.