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, June 25, 2017

Happy Birthday Ralph

Today I witnessed a true miracle at a twelve-step meeting. I had the privilege of listening to a man speak who had been sober 43 years. Half of the people in the room weren't even alive when he took his last drink.

He said the secret to his sobriety was, that he "didn't drink and he didn't die."

I've known this man all 26+ years of my sobriety. And he's served as my sponsor for about 20 of those 26 years.

He's always been there for me, through thick and thin. He helped me get through the emotional issues of losing family members. A divorce. Financial setbacks. And the myriad other issues that a recovering alcoholic encounters as he progresses through recovery.

I've met many recovering people who object to the idea of having a sponsor. But It's hard to fix something that's broken with something that's broken. All of our good thinking is what got us addicts and alcoholics into the place we are today.

And if we're traveling through the twelve-step programs without a sponsor then the only advice we're probably getting is from ourselves. And we all know how well our good thinking worked when we were out there using.

All of our best thinking got us in trouble with the law, cost us our jobs and maybe our marriages, and possibly even our health.

So my recommendation is that if you're in recovery find a sponsor. The easy way to find one is to look around the rooms and find someone who has what you want. And if he doesn't work out, fire him and get someone else. Keep looking into you find the person you want, the person who might help save your life.

That's what I did.

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