Recovery Connections

John Schwary is CEO of Transitional Living Communities, an 900-bed recovery program he founded in Mesa, Arizona January 9, 1992, when he had a year sober. He's in his 30th 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.

Thursday, September 19, 2019


The biggest difference I saw when I got sober is that problems aren't nearly as large as they used to be.

I remember that when I was drinking and drugging anything that didn't go my way was a big deal. Relationships. Money. A place to live. A job. The weather. My whole life was a convoluted mess and the only way I could deal with things was if I was out of my mind on some type of chemical substance.

But when I finally got sober things changed.

When challenges came into my life it became easier to deal with them because my mind was clear and my faculties intact. When I was using, I had zero tolerance unless things happened exactly the way I wanted.

But after being sober for a few years I began to understand that life has a certain rhythm to it. Sometimes everything goes our way. And sometimes everything seems to be a battle.

When we accept that life doesn't always travel along smoothly we can live with the ups and downs without having to run to the dope house or the liquor store.

When we're sober - and in the state of acceptance the program teaches us - we flow with unpredictability as being as how the universe works.

And we discover that so-called problems are part of the gift we were given at birth.

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