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, May 14, 2020

Flowing with Life

Lately the world seems upside down.

Depending on the news channel you watch or the radio station you listen to or what newspaper you read you'll get conflicting reports about the corona virus. One so-called authority tells us we need to do this. Another so-called authority will tell us that we must do that. Some people require that we wear masks in their business. Others are totally against them. What's a person to believe?

I notice now that restrictions are being slowly lifted there's been absolutely no decline or decrease in new cases of the corona virus in Arizona; nor has the death rate decreased – in fact it has increased each day. How do we – the ordinary citizen – interpret what our leaders are doing with the restrictions that they're putting in effect?

By asking this question I in no way suggest that I have a better answer. Because I don't. The job our leaders are doing is a complex one; even the medical authorities cannot agree what's the best course. Political factions on both sides are equally baffled by this disease and have no ready answer. However, that doesn't keep them from suggesting an answer. And hope they might win votes if they somehow happen to get lucky and be right.

But as a person in recovery for 29 years I do have a few ideas of how we can get through this thing relatively sane. And one thing we must do, is to learn to flow with life. Because this is not the end of the world. The world will rebound, but it probably will never go back to being as it was. It may actually evolve into something better such as new medical discoveries and some breakthrough ideas about how to deal with pandemics and diseases. We really don't know.

When I say we must flow with life, I mean we must take this new challenge in stride. We must make the best of our circumstances and follow whatever medical authorities suggest we do that also fits in with our personal beliefs or standards. The reality is that none of us have faced anything like this in our lifetimes – and we must do everything we can to remain calm, to stay healthy, and hope and pray that science finds a solution to this deadly disease.

And for those of us in recovery, who at one time picked up a drug or drink over the slightest setback, we must use the principles of recovery that we have learned in the past few years and meet this challenge as we have met other challenges that could threaten our recovery. After all, we must realize that there is nothing unnatural about this pandemic – they have been occurring since the beginning of time and they will continue to happen as long as life exists on our planet.

We can use most any excuse to get drunk and make things worse. Or we can learn to flow with life and practice the principles we have learned to this point to get through this current and terrible disease.

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