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.

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Happy Seven Years, Julie

I was reminded yesterday about how TLC is a vehicle for change for those who want to get sober.

It was when I received a message from a woman named Julie who was thanking me for the opportunity she had during her time at TLC' s Robson house – and her seven years of sobriety. She has stayed in touch over the years and comments periodically about things she reads here and keeps me updated on her recovery.

I always write back to congratulate her because hearing how people are succeeding is one of the best rewards for the work we do at TLC.

The reality is that those who come to TLC, and succeed, must give themselves credit for putting in the hard work that it sometimes takes to remain sober.

It's true that a lot of people wouldn't stay sober if it weren't for the fact that we have 850 beds available for those who are serious about changing their lives. I think one of the reasons that we have a good success rate is that a lot of people are able to get into recovery at TLC without having money. The only reason that many people don't get sober in our society is because it requires insurance or some kind of funds just to get in the door.

But the peer counseling and therapeutic services that we offer are basically the ones that any other treatment program offers. The only difference with us is that 95% of those we take in have zero resources. No insurance. No job. No money. In fact some of them don't have anything but the clothes on their back. And about 40% of them come to us from the court system or the prisons that refer them to us as the place they should go.

While many of the new people who come to us are only looking for a place to to lay their heads and get a few meals, others are on a serious quest to stop the pain of their addictions. And those are the ones who, like this woman, put in the hard work and effort to change their lives.

And those are the ones who reap the rewards.

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