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.

Friday, July 31, 2020

A dying man's Gratitude

Gratitude is the sweet spot in recovery. 

And mine was renewed earlier this week when I got a call from a voice I didn't recognize.  He insisted that I knew him and that he'd worked for me during the early months of 2012 when were starting our State licensed treat program.  But for the life of me I couldn't place the name he gave me.

Finally I asked him if he had a nickname - and bingo!  Just like that I knew who he was.  His nickname is "Johnny" - a name he used because he was from Haiti and his Haitian name, while close to Johnny was spelled much differently - so that's how he got the nickname-it was easier to pronounce.  But back to gratitude.

He called to tell me he was in hospice and had - at most - a year to live.  He'd developed pancreatic cancer and the doctors caught it too late.

He went on to tell me that his stay with us at TLC had changed his life.  He'd been clean since he left in 2012.  He worked in a treatment program for five years.  He found a woman and had developed a long-term relationship. He was totally positive and grateful for his life even though he had less than a year to live.  He sounded accepting and peaceful.

And I left the call with real gratitude for the life I have now.  Thank you, Johnny, for the call.