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.

Monday, November 16, 2020


I was watching a news show this weekend and the host was talking to a psychiatrist who stated that, according to a study done during the quarantine that one out of four college students had considered suicide.  And that was because they were so depressed about the pandemic and how the quarantine had limited their lives.  No parties.  Wearing masks.  No hanging out with their friends, etc.

And I found that somewhat shocking.  I'm still trying to understand it because a lot of bad things happen in life and not having fun or freedom for a few weeks is not - to me - that big of a deal.  

After thinking about this for a while the only conclusion I could come up with is that these students had never faced any kind of adversity or had never been told no.  They always got what they wanted when they wanted it.  They had never developed the resiliance that comes with facing tough challenges.  They probably never had to work or take care of themselves.

In the recovery field we encounter many people who have lived rough lives.  They suffered sexual and physical abuse in their early years.  They spent time in foster care and juvenile halls.  As soon as they were old enough they graduated to prison.  Yet they became tough people, people who knew that life had its ups and downs.  Of course they didn't become tough overnight.  They tried to escape their challenges by using alcohol and other drugs until they found that that cure didn't solve their problems either.

The only way we get tougher is by facing the tough challenges in life.  While this pandemic is terrible, those of us who survive will learn to value to our lives and appreciate each day we have been given.

We'll come through these challenges stronger, better, and more grateful for what we have.