What’s Is My Why?
I entered the world of counseling with the desire to walk beside young men on the journey to experience freedom. I’ve witnessed time after time young people grow into the person they were created to be via the 12-Steps. They’ve gained true freedom, a true sense of belonging, and the experience that proves anything and everything is possible. At Alpha 180 we desire to use the college campus to further this freedom.
We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness. (p. 83, BB)
Many young people in recovery continually receive direction to “stay away from college campuses and focus on recovery,” or “don’t add any stressors right now, just focus on staying clean.” There is certainly a time and place for this pointed focus to exist. Treatment provides a safe container to get clean from chemicals and learn that there is a new and better solution to life. At Alpha 180 we provide a space to take the next step of slowly breaking down the walls of that container and expose how life in recovery is free. As we like to put it, you are now free to move about the campus.
…and for the first time in our lives stood among people who seemed to understand, the sense of belonging was tremendously exciting. (p. 57, 12×12)
Before you read any further, answer this: why did you first start doing drugs? A lot of y’all out there said something like, “to fit in.” Now, what did you want most in early recovery? To fit in. Stay with me. What does the incoming freshman or the new kid on campus want? To fit in. This desire to have a sense of belonging is innate and healthy. I’ve often observed people newly in recovery create great communities in their new environments. Then, when it becomes time to move from that community to a new one–like college–the fear of creating a new community can be paralyzing. Alpha 180 offers this new healthy community for the recently recovered new kid on campus. Alpha 180 becomes the place to fit in.
Assuming we are spiritually fit, we can do all sorts of things alcoholics are not ‘supposed’ to do. (p. 101, BB)
My senior year of college I sat on a panel for incoming freshmen. My advice to them; “during the first few weeks say ‘yes’ to everyone’s invitation, because you never know who will become your community.” This parallels our approach at Alpha 180; recovery is not a list of things you can’t do, but the freedom to say, “yes.” Recovery provides the freedom to do all the things you’ve always wanted to, but have been too preoccupied with lesser matters (i.e. getting high) to pursue successfully. We can apply the wise words of CS Lewis to the journey of recovery “We are half-hearted creatures… like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea.” Recovery doesn’t have to be mud pies. Alpha 180 wants to encourage your recovery to be a holiday at sea.
May you be truly free to enjoy all that college has to offer.
By: Jesse Gable, LPC | Clinical Director