In my addiction, I was forced to betray my values on a daily basis as an act of survival. I never felt comfortable as the kid who was getting arrested, tearing his family apart, and stealing from friends. Those were some of my actions, but that is not who I felt I was in my heart. The truth was that I wanted love, acceptance, and to be okay with who I was. I was trying my best to get these fundamental needs met the best way I knew at that time. Living in this contradiction may have been the most painful part of my addiction.

At Alpha 180, we approach every member as a person who genuinely wants to live with who they feel they are in their heart. We don’t see our program as a place where people come to comply to the program and rules that we have set. Our job is to help them move from their survival skills to a life that is in alignment with their heart. We believe in transformation over compliance.

The clients at Alpha 180 truly do transform…We believe this is brought about in a multitude of ways. Firstly, we value the peer to peer relationship above all else which means it’s our job to foster a healthy community where it’s safe to trust their peers. When people learn that it’s safe to trust the people around them, they learn they can trust themselves which results in them learning to trust where their heart is guiding them. Frequently, when someone makes a mistake, I will tell them it probably wasn’t the best idea but I’m more interested in how it felt in their heart when they were doing something they might not should have. I believe this builds awareness around what feels right to them and allows them to build trust in their heart. At Alpha 180, we believe long-term recovery must involve the journey from the head to the heart and we facilitate the journey.

About the Author

Connor Bowie, LMSW, has worked in collegiate recovery and adolescent treatment for the past two years and has developed a passion for helping young people find recovery. He is passionate about helping young people realize that recovery isn’t a chore but a gift that they have been given. Connor believes in helping the clients find the upside of recovery through fostering a healthy community, holding them accountable, and showing them that recovery is truly a lot of fun.