Alumni Story | Joe M

November 2, 2020

My name is Joseph and I am a born-and-raised Austinite. My struggles with drug and alcohol began at age twelve. Though I didn’t know it at the time, I believe I was just trying to find a place to fit in and feel okay, something that didn’t come easily due to being adopted. At the age of seventeen, I was sent to a residential treatment center in Louisiana, followed by sober living.

Still fighting the hands that wanted to help at every turn, I was eventually discharged early and sent back to Austin. Initially with reluctance, I joined Alpha 180 as one of the youngest students they had admitted. I had been to other sober livings prior, but little did I know that the support of a community of college-aged friends holding me accountable was the key to success.

I never thought that I was going to complete high school, live past eighteen, or repair the relationships that I had ruined throughout my use. Once I stepped through the doors of Alpha 180 a transformative experience sparked within. Through discomfort, vulnerability and unwavering peer accountability, I grew.

Through my time at Alpha 180 I found lifelong friends, mentors, and true examples of how a program like this can really turn a person’s life around. My journey at Alpha was not a straight line. There were ups and downs and times when I wanted to leave or take the easy way out. The clinical staff, residential staff and other students were key to leading me in the right direction, and also bringing me back to reality when everything started to blur.

Whilst in Alpha 180, I graduated high school through University High School, enrolled in my first semester at Austin Community College, and began my professional career – all while I repaired relationships with my family and friends. Alpha 180 has been there for me at my lowest and highest points. Today I am an independent man in sobriety, a son, a friend, a colleague and, finally, myself. I no longer feel lost and am proud of the life I have built through the Twelve Steps and my recovery community.