Alison Watros, Executive Director and Founder of Windhaven House
I have always been a big fan of the underdog.
In winning the battle of addiction, we are all underdogs. The disease wants to win, and the odds are against us. The disease tells us things like “It wasn’t that bad,” “It will be different this time,” and “I will just have a drink since alcohol wasn’t my problem.”
The funny thing about addiction is that we are the only ones who can diagnose ourselves as addicts. Doctors, judges, and family members can tell us we have a problem and need help, but until we are armed with these facts and believe them, we will have a hard time recovering.
Therefore, I love what I get to do every day.
I get the wonderful opportunity to witness people get well. I get to see the underdog come out. I get to watch people come back from near death. There is no better feeling for me than when I see someone have the psychic change described in the “Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous.” Watching someone’s eyes regain a sparkle as their whole outlook on life improves is a spiritual experience for me every time. One of my favorite occurrences at Windhaven is when a woman arrives who is not quite sure she can (or wants) to do this work.
Overwhelmed clients who just discharged from residential treatment need extra support.
When a client has been to many treatment centers and sober living environments, she fears she will relapse. Our Windhaven staff immediately begin to pour into her. They help her with her struggles, as many of our team have been where she has been.
Together we build a solid foundation of trust. We walk with our clients every step of the way.
Recovery is not easy; it is hard work. Some women come in with difficult attitudes that could get them kicked out of a traditional sober living setting. However, eventually, change starts to happen.
Finally, these underdogs begin to talk, look, and act differently.
These are the woman most people think don’t stand a chance. They are the underdogs I love to see, and I get a buzz watching their changes emerge.
It is such a joy to watch our Windhaven alumni succeed in life.
Seeing them build their dreams is a privilege. Watching these women get married, have children, and share the message of recovery is a beautiful experience I am glad I did not miss.
Alison is the founder and CEO of Windhaven House, and Co- Founder of Windhaven Counseling Center. She oversees daily operations, markets the program, and builds and maintains relationships with substance use disorder providers. She has a passion for helping women sustain long term recovery from the disease of alcoholism and drug addiction. Alison has presented on topics of substance use prevention and treatment, social norms, drug endangered children, drug trends, and recovery to thousands both nationally and locally.