How is Reimagining Recovery different from other support groups?

  • “Take what works and leave the rest” is the main premise rather than an after-thought. We don’t offer a “prescription” for recovery. We recognize that it looks different for everyone, and thus aim to empower the individual to make choices that foster their overall wellness. Recovery is not linear. There are no “steps” here.
  • We openly talk about harm reduction. Harm reduction is engaging in your problematic behavior but in a way that causes less damage. It can mean things like needle exchanges and safe injection sites. It can also mean drinking a few too many but deciding not to drive. It can also mean using the Sinclair method for alcohol reduction, which involves taking a pill called naltrexone about an hour before imbibing in your drink, which is said to cause an extinction of cravings.
  • We recognize that the personal is political and hold space for talking about how oppression in all forms influences and shapes almost every aspect of our lives.
  • We believe that mental health is health. We take a holistic approach to wellness, and recognize that mind and body cannot be separated from one another. Thus we hope to incorporate somatic (body-centered) techniques where appropriate, and prioritize mental health as openly and eagerly as our physical health.
  • We believe that addiction or substance/alcohol use disorders (whatever you choose to call the pattern of ritualized compulsive self-soothing) are borne out of a desire to escape unbearable feelings. We as humans are hardwired to want to avoid pain, emotional as well as physical, and there should be no shame in this. We don’t take a particular stance on whether or not it is a disease, but affirm that it is certainly not a moral failing.
  • All of our events are different, and some diverge from the traditional support-group format, as in: mindfulness walks, art groups, journaling groups, activism, and more: We are, after all, a neurodiversity club not just a group!
  • One of the reasons that every event is different (even events with the same topic & lesson plan) is that each group is a spontaneous experiment in collaborative learning. We co-create this space together, from coming up with curriculum, to deciding what we’ll focus on during any given meeting. We agree with the philosopher Seneca’s observation that “By teaching, one learns”– Thus we’re expanding to have rotating peer facilitators, which also takes the weight off of any one person’s back, and also deconstructs the hierarchies we’ve become accustomed to, by equalizing the distribution of power.
  • We always aspire to mutuality. Facilitators are peers and engage in the discussion as peers, and are thus full participants as well as gently guiding the conversation. We’re all about breaking down binaries, including the teacher/student dichotomy.

How much do your events cost?

All of our events are free, with donations gladly accepted. $1-5 is traditional, but there is absolutely no pressure to contribute financially– your presence is enough! Accessibility and inclusion are two of our main values.

What are some of those other values?

Organizational transparency, personal confidentiality, community, self- and other- empowerment, consent, social justice, diversity, group sovereignty, (radical) acceptance, respect, vulnerability, reciprocity, intersectionality, compassion, and authenticity.
We are also forever striving to be: Non-hierarchical, anti-racist, LGBTQ2A+ inclusive, trauma-informed, introvert-friendly, open-minded, and ever-evolving (More details to come).

I never carry cash. Can I donate online somewhere?

We don’t have 501(c) status yet, so we can’t give you a tax receipt, but you can paypal money to agent964 @ gmail . com (without the spaces) in the meantime. You can also support us through Patreon.

When and where do you meet?

-Every Monday at 7:00-8:30 PM at Taborspace ( 5441 SE Belmont St, Portland, OR 97215 )

-Every 2nd and 4th Sunday 1:00-3:00 PM at Q Center ( 4115 N Mississippi Ave, Portland, Oregon 97217 )

-Every 4th Wednesday at Alano Club PDX 7:00-9:00 PM ( 909 NW 24th Ave, Portland, Oregon 97210 )

Are there plans to expand?

Yes! We hope to inspire others to start similar experiments in their communities. Contact reimaginingrecovery@gmail.com if you would like to start a meeting where you are.

What are events like? What should I expect?

Every event is different! However, the general idea is to make space for everyone to contribute to the conversation. The meetings are generally more dialogic, and cross-talk is encouraged and in fact the norm. They are not lectures, they are spontaneous experiments in collaboration. We aim to break down the teacher/student binary, and to come together as peers, recognizing that each individual has contributions and wisdom to offer to the group.

Is there childcare?

Unfortunately, not at this time. email reimaginingrecovery@gmail.com if you are interested in volunteering to change this.

Do I have to participate?

It is completely up to you what you want to share, and there is never any pressure. In fact this is what many people choose to do the first time. Whatever makes you comfortable.

…More to come!

Safer and Saner Self-Medication With Cannabis

Monday, MAY 6th 7:00-8:30 PM Taborspace 5441 SE Belmont St, Portland, Oregon 97215

FREE, please share!

We all self-medicate, to one degree or another. Excessive exercise, television, retail therapy, alcohol, coffee just to get through the day.

As recreational marijuana grows in popularity, inevitably more and more people figure out that cannabis affords some relief from their symptoms, and start to self medicate. I want this conversation to shed light on the stigma against simply wanting relief from pain, both emotional and physical.

Is self medication inherently harmful? We’ll talk about the pros and cons and how to utilize it more safely, effectively, and responsibly.

We’ll also go over the concept of dialectical abstinence, for those of us wanting to curb their usage. Dialectical abstinence is a synthesis of the ideas of harm reduction and abstinence. It accounts for the fact that recovery is not linear, and takes the shame out of (re)lapses.

We’ll also have a crash course on terpenes, learn about our body’s own endocannabinoid system, a bit about botany and history, the benefits of CBD, basics like the difference between Indica and Sativa, going on tolerance breaks, microdosing, safer modes of ingestion, using it in lieu of harder drugs to reduce usage, how to choose the strain for you, the research about its effectiveness for PTSD and other conditions, and more! If you have a particular question you’d like to discuss, post it in the comments! Reimagining Recovery groups are collaborative and conversational, so bring your own knowledge and experience with you!

The facilitator is not a medical professional and does not recommend any course of treatment, or give any advice. We encourage caution when making the choice to take any mind altering substance.

Depending on the response, this may become a short series of groups. Stay tuned.

Trauma, Memory, and the Brain

Please share!

Wednesday, MARCH 27th 7:00-9:00 PM Alano Club PDX ( 909 NW 24th Ave, Portland, Oregon 97210 )

Trauma causes physical changes in the brain. It is indeed a largely physiological rather than psychological process, which has demonstrable effects throughout our entire nervous systems. Much of this process has to do with the sympathetic nervous system and the fight/flight/freeze/fawn response.

When the body is trapped in this cycle, it causes ripple effects for almost every aspect our selves and the lens through which we view the world.

Specifically we’ll learn about the roles of the prefrontal cortex, anterior cingulate cortex, and the amygdala, and how they interact in response to crisis and perceived danger.

We’ll learn how traumatic memories are stored via a completely different process than normal memories, and discuss how these memories can be “trapped” in the body, what that feels like, and why somatic (body centered) approaches are particularly useful.

We’ll provide a basic understanding of this process, discuss how it manifests in our daily lives, and look at the political ramifications of trauma myths and misconceptions.

This talk will be based on the research of Bessel van der Kolk and Peter Levine primarily, as well as referencing Healing Trauma: Attachment, Mind, Body, and Brain edited by Marion Solomon and Daniel Siegel.

This event is FREE and put together by Reimagining Recovery: A Neurodiversity Club.

This is a PEER-TO-PEER group. The instructor/facilitator has no special training besides being a lifelong autodidact and voracious bookworm. See www.reimaginingrecovery.org to read her story.

Like or follow our page to keep up with upcoming events and groups!


PayPal agent964@gmail if you’d like to donate.

Reimagining Recovery Art Group!

MARCH 11th, 2019 7:00-8:30 PM Taborspace 5441 Southeast Belmont Street, Portland, Oregon 97215

FREE! No experience needed!

Reimagining Recovery’s first peer to peer art group at Taborspace!

Bring your own supplies if you have them (and sharing or donating are very much welcome and appreciated), but we’ll also have various other art supplies available to use.

We’ll announce a theme or prompt for the group but you’re also welcome to bring your own projects (maybe leave your welding set up at home, though…) I’ll also bring a couple coloring books if that appeals to you more.

Check out www.reimaginingrecovery.org to read more about the project and the facilitator. And don’t forget to like our follow our page to keep up with future events!

Hope to see you there!

Event: Confronting Ableism

MARCH 10th, MARCH 24th 2019 Q Center 4115 N Mississippi Ave, Portland, Oregon 97217


Ableism is discrimination or prejudice against people with disabilities (including invisible ones like PTSD, bipolar, and executive dysfunction– all of which the facilitator lives with).

Ableism comes in many forms, from intellectual elitism, to lack of accessibility protections, to stereotyping to systemic and institutional erasure, med shaming, cluster-B personality shaming, the anti vaccine movement, “sapiosexuality” and so much more.

We’ll share our personal experiences with ableism (including internalized ableism) in our daily lives and strategies for confronting it. We may also may explore some of the more difficult implications like the spectre of eugenics. We’ll also learn about the medical vs. Social models of disability.

Come with your own questions and ideas, this is an open conversation in which everyone is invited to share their thoughts and experiences (providing they’re not hateful, of course).


This is a continuation of our first Combating Ableism group; We want to keep the conversation going for at least a second and third session. You don’t need to have attended the first to come to the second or any subsequent events, though it’s recommended that you try to commit to as many as you can so as to create more of a container for the group. However, we understand that we all have limited energy and time to commit to things, and it’s hard to predict what each day will face us with, so I’ll try to organize it such that there will be a bit of overlap and continuity.

Please feel free to add suggestions for activities, journal or discussion questions, or any other idea you’ve got for the group. I’ll also periodically post links to articles or video lectures as I find them; you’re welcome to as well!