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!

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