On Recovery

There’s a known stigma against those who suffer from alcoholism and addiction. There’s also a stigma against twelve step programs (they are often described as “cults”). Both in and out of the recovery community there’s the belief that a traditional twelve step program is the *only* way to be in recovery.

Many of the studies of the program’s success rate loosely measure efficacy based on self-reporting from folks who rely on the program heavily, but what about all of the people who come in and out of the rooms of recovery who take a different path?

What about those who take a secular approach to the program–which is still considered controversial in progressive spaces? What about those who worked a program for a period of time, got what they needed, and then moved on…but still are in recovery? What if there is more to recovery than “go to meetings,” and where are the voices of those who are seeking out healing in spaces beyond what the cultural narrative around addiction dictates? The current misunderstandings about what recovery “should” look like (and what a person in recovery looks like) further drive people away from potentially exploring these tools as a resource, and undermine support for those who are struggling with this chronic mental illness.

This project aims to explore and challenge those misconceptions and humanize the people who are in recovery (with a highlight on those who approach recovery in creative, unexpected ways) through photography and interview. By challenging these ideas, not only does this project aim to aid in the de-stigmatization of addiction, but also open up the idea that there’s more than one path to healing.

You may be a good participant if…

  • You’re 18+. You must be able and willing to legally consent to both your photo and interview being used in this project.
  • You’re in recovery, preferably with at least six months of sober time.
  • You have at least some familiarity with the traditional twelve step programs, even if it is not the path you have ultimately chosen to support you in the long-term.
  • You are willing to be photographed and sign a standard model release. If you prefer to maintain your anonymity/privacy, we can come up with creative ways to not show your face/exact likeness in the photos. Let’s discuss it!
  • You are willing to be photographed in your home and/or a space that is meaningful and unique to you.
  • You are willing to be interviewed.
  • You are within an hour drive of PDX metro

There is no compensation other than the best shots provided to you (digitally) once the project is launched. If it makes you feel better, I’m not making a profit on this either.

Have additional questions? 

Check the FAQ, and if you haven’t found your answer, hit me up.

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Interested in being a participant? 

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