Traditional vs Crosstalk Meetings

There is a new issue entering into the regional organization of NAR-ANON what members may or may not desire in terms of meetings. Myself, I have attended both traditional and crosstalk meetings. The crosstalk meetings are not nearly as common but for my part much more to the point.

Doing the Twelve Steps or Twelve Traditions is something the group member would practice themselves. People coming to the meeting for the first time are looking for immediate help. Many are desperate and have the burning desire to find help. Again, I’ve seen over the years that suggestions from a crosstalk meeting emphasize the importance of moving swiftly in obtaining help or it may be a case of whether or not to have the addict return home. These are only two of a host of issues that may have bearing on the next step in addressing how those directly involved with someone dealing with substance abuse. The more deeply you become in trying to understand addiction, the more you become aware that the path to recovery is extremely difficult not only for the addict but for those caring for recovery. They may have to accept relapse as a strong possibility. There may be times of total disgust and the feeling that all hope is lost.

A crosstalk meeting is not like a traditional meeting. Those attending have in some cases years of dealing with the ups and downs of substance abuse. Group members may have similar experiences and can express suggestions based on their own experience. The suggestion may or may not be helpful but the fact that others have gone through what you are going through is helpful in knowing you’re not alone in meeting these difficult times. Actual real-life stories of what the group members have encountered may in fact provide aid to your times of total loss. You hear stories of success after years of members attending the meetings and over time finding solutions to the many triggers the addict may encounter on the road to recovery.

You have to collect helpful tools much the same as the addict to address how to continue to gain strength and work through whatever the obstacle. Support is vital to both parties.For myself, if you have followed my blog, you will see how important crosstalk was to me in terms of my youngest son and his addiction. We were very fortunate. We listened intently to the suggestions offered and in fact made every effort to take the suggestions and put them into motion. I cannot say our story is the result of the crosstalk meeting but it was a very important factor on how we approached every hurdle that came up. Thirty days of detox we were ready to bring him home. At the suggestion of the group, we contacted the faculty and expressed that he could not you see so return. The facility has an obligation to find another group that deals with rehab. In our case they decided on a facility in Florida that a good success rate of recovery and flee him there. Eighteen months later of IOP (intensive outpatient program) and OP (outpatient) and he was released from the program. He went on to establish residency in Florida, find work and he and another client who had the same amount of clean timeset up residence in a condo in West Palm. He accepted a job at a detox facility as a driver and BHT (Behavior Health Technician). After two years or so he found a fiancé and both decided to return to their home area. I believe the job in the detox is distressful as he saw relapse some many times and the total disinterest in trying to make any effort to regain sobriety. The same held true for his roommate who worked in a rehab who also became distressed at the daily misery he encountered. Listening to their stories of daily happenings made it evident that these were burn out jobs. There are those of course who can deal with what the job requires but, in their case, they were read y to move on. Each having almost five years of sobriety their continued success of staying clean looked very ensuring.

I understand the reasoning of the NAR-ANON regional program but I believe that AA and NA have realized society changes taking place have moved towards more spiritual thinking. The individual is provided the tools such as the Twelve Steps or the Big Book. There is so much more involved with dealing with your needs and those of the one addicted. A crosstalk meeting takes the place of the “meeting after the meeting “which is where the real search for answers may be found. Someone attending a Traditional meeting may not find anything useful to their immediate need and seek help elsewhere when in fact there is wealth of information in the Crosstalk group that may help all concerned. The same holds true at the Traditional meeting but it is difficult for a first-time attendee to talk to strangers during or after the meeting. Hearing the members discussing their situations encourages them to come back.




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