Crosstalk Kills

Crosstalk kills

Slim Gravy’s hands with NA bracelet and NA handbook.

I want to share how appreciative I am to be part of a vital, therapeutic sub-culture, where I freely examine myself, out loud, often daily, with others who understand what ails me, and who always thank me for sharing—without crosstalk, which kills cognitive processing!

The art of listening is waning in our over-stimulated, fast-paced, attention-deficit, first-world culture. It is a peaceful treasure to be able to attend meetings of like-minded folks, sharing our Recovery process in a safe, anonymous setting, where we speak and listen interruption-free. It sure helps me examine myself on a deeper, more rigorously honest level, what I might not see if I was just thinking about it in my own dysfunctional head.

It dawned on me recently that our cathartic sharing in Narcotics Anonymous is emboldened by the freedom to not be cut off as we cognitively process verbally at our own pace what needs to be internalized, and without the often-disruptive intrusion of crosstalk.

One Twelve-Step group has defined crosstalk as, “…giving advice to others who have already shared, speaking directly to another person rather than to the group and questioning or interrupting the person speaking at the time.”

Members in Narcotics Anonymous meetings are encouraged to avoid “crosstalk,” which means members share their own experiences instead of having other members respond to what they are saying, other than to thank them for sharing. However, individuals are encouraged to have conversations before or after meetings.

Many of us, in our attention-deficit, sound-bite world, are easily distracted when interrupted while making foundational statements necessary to our main point, which we often never get to. This is where Crosstalk kills the cognitive thread! I am thankful for Recovery!

—Slim Gravy

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  1. Louis Ogden says:

    Hi Slim, I’m sorry for what you are going through. I have a related, but different problem. I am a chronic pain patient with a rare disease and the state of Virginia, where I live, has cut off my ability to get my pain meds because my dose is higher than they deem safe. This dose has allowed me to live a normal life for eight years but those years are in jeopardy. I do not feel any euphoria – just relief. I send you my sympathy but I cannot send prayers as I’m not a religious person. I’ve had you on my mind ever since you bravely announced your problem. You may have some memory of me as I wrote you a few years ago about my connection to Clarksdale as my paternal grandfather used to run a tire store there into the 1960s. I seem to remember you knowing of my family member Norvell “Woody” Ogden who now lives in Arkansas. I wish I could send some pictures as I have some of my grandpa and his work truck. Best to you and yours!
    Louis Ogden

    • BILLY HOWELL says:

      Louis, thank you for sharing! I am so sorry about your chronic pain and lack of relief! Breaks my heart! I pray and hope you get relief and peace! Thank you! Blessings! SG

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