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Avatar universal

how confidential are na meetings?

Hi all, I have a quick question...last night I (with hubby in tow) attempted my first na meeting.  I live in a relatively small community. Not too small, but small enough that as a business owner I have met most on some occasions throughout the years. I walked into a meeting last night and standing in the corner of the room stood my old landlord for the building I was renting for my store. I am ashamed to say this but I was outta there in 2.5 seconds flat. As far as I know,she did not see me. A man stopped me on the way out the door (he was very nice) and I told him I thought it was an overeaters anonymous meeting. I am sure he probably thought I was lying as this addiction battle has led me to be too skinny if anything! Anyways, he invited me to stay anyway and I politely declined.

I know this may seem ridiculous, but my old landlord is truly the town gossip and I really panicked. I am guarded about my addiction because I have a girl scout troop, volunteer at my daughter's school,etc.. am I being ridiculous? I felt stupid when I got home about running like that!  Are na meetings confidential?  I know my circumstances aren't special in any way but I suppose I wasn't prepared to see someone I knew so intimately on a business level.

Please, please, I need the encouragement to go back! Thanks everyone, Michelle
18 Responses
Avatar universal
Meetings are supposed to be totally anonymous. So unless your husband is an addict as well, he should not be attending closed meetings. Only open/speaker meetings. So the landlord may be a gossip but unless it is common knowledge that she is an addict too, she would be outing herself by stating you were there.

Don't let someone you know blow your opportunity for recovery and support. Believe me, everyone has been in your shoes at one point and are worried about knowing someone there.
2083449 tn?1381358308
Hi Michelle, yes NA meetings are supposed to be anonymous and confidential.  Did you ever stop and think why your old landlord might be attending a meeting? She may be in the same boat you are.  I can certainly understand how you might feel.  Is there perhaps another meeting you might attend?  If not, I would Definately say to go back and give the meeting a chance.  Hold your head up high, this is really nothing to be ashamed of.  I think that the benefits you will gain will make it worth it.  I hope you will consider going back. I don't believe you will regret it.  Take care!
6990909 tn?1435279416
Hi There!  Here's the thing, he is there for the same reason you are there.  If anything, he would most likely respect you for stepping up and asking for help.  They are suppose to be anonymous.  We are all there for the same reason - to seek support and to provide support.  It is a founding principle of AA/NA.  Kind of like Vegas, what happens at NA, stays at NA.  Please don't let this keep you away from an amazing community of folks who understand and support you without judgment.  If you find that you just cannot attend, then please find one in another community - please give it a try! God bless!
Avatar universal
Thanks merri, I had NO IDEA my husband could not go with me!!! Thank you for saving me that embarrassment....I suppose I never really thought about why she was there, I really did panic like a child. I felt pretty dumb when I got home....Michelle
Avatar universal
Thank you sonrissa, those are truly the words I need to hear! Michelle
Avatar universal
Thank you jugglin, I knew all the amazing people on this forum would give me the insight I need to put my big girl pants on and get back in there...and sonrissa, they have a meeting every night at that location at 8pm. Thanks again jugglin, God speed, Michelle
Avatar universal
Don't worry about it. I would feel the same way for sure. It is new to you so you are like a deer I headlights right now.  Next time won't be so bad. And it would've been ok with your husband. If they discovered he is not an addict, they would've asked him to step out or let him stay if everyone was ok with it.

Look at the schedule and see which ones are open meetings. For AA I know Saturday night is usually open speaker meetings around me.  Your husband could definitely go then. They are very interesting and it is great to hear other peoples' stories. You see you are definitely not alone I what you have done.
Avatar universal
Hi all, okay here goes! I am 37 years old, never gotten addicted to anything I did, maybe food! I have taken 1 to two Vicodins 7.5/325  a day for about two years. I have sever back pain do to early arthritis in my lower back and migraines. I never take more than that, a day. I got a cold the other day, and I had happened not to be taking my meds, so my husband got the bright idea that I am addicted. So now, he has decided, for me, that I am going to stop taking them. I looked on all these sights and see most people are taking over 8 pills in a freakin day! I am freakin pissed that he is reacting in this way, but at the same time, I get it! I understand his concerns, but I feel that I am not abusing it! Maybe I am addicted, to one pill a day, if that is possible, but I, at no time, need to take more to get relief! One still slams me! So, because, I am upset with his reaction and calling me a drug addict, he says that proves his opinion. Look, I have never been one to let someone control me, and by him doing this, it just makes me wanna be outrageous! He hid them from me, but I know where they are, but I am not taking them. Gosh, it really makes me mad that he is hiding them from me like I am totally going overboard and doping myself! Wow! Look, if I am a drug addict, the way I feel about it is, that it needs to be my freakin decision to stop, and I need to, want to! RIGHT? And as of right now, I feel that I am in no means harming myself or anyone else! Nor, do I feel that I need or want to stop! Maybe, I sound like a freaking addict, but seriously, it could be anything that someone decides for me that I need to stop. Say, if I was drinking 6 glasses of milk a day, and he came along and decided, "no that's to much, you can't have that!" I would react the same freakin way. I would probably drink freakin 10 glasses! I have always been this way! I do not like to be controlled! I completely understand to dangers of this drug and would never react that way, do to the dangers! I see all these people on here that take 8-30 freakin pills and I get scared to take more than two in a freakin day, I would be totally freaking the Frick out if I even took 4, let alone 8-30 in one freakin day. I sometimes get anxiety if I take two in one day, thinking maybe my heart will stop or something!  So what the frick! Yeah, I have wondered if addiction on one to two Norcos could cause withdrawal if you stop. So I did some research, and found that it is not that easy to get addicted to norco if you take it the way the doctor prescribes, due to it leaving your system within a few hours. You have to take way more in a day to get a physical addiction. Okay, I will give it to him, maybe a dependency could happen, and you know what, I will admit, that is probably true! But come on a physical reaction! The only reason I would ever decide to stop, myself, is if I saw that I could no longer continue my normal day life, or needed to take more and more to achieve relief. At this time, I don't feel that I have a drug problem.
Avatar universal
Hi all, okay here goes! I am 37 years old, never gotten addicted to anything I did, maybe food! I have taken 1 to two Vicodins 7.5/325  a day for about two years. I have sever back pain do to early arthritis in my lower back and migraines. I never take more than that, a day. I got a cold the other day, and I had happened not to be taking my meds, so my husband got the bright idea that I am addicted. So now, he has decided, for me, that I am going to stop taking them. I looked on all these sights and see most people are taking over 8 pills in a freakin day! I am freakin pissed that he is reacting in this way, but at the same time, I get it! I understand his concerns, but I feel that I am not abusing it! Maybe I am addicted, to one pill a day, if that is possible, but I, at no time, need to take more to get relief! One still slams me! So, because, I am upset with his reaction and calling me a drug addict, he says that proves his opinion. Look, I have never been one to let someone control me, and by him doing this, it just makes me wanna be outrageous! He hid them from me, but I know where they are, but I am not taking them. Gosh, it really makes me mad that he is hiding them from me like I am totally going overboard and doping myself! Wow! Look, if I am a drug addict, the way I feel about it is, that it needs to be my freakin decision to stop, and I need to, want to! RIGHT? And as of right now, I feel that I am in no means harming myself or anyone else! Nor, do I feel that I need or want to stop! Maybe, I sound like a freaking addict, but seriously, it could be anything that someone decides for me that I need to stop. Say, if I was drinking 6 glasses of milk a day, and he came along and decided, "no that's to much, you can't have that!" I would react the same freakin way. I would probably drink freakin 10 glasses! I have always been this way! I do not like to be controlled! I completely understand to dangers of this drug and would never react that way, do to the dangers! I see all these people on here that take 8-30 freakin pills and I get scared to take more than two in a freakin day, I would be totally freaking the Frick out if I even took 4, let alone 8-30 in one freakin day. I sometimes get anxiety if I take two in one day, thinking maybe my heart will stop or something!  So what the frick! Yeah, I have wondered if addiction on one to two Norcos could cause withdrawal if you stop. So I did some research, and found that it is not that easy to get addicted to norco if you take it the way the doctor prescribes, due to it leaving your system within a few hours. You have to take way more in a day to get a physical addiction. Okay, I will give it to him, maybe a dependency could happen, and you know what, I will admit, that is probably true! But come on a physical reaction! The only reason I would ever decide to stop, myself, is if I saw that I could no longer continue my normal day life, or needed to take more and more to achieve relief. At this time, I don't feel that I have a drug problem.
7163794 tn?1457370413
Your reasoning is solid, I too am a business owner in my community but I did not let shame drive me away from going. My business is in one city and my meetings are in the next city. The meetings end with "what u hear here, who u see here, let it stay here" and she should know that. I did run into a customer, even going to the next town and I was mortified until he came up to me and started talking and I realized he's there for the same reason as me!!!! We are not supposed to talk about who is n the meeting. Thinking about that, have u ever heard her referring to certain people as addicts??? Maybe, give her the benefit of the doubt? Do not let this stop u from going to meetings, as the fellowship is beyond believable!
Avatar universal
Hi freakinout, I am sorry to hear your husband is treating you this way, as I would react the same.  Would he take away your diabetic meds etc if that were the case?  Probably not...

However, you are having a pretty strong reaction to this, and only you know why..perhaps you do have a dependency issue that you are not coming to terms with..have you had any physical symptoms since he has taken them from you?  You may or may not with such a small dose, but I would think you might still be feeling a little "off", especially with your guts.  Even a small amount of opiates slow down our digestive tracts.

I do have to say that I disagree with the knowledge you found on the internet about the difficulty with addiction and/or dependence regarding this medication.  Even if our brains are not addicted, it is fact that the body will be.

If your doctor has prescribed this medication to you for back pain long term I feel it is probably no one else's biz, you are correct, but maybe your husband is just looking out for you in his own way. Not sure? Although it is not ideal, this is a great time for you you look at the relationship you have with these meds. I can almost guarantee you that almost all of us began our battle "as prescribed." Just some food for thought.

Good luck and God speed, Michelle.
Avatar universal
Thank you merri, when I want to share my experience, if she is there, do I have to say I bought them illegally?? I just don't know if I could! I'm nervous, but I promise I will try again, maybe not tonight, but Wed eve instead. I knew you all would give me the nudge I needed. Thank you again merri! P.s. did you get my pm? Michelle
Avatar universal
Myote, thank you for your support and great analogy!! I have never heard her speak about an addict, you are right,but she would tell me when other people were late on their rent and stuff, and that made me feel a little weird!! I wasn't always johnny on the spot with my rent so I used to wonder what she said about me...LOL!  I know I need to just get over it, it's just that I would hate for any of the moms in my brownie troop to find out I took illegal pain meds, I love my girls and started the troop three years ago. These mommas have trusted me with their girls in the Montana wilderness, and I would never want to betray that. I am sure I am probably over thinking this..as that's what my sober mind tends to do these days....thanks for letting me rant ladies! I will listen to your advice that it stays in na.  I just needed to hear it a few times! Thanks again moyte, Michelle.
Avatar universal
Something interesting just came to my mind...as I was looking over my post and reading again all that answered, it occurred to me that I said something very offensive in my original post.  I stated that I figured the gentleman that caught me at the door assumed I was lying because I was not overweight. You do not need to be overweight to have compulsive eating habits. I am ashamed and reacted like many others when they think of a drug addiction.

LESSON LEARNED.  Michelle
1416133 tn?1351126817
I think you are going to be one of the lucky ones, hopefullycleanagain, and you're going to get through this addiction/recovery and become an even better person because of it.  Now be the strong woman that you are, and get the aftercare you need.

I am rooting for you :)
Avatar universal
Yes, he is looking out for me, but I feel like he is severely over reacting! I know my body, and I have a anxiety attack if I even try to take one and a half. I start to panic, so I just don't see myself upping my does to become completely out of control. If the meds are to strong, I don't like that feeling, and really really start to panic.
Avatar universal
I live in a town of 3000, I have contracted here for 23 years. I totally relate to how you feel. My old dealer drove by and stopped in the street when I was hiding eggs for Easter, to say hi. I saw a 12 step member at the bank yesterday. There is ones grocery store, I can't avoid people. I own a house, go to school functions and my psych doctor is there and our kids are in a play together. I have always had a good work reputation and no problem finding work. I tell you this only to explain that I got so low on opiates, I stopped caring what anyone thought and started figuring out what I really thought. I fessed up, asked for help, everywhere I went. When I told my banker about my addiction, she sighed and started talking about her sister's battle. I told some clients and they were so supportive, people just want us to be better. I was surprised at how that accountability lead to support that has kept me accountable. I figured if I spoke up and didn't heal, then I was screwed. I was gonna lose everything if I relapsed and was gonna die if I kept using. Set yourself up for success, don't focus on any other option.  It won't matter anymore, it' will be behind you.
Avatar universal
I have to agree with most of what has already been said here. You've gotten some great advice. But I wanna put my two cents in.

I recently started a new job (I work in the restaurant industry & an airframe repair shop as an admin asst, I know...strange combination, but I like it) And in the restaurant work, especially as a server, I'm pretty sure I have at one time or another, served every person I have been in a meeting with. At first it was VERY uncomfortable, and then I finally realized that I had to look at these ppl as I look at myself. Not so much as addicts, but as human beings. And that most of them were attending meetings for the same reason I was...and that was to get a grip, to get control of my life and live it the way I wanted! It's a matter of deciding what is more important. Sure...you can't help but wonder what will be said after you walk out those doors, and I don't mean to sound harsh at all, but it's something you just have to get past. I will never forget walking in and seeing a girl I had worked with. I was a manager of a very prominent steakhouse and she was one of my staff that I had to end up letting go because of drinking...and there she sat...in the intake office. She had gotten her act together and is now an addiction counselor. I ran out that day, determined I would never go back. After a few months though, I did go back, and let me tell ya, she's the best one there!! Addiction does not discriminate. Don't let pride tell you that it does. It happens to the best of us. Those meetings have helped me attain over a year off methadone (dec 31, 2012 was my last dose). Give it a chance...a good one. I wish you the best of luck and I will pray for you :))
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