Family support group meetings now available at Crossroads Food Pantry

Published 7:00 am Friday, November 11, 2016

The Crossroads Distribution Center in Poplarville has generously served those in need since 2006. Today, the food pantry opens its doors to help more people with their Family Support Group meetings.

Every Thursday at 6 p.m., Linda Guidry, a volunteer at Crossroads, leads a group meeting to help those who family members or loved ones that abuse drugs.

“When people come to these meetings, I want to make sure they feel comfortable,” Guidry said. “I know it can be embarrassing to talk about, but I like to provide an atmosphere where that is not the case.”

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Although Guidry has never led a support group like this, she does have relatable experience.

“I am just a mother with a child that had a problem and I was blessed that someone helped me. It made my life so much easier knowing that I am not alone and that someone was there to help me through it, so I am trying to pass that on,” Guidry said.

Addiction can be hard on families and can cuase people to have negative thoughts, Guidry said. To eliminate those negative thoughts, the meetings are arranged in a group setting, which Guidry said is a positive atmosphere in which to discuss an issue like a loved one’s addiction.

“When someone is dealing with a family member who has an addiction, it’s easy for them to blame themselves or hate. I am here to tell them that it is not their fault. Hate the disease and not the person,” Guidry said. “It is not up to you to carry the burden.”

Meetings help participants realize that they are not alone and that they can come together to learn how to cope and resolve their common problem.

If participants are not prepared to speak with Guidry in a group setting, she offers a flexible schedule to help those one-on-one.

“I don’t want people to brush it under the rug because it won’t go away. Don’t be ashamed of your family members and do not hate them. Help them,” Guidry said.

Guidry’s top priority during these meetings is that nothing said during the meetings leave the room. Everything that is discussed is confidential.

Guidry recommends that anyone who might be dealing with addiction in their family or life to try one meeting because, “a trouble shared is a trouble solved,” Guidry said.

Anyone interested in participating in a meeting can simply walk-in on Thursdays at 6 p.m. The Crossroads Distribution Center is located at 176 Old Crossroads West, Poplarville.