Freak out when I see Nurses at meeting

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    Does anyone else freak out when they see other Nurses, or related type people at meetings? patients!? I know I should take peace in knowing that they are there for the same reason that I am....but I always kinda freak out when I see people that I know professionally. I am very protective of my anonymity and very few people at work know my story. Does anyone else ever feel this way or am I some kind of Self Centered freak?
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  3. 8 Comments so far...

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    I used to feel that way before I really started working on my recovery. I got the the rooms in 1999 for overusing a OTC sleep aid and my own pain meds and going to work impaired. I used those meds to escape from life. I just wanted to hide, I was the queen of isolation. Well I ended up relapsing twice because I did not work on my recovery.

    My clean date is Dec. 31, 2005 now. I hold my head up when I go to meetings because I need to be there to save my life. Those other nurses are there for the same thing. I bet they have or have had the same feelings as you about seeing you at those meetings. My home group meeting has 8 nurses that attend reg. We all know each other even tho we don't work on the same floor. We keep what is said at the meetings AT the meetings.

    Working the steps will help.

    Theresa Just for Today
    Elvish likes this.
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    Keep in mind that they are probably feeling the same way, and they are not judging you, anymore than you are judging them. Also, remember the meaning of anonymity, respect theirs and they will likely respect yours. Sounds like you still may have some shame about being in recovery. When I start thinking that way, I make myself realize that myself and other professionals in meetings are the heroes. They are doing something about their problem, as opposed to the thousands of impaired nurses who are still working and NOT doing anything about their problem. When you run into other recovering professionals at meetings, it is a god given opportunity to develop a support group of people who understand the stress that goes along with being a recovering health care professional. My biggest problem is running into PATIENTS at meetings, which makes me very uncomfortable.
  6. 1
    Quote from chemdepnurse
    My biggest problem is running into PATIENTS at meetings, which makes me very uncomfortable.

    This does make things a bit uncomfortable...especially if you may see them again. You may be able to set the boundaries...but, a patient may not. Too bad there isn't more "closed" support groups for health care professionals.
    sissiesmama likes this.
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    Hi Jenn,

    I can certainly empathize with you on this and my feedback to you would be this...

    This is a perfect example of one of the wonderful reasons that we have sponsors. If you are uncomfortable with sharing at a meeting where you know others, then listen only. If anyone in the room wants to draw their own conclusion as to why you are there, let them. You do not have to share. Listening is beneficial to your recovery as well, as long as you share your feelings with another who you trust, preferably a sponsor who is also working with a sponsor of her own.

    If you do decide to share, please remember that anonymity is NOT the same thing as confidentiality. Many meetings have members who respect both, but many do not. Do not rely on anything that you share remaining in the room as much as we would like to believe it does.

    Please Jenn, and all others reading this. Don't read me wrong. I love meetings. AA saved my life and continues to on a day by day basis. I've just learned some things the hard way and am passing on some hard won information for whatever it's worth.

    You are in these meetings to save you life. This must be your priority. If you absolutely cannot find a meeting where you don't know anyone and this is really a trouble of yours, remember that all it takes to make a meeting is two drunks, a coffeepot and a resentment. (And you don't even need to coffeepot!) Save your life. You are worth it--a beautiful child of God.

    xoxo,
    Annie B.
    SassyJennRN and Thunderwolf like this.
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    Quote from SassyJennRN
    Does anyone else freak out when they see other Nurses, or related type people at meetings? patients!? I know I should take peace in knowing that they are there for the same reason that I am....but I always kinda freak out when I see people that I know professionally. I am very protective of my anonymity and very few people at work know my story. Does anyone else ever feel this way or am I some kind of Self Centered freak?
    It doesn't bother me at all. I've found many patients don't recognize me or I them, out of the hospital setting. Many people are self absorbed and are more worried about themselves. I like to meet other nurses at meetings. We understand each other's frustrations. Once in a while I even run into someone I know from meetings at the hospital. It is refreshing for us both. It keeps me grounded. So I don't forget where I come from and I don't have to be in charge of everything. I can just be part of something. Try reading the 12th tradition in the 12X12. Without the Steps and Traditions I tend to lose my way. Be good to yourself.
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    I agree with what AnnieB said "anonymity is NOT the same thing as confidentiality." We share in a general way what it used to be like, what happened and what it's like now. Good topic.
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    No, happy to see them there. Nurse in recovery can be a very lonley place. 12 th stepping requires us to be useful to others in recovery. There are people from all walks of life at meetings, pilots, dr's etc.... If the nurse at the meeting is a new commer, you may find yourself at a place where you can be of maximum usefulness to others who suffer. As alcoholics, addicts we can go into fear, resentment and get that "reiculous committee" going on in our head, remember, fear is just fear. Be sure to talk to your sponsor about this issue or bring it up at a meeting.
    bigredrn57 likes this.
  11. 2
    When I was in early recovery, I was embarrassed anytime I saw someone at a meeting I knew. But, as I worked the steps, and focused on one day at a time, that feeling diminished. It didn't go away completely until I began to study the research on this disease. And it IS a DISEASE.

    The brain is altered significantly as a result of our genetics and the repeated abuse of mood altering substances. No one here, or at the meetings we all attend, or those who are still actively using decided to become addicted. Every one of us would stop immediately if we could. Unfortunately, as a result of the disease process and the alterations in our brains, we are unable to stop without help. Remember one thing:

    As addicts, we are not bad people trying to become good. We are sick people trying to become well.

    What is a disease?

    A disordered or incorrectly functioning organ, part, structure, or system of the body resulting from the effect of genetic or developmental errors, infection, poisons, nutritional deficiency or imbalance, toxicity, or unfavorable environmental factors; illness; sickness; ailment.

    Does addiction fulfill these definition? Let's take a look and see.

    "A disordered, or incorrectly functioning organ, part, structure, or system of the body"

    Since the brain is significantly altered when intoxicating substances are ingested over a period of time (which varies based on the substance and it's potency), and it incorrectly functions as a result of these changes (the addict develops an overwhelming compulsion to continue to obtain and use a substance despite extremely negative consequences), addiction fits this part of the definition.


    "A pathological condition arising as a result of various causes"

    Since the cause can be exposure to a "toxin", which any chemical could be considered, and alcohol and other mood altering substances are even called "intoxicants" and you are considered "intoxicated" when under their influence, addiction also fits this portion of the definition of disease.



    "...may result from genetic or developmental errors..."


    Research shows there is a strong genetic component associated with the disease of addiction. Again, addiction fits this portion of the definition of disease. Research has also shown the ingestion of alcohol and other mood altering substances by children (adolescent and younger) causes
    significant alterations and delays in the development of the brain.


    Based on the definitions of disease, addiction really can't be classified any other way. This may not jive with the cultural/societal "beliefs" about the disease, however, we don't base the definition and treatment of diseases on beliefs, we base them on science.

    We have nothing to be ashamed of. I have found an interesting benefit of speaking out about the disease of addiction...acceptance. Not necessarily by non-recovering individuals. No, the acceptance I have experienced is by someone much more important than those who don't have this disease. That person is me. Once I accepted the fact that I have a chronic, progressive, potentially fatal disease that can be managed effectively by not using mood altering substances, being open and honest with those around me as well as with myself, share my experience, strength and hope with other folks with this disease, and take one day at a time, I have nothing to be embarrassed about.

    Be gentle with yourself. Forgiveness is like a muscle, it works better when you use it.

    Use it everyday by forgiving yourself.

    Big hugs and much love from a fellow pickle.

    Feel free to contact me anytime.

    Jack
    weezledawg and Veteran Nurse like this.


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