I'm grateful today for many things.
The biggest thing is having a community of nurses that have been down similar paths that I have. For so long I thought I was the only one, stayed silent, stayed alone and tried to find my way after leaving nursing years ago. Now I not only am doing what needs to be done to get my license back but there are actually people out there who get it.
I am grateful for making it through the beginning of my monitoring contract. I had a few times when I really didn't want to do it, but I kept a copy of my favorite book about nursing nearby as an incentive and reminder why I'm doing this. That helped. Now I feel better, better about just doing what I'm required to do, finding others that are on a path of recovery, and doing all of it one day at a time.
I am grateful that I am being given another chance. That I now believe I should have that. For a long time I didn't believe that I deserved it.
For so long, I tried to forget about nursing and start a new life. Needless to say, I couldn't. Nursing and medicine kept showing up in my life in odd ways. I didn't lose my memory of protocols or providing care even after years of being gone. I remembered it as if I had only taken a weeks vacation. That doesn't mean that there haven't been changes, there have been plenty and I'm doing a lot of continuing education. But some thing never change. The instincts are there, they never go away. I found myself working at non nursing jobs
and people still came up to me, asking advice for personal issues, even though nobody knew I was a nurse. I could be in a supermarket and see someone that didn't look healthy, or see someone that was, through their body language, not doing well. I tried to turn my "antenna" off, but it didn't work.
I'm grateful to be in meetings. I went to meetings years ago while in IOP and Aftercare, and attended them while on Probation. Even though I don't identify as alcoholic, I sure am an addict, and that hasn't changed in 15 years. Today it doesn't seem so strange to be in either AA or NA meetings. We all have similar thinking patterns. The places and faces change, but the thinking patterns I hear about have not.
I'm grateful that I have a supportive spouse and friends that are with me on this path back to nursing. They have been my biggest fans, reminding me that nursing is in my blood, part of my soul and part of the purpose of why I am here. For a long time, after leaving nursing, I doubted that I even had a purpose. Today I DO.
I am grateful to be clean and sober from benzodiazepines for 15 years. This is a biggie. I still remember what it was like when I used to divert from drug cabinets at work, always feeling like **** for doing it and scared that somebody saw the monkey on my back.
Most of all, I'm glad to have access to recovery tools that cue me when I need to make a "Grateful List"