Overwhelmed & Recovery?

  1. Good Morning Fellow inhabitants of Nazi Monitoring Land:

    Well friends yesterday was my first day of my last semester of my DNP studies. To say that I'm overwhelmed is a little like saying the late great John Candy should have lost a couple pounds. These studies are not meant to be resumed after a year's absence. Presently I feel lost and disoriented. I took today off work so I can take the next four days to at least develop some sort of plan on how to salvage this part of my life. I've lost a lot I ain't getting back but I don't want to lose this too.

    I didn't really sleep much last night so I checked my phone to see if I had a pee test today and I did. I gave my sample at about 3AM & the first thing that stuck my mind was that a drink would sure be nice. I can do the math. I can drink today and almost certainly pass the ETG test even in the unlikely event that I get tested again Monday (I doubt it its a holiday). I'm not going to drink today. Why? I'm not going to drink because I made a deal with PNAP. If I comply with the terms and conditions of this hellish program they will get out of my life in about 4 years. I'm gonna hold up my end and will not give them the satisfaction of beating me.

    My question is weather any of you think this spite and hate driven goal of not letting PNAP win recovery? I don't think it is. Do any of you? Can recovery be imposed on somebody or is it an individual choice.

    Be well in monitoring land my friends.

    Spanked
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  2. 38 Comments

  3. by   Meq815
    I hear ya, Spanked.
    I've pared my life down to the basics of survival. Getting up, going to work, meetings and pee tests. Just this has had me overwhelmed for over 3 years. I can't imagine taking on school. Let alone studies for an advanced degree. Good for you!
    Btw, where do you pee at 3AM?
  4. by   SpankedInPittsburgh
    Greenbriar Recovery Center. Washington PA. Open 24/7. It's like the Wally World of Pee Tests
  5. by   rn1965
    Quote from SpankedInPittsburgh
    My question is weather any of you think this spite and hate driven goal of not letting PNAP win recovery? I don't think it is. Do any of you? Can recovery be imposed on somebody or is it an individual choice.

    Be well in monitoring land my friends.

    Spanked
    First, congratulations on continuing your education. It is a ton of hard work to do, even without the added stress of monitoring.

    Second, to answer your question, NO, recovery cannot be imposed. Especially if one is not an addict/alcoholic. I have read several of your posts and, if I recall correctly, you are being punished for a DUI and not a long history of problem drinking or drug abuse.

    I guess nurses are held at a higher standard and I get it, the boards want to "catch a problem before it becomes one", ergo, throwing one into monitoring for ONE DUI. But, I firmly believe the punishment should fit the crime. Maybe in the case of the first DUI, a few months of monitoring/AA/alcohol classes. Ya know, likely the same exact thing the state imposed for your arrest. The board should take into account the success you have with your legal probation.

    Sadly, we do not make the rules. We just have to follow them, if we wish to keep our licenses.

    I am not saying that every nurse deserves this amount of leniency, I am merely suggesting these programs cast an awful wide net. And maybe, just maybe, someone needs to take a look at them and make sure we are not unfairly "labeling" every single nurse an addict or alcoholic. I hope the future holds a better system for nurses to come.

    Just my 2 cents. I am tired, it is Friday, and I need some coffee!

    Have a wonderful day, Spanked, and hang in there. We are all pulling for you!
  6. by   Emergent
    I work with so many nurses who, by the sound of it are functioning alcoholics. Of course, your error was drinking and driving.

    In my opinion, only impairment on the job, or diverting, warrants such a harsh response. For a DUI, why not let the justice system take care of matters? I'll bet some of those BON nurses have excessive drinking habits, or prescription drug problems.

    The whole thing smacks of smug Puritanism. I think the whole system needs an overhaul. I'm sorry for your travails.
  7. by   Recovering_RN
    I cannot imagine going back to school now, along with monitoring. I am not surprised you feel overwhelmed, but I'm sure you'll adjust, just as you prob felt overwhelmed at the beginning of monitoring, and you adjusted. Is there anything you can drop though? To relieve some of the stress? It's like a constant cramming in of more...and more...and more...into our lives. As long as you don't let up on the control, the buildup of pressure is a nonissue. Relax just for a second, and bam! Explosion. Bits and pieces of your life flying all over the place. (Sorry, I bought an Instant Pot pressure cooker over the holidays. I've got exploding dinner on my mind). Hasn't happened, but still).

    And no, recovery can't be imposed on someone. Not real, long term recovery. Maybe the fear of getting caught, with the random drug tests, can change our behavior during the monitoring contract, but long term, we have to want it, for ourselves.

    Good luck with school. You can do it, DO NOT let them take that away from you!!
  8. by   dirtyhippiegirl
    Ick, that sounds rough. Keeping my fingers crossed that you can figure out a plan to help you through the next few months. Hopefully it'll get easier once you're back in the school-swing of things?


    My entry into monitoring wasn't voluntary -- and I initially struggled to cobble together more than a few days of sobriety even with the threat of pee tests and treatment hanging over my head. I graduated out of monitoring in early June and I am SO grateful for my sobriety. I think I've written about this before but prior to monitoring, I understood that I had a problem with alcohol that wasn't going to end well but lacked the emotional follow-thru to be able to stop on my own. I knew that I needed to stop but didn't really want to stop, which I think is common for a lot of alcoholics. It wasn't until several months after I had been forced to stop that I began to appreciate the benefits of my sobriety even though some of the longer term posters on here may remember that I had a LOT of issues with my monitoring program at first.

    In hindsight, I think a huge barrier to me achieving sobriety was because I had this idea that I could not live without drinking rooted in my brain. Like, my life would become intolerably boring or anxiety and depression-filled without booze and I just wouldn't be able to handle it. Or didn't want to handle it. Being forced to dry out for a bit and getting over the hiccups of early sobriety - I went to rehab twice, spent two weeks in a psych ward because I am also mentally ill, lived in a sober living house for a while - showed me that there could be something better out there if I just stopped digging my own grave.

    It's weird how cravings can come on. Predictably, I found Trump's election night and the next few days really hard. I was still being monitored back then and I remember trying to calculate when/how I could drink and still pass a possible EtG. (I didn't drink but I probably lost any conservative FB friends.) My next real craving didn't come until fairly recently when, of all things, I had to call Delta to try to recoup some of the money we lost when they tried to strand us in Morocco for a week. Like, I didn't want to drink when we were actually facing not being able to get home for several days but making a phone call from the comfort of my home was really stressing me out. lol.

    Although I consider myself a recovering alcoholic at heart, I like to think of myself more as a non-drinker these days. So I find myself asking "How would a normal person approach this situation?" and it's usually not to go on a five day bender, so.
  9. by   catsmeow1972
    I struggled to complete my BSN while IN that inappropriate stay in that ******** of a rehab AKA overpriced daily carpool to AA meeting. It seems that while they were illegally speaking to family about me (HIPPAA violation anyone) also known as shafting them for the money, they were questioned as to wether I would be able to work on my online courses while there. Initially the answer was no, we'll be keeping her too busy. Ya, whatever, and when family came back with "she's almost done, if she doesn't finish now, she won't.) All of a sudden, there was plenty of time. So once a week I was "allowed" to check out my laptop and submit my assignments. Graduated with a 3.9. Cue raspberry and double rude hand gesture. Too busy, my tuchas.
    I had been working on that degree on and off, for 9 years and 3 schools, in between bouts of bipolar ups and downs, physical illness, withdrawing from classes so much that one school invited me to leave, another program closed down on me. I had to repeat a couple of courses and take some interesting electives due to credit hours matriculation requirements. No way was I gonna stop this time.
    That ******** saw a cash cow maybe getting out of the gate so they magnanimously let me continue. Talk about making stuff up as they went along....
    That was not program stuff directly but I was finally in a place where I was nearing the end and no way was I going to let those frauds take that from me.
  10. by   SpankedInPittsburgh
    Oh Cats Darlin;

    You harkened back memories of my wonderful experience with the rehab industry. When I was in inpatient rehab (which I was sent to after 3 months of sobriety) they made much ado about how "meaningful" it would be and we couldn't have cellphones, distractions, work on any assignments for school despite the crazy adverse effects it may have on us blah blah blah because we were going to be so "busy" in meaningful recovery. What a giant crock of horse-dung resplendent with maggots crawling all over it. On weekdays we had 6 hours a day of structured time devoted to anything recovery related. The vast majority of those hours were either supervised by low-wage techs whose main qualification was that they stayed high there entire life except for maybe the last couple years in a room where 60-70 of us were herded to do arts & crafts, listen to therapeutic music, "meditate" (aka just sit there or nap my personal favorite) or have group chats where you got to listen to other similarly situated people moan about how terrible there life was. About 4-5 hours a week we got to see an actual educated counselor and only one hour a week for 1:1 counseling. The rest of the time was literally break time. I took up smoking and Marlboro Cigarette Company made a killing, played the stupid toss the sack game or snuck to my room and took more naps. I would have killed to be able to do something as distracting and meaningful as completing my degree. After 24 days of this existence in rehab purgatory I had to do 3 months of Intensive Outpatient "treatment. You know why I didn't graduate last year? It came down to the rehab folks not letting me out of 2 days of valuable outpatient treatment. Yep I lost a whole year of my life because they wouldn't let me register for class until I was released from IOP. As it turns out my insurance carrier finally called BS on the money flowing to these treatment professionals and I was abruptly told to leave after first being told that I should self-fund (a notion scoffed at) for much more time. I would have missed 2 days of IOP. These people are self-important, delusional fools who actually believed their presence in my life for 16 hours of IOP was worth me delaying my life for a year. The last thing this industry and monitoring boards thing about is the patient / nurse they are trying to help & in fact I think a very strong argument could be made is that the only thing they care about is how much cash they can suck out of there victim
  11. by   LucyLou88
    After reading your post and other comments, it sound to me like you need an attorney who has dealt with the board before. Not sure where you live, but most bigger cities have plenty of lawyers who deal with medical and nursing boards all day long. They send a nasty letter or 2, and things change dramatically in your favor. The board will do all kinds of ridiculous if allowed. I have some personal experience on this one. Hire an attorney to shut this BS down. You won't have to go to court. It's about lawyers sending letters. You pay a fee. Totally worth it.
  12. by   catsmeow1972
    Spanked:
    Do you get the impression that there is some kind of Trump University thing out there that "teaches" how to make money in the form of running a scam and calling it "treatment?" With an additional course on how to gear it towards professionals. Oh, and the electives on insurance fraud and HIPAA violations.
    Your experience sounds like a mirror image of mine, replete with 1 hour a week of 1:1 counseling and lots of nap time. We even had "Spirituality" on Sunday mornings. It was some woman who fancied herself a minister of some sort who got up there, holding a bible and screeched at the group for 2 hours. THAT would make anyone cry.
    I even had a fight with them to get a statement for taxes. That took 3 weeks, 3 requests and what I got? The numbers did not match either what they told us this vacation cost per day nor what actually was paid. Weird. They also tried to tell me it wasn't tax deductible. Mmmm..excuse me my business, gimme my **** statement.
    I'm sure there's decent treatment facilities out there that really do strive to help folks. Just like these programs used to be a good thing, the idea of inpatient treatment can be a good thing. Unfortunately, the sleazy people out there have also seen a means to take advantage of people in need, both in the professional area and everywhere else (seen articles on the fraud that occurs with fake places gathering addicts off the street and exchanging drugs or whatever for thier Medicaid numbers.) Sigh.
    Last edit by catsmeow1972 on Jan 13
  13. by   SpankedInPittsburgh
    Really Lucy? Do you live in Pennsylvania? Can you make a recommendation?
  14. by   SpankedInPittsburgh
    Cats:

    I'm sure there are very good rehab facilities out there but it wasn't the one I was at. Mine was stuffed to the brim with people given the alternative of jail and or losing their jobs versus getting stuck in the rehab warehouse. Yeah the Sunday preacher experience. I got let out of mine but only when I told them I was nonbeliever and didn't think it was right that my insurance company be billed for sending me to church and I was going to tell them so. As a result I was "banished" to the breakroom on Sunday's where I either napped (a personal favorite in rehab as it made time go by), watching football or reading. In my mind it was way, way, way better than listening to some born-again screaming about how his God saved him from whatever

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