RNinRecovery*Help!

  1. Hello, I am new to this forum. I am seeking support from other nurses in recovery. I am feeling really down lately, hopeless..trying to cope with first year in my state's alternative to discipline program. The shame, guilt, and isolation that comes with addiction is weighing me down more than ever lately...I am 9 months clean this month. I attend both NA and AA and have recently found a sponsor. I should feel proud of myself but I just keep beating myself up. I am struggling with asking for help in person at meetings and over the phone; intense social anxiety!* Please help ...i feel so alone and overwhelmed. Any response is greatly appreciated,* private or in this thread....THANK YOU💞liza
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  2. 26 Comments

  3. by   Oogie
    Hey, Many of us nurse's being monitored have walked the same path, so you are not alone. I found myself drowning in negative emotions at my low point. 3rd DWI, sitting in jail, thinking my life was over. I was choosing to look at myself from only a negative perspective directly related to bad choices I made using alcohol to try and drown out other negative emotions. Its a vicious cycle. I found tho that I do have a choice in changing my perspective of how I view myself and that has a direct effect on my emotional wellbeing. I chose to accept the fact that I really messed my life up, I looked in the mirror an told myself "I forgive you, I am here for you". I was feeling shame and guilt over what I had done yesterday, I could not change that. I had to let that go. I had to start looking at what I had TODAY, and focus on how I could make today a positive day in my life. There's plenty of folks out there in the monitoring program waiting in line to beat you up. You could try being your own best friend 1st, be kind to yourself, give that person in the mirror a big hub each morning. My words may sound a bit silly, but that's what helped me realize that I'm a really good person, with so much to give to this world. I started by changing my perspective, of how I was choosing to look at myself. Peace
  4. by   tiffpritRN
    Lisa , I have felt that way too and sometimes I still do. When I get those negative feelings I remind myself I'm a child of God , I'm forgiven, and that I am living one day at a time. Congrats on your 9 month sobriety! Before you know it , it will be a year... That's definately something to be proud of!
    Nov 30th was my 2 year sobriety mark. Believe me, it gets better. I'm the beginning I really beat myself up . All I could think of is how I messed my life up .I'm 45 and after 20 years of nursing , I never thought I would be in those shoes. Addiction is horrible and it can happen to anyone. Keep going to your meetings, reach
    out for help.
    This forum is a great support group, Eventhough our stories are different, we all know the feelings your experiencing. I went to mental health therapy for a while and it really helped.
    Hang in there! Sending you hugs and prayers! Remember One Day at a Time :-)
  5. by   catsmeow1972
    Hi. I seem to be the token loudmouth around here. I got a one way ticket to Monitoring-Istan after a mental health decompensation issue. There is a lot of what these programs do to people that is in no way supportive for either those fighting addiction or mental health. My personal opinion is that in many ways they make the fight harder.
    I can't say much other than you are a good person and a great nurse and this does not change that. You have nothing to be ashamed or guilty about. You can't change yesterday so stop beating on yourself about it. Go forward from here and do what you need to do. Follow your contract (even if some of the requirements are dumb as heck and have nothing to do with nursing), do what you need to do and work on you.
  6. by   Liza42
    Thank you so much. I am hesitant to share the details of my situation as I am not sure how public this forum is. I am able to PM and I did send you a message. I haven't been able to connect with many other nurses in my situation and just hearing others stories is helpful to know I'm not alone. I am also in my 40's but nursing is a second career for me, I've been practising 8 yrs or so.
  7. by   SpankedInPittsburgh
    Well you have come to the right place. Most of us here are in the exact position you are. Starting this process is the worst and you are getting through it!!! Know this you are the same nurse you were before this process started only better because you are sober. If you are in recovery bow your head to no one for you have a disease which afflicts millions. We are not supposed to judge people with afflictions but somehow people (especially fellow nurses I think) seem to feel free to do so for those in recovery. We do NOT agree on everything in this forum you will find people in here who are devoted to 12 step recovery and embrace monitoring and you will find those like myself who can stand neither. Anyway, we are all in the same boat and hopefully you find some understanding and support here. Welcome
  8. by   Liza42
    Thank you! For the SARP in MA , we are required to attend 4 AA or NA meetings a week plus a peer group meeting and 1:1 therapy 2x a month. It's a 5 yr program. I am struggling to fit everything in and I am not sure how I feel about 12 step meetings...some I really enjoy and find helpful and others a waste of time. It seems like what I have been focusing on is just trying to fit everything in and work (non nursing) and family (2 kids)...i feel like I'm not really working on myself, I'm just overwhelmed with meeting the requirements and not benefiting... I am not to thrilled with my peer group meetings, I guess I expected them to be more helpful. I am glad I found this forum as I have been feeling very discouraged!!
  9. by   SpankedInPittsburgh
    Yep, in my mind the 12 step meetings are a mixed bag at best. The best I can tell you about them is that find the ones you like the best and attend them because like it or hate it you gotta do it. The group support meetings are usually horrible in my experience. It's like being stuck at some nurses station on night shift when its not busy. Nurses gather and yak about the boring details of their lives; "I don't like my co-worker, my spouse sucks, I got stuck in traffic" ... all the way to sharing cake frosting recipes and showing pictures of their kids and dogs / cats. Simply horrible weekly meeting compounded by the fact that I have to pay to be there to listen to mindless chatter that usually has absolutely nothing at all to do with recovery. However, this requirement and all of them eventually pass. Everyday we all get closer to the end of this road. Make sure that you comply with everything you are supposed to do and be careful of what you eat or drink. My brightest part of involvement in my program is that one day it will be out of my life
  10. by   Liza42
    Quote from Oogie
    Hey, Many of us nurse's being monitored have walked the same path, so you are not alone. I found myself drowning in negative emotions at my low point. 3rd DWI, sitting in jail, thinking my life was over. I was choosing to look at myself from only a negative perspective directly related to bad choices I made using alcohol to try and drown out other negative emotions. Its a vicious cycle. I found tho that I do have a choice in changing my perspective of how I view myself and that has a direct effect on my emotional wellbeing. I chose to accept the fact that I really messed my life up, I looked in the mirror an told myself "I forgive you, I am here for you". I was feeling shame and guilt over what I had done yesterday, I could not change that. I had to let that go. I had to start looking at what I had TODAY, and focus on how I could make today a positive day in my life. There's plenty of folks out there in the monitoring program waiting in line to beat you up. You could try being your own best friend 1st, be kind to yourself, give that person in the mirror a big hub each morning. My words may sound a bit silly, but that's what helped me realize that I'm a really good person, with so much to give to this world. I started by changing my perspective, of how I was choosing to look at myself. Peace

    Thank you for your thoughtful response. Your words are not silly at all. Was changing your perspective and "being your own best friend" something you just decided to do and then it happened or was it more of a process? I have been suggested this before and have been trying to be good to myself but I kinda feel lije,I don't even know how or what that means. I know as addicts we look for the "quick fix" or "instant gratification"...and my sense is that it will be more if a gradual change...i always hear "fake it till you make it" in meetings. I guess thats where I am at...Im going through the motions (meetings, therapy...etc) and hoping something will eventually click and I will feel better. Or, is there more I should be doing? Anyway, I guess that's why I am here on this site...looking for more. I feel the need to connect with other nurses that are going through this too...i haven't gotten that in the 12 step meetings or even my peer group meetings. Are your actively involved in AA or NA? Do you find your peer meetings helpful? Feel free to PM me if you prefer. Thanks again!
  11. by   klsm1968
    You are not alone! The culture of shame and blame that permeates nursing is one of the main factors leading to nurse burnout. The more nurses who have been in rehab, or been fired, or made mistakes - the more of us who are brave and speak up, the more everyone will realize how many of us there are. Please keep reaching out for help. You are worthy, you are smart, you are strong and you can do this. I am proud of you for being vulnerable on this forum. It has taken me a long time and a lot of therapy to get to where I am now, and I continue to have bad days, bad weeks, bad months...I have one piece of advice right now - no matter how low you feel, just WAIT...if you can just wait it out, you will feel better. Hold on to that - ride out the bumps and keep asking for support. Al-anon changed my life. I went from being a desperately lonely woman to a person who finally figured out how to make friends. The work is hard, but worth it. I am pulling for you.
  12. by   Recovering_RN
    I know every program is different, but maybe you could just double check that your peer group mtg is in addition to your 4 AA/NA meetings. For me in Texas in TPAPN, we have to attend 4 AA/NA meetings but our peer group meeting counts as one of those. Also I attended lots of different AA and NA groups until I found one I liked and fit with my schedule. One wonderful thing I found was that my AA group has a women's meeting on Sunday afternoons then immediately after that they have their regular nightly meeting, so my case manager allows me to attend both meetings on the same day, ticking off 2 of my required meetings. Also, if you look around, do a google search etc, there are often other AA meetings at a wide variety of times, I've seen midnight meetings! So even if you can't find a group like mine where you can attend 2 right in a row you might be able to attend a noon meeting then an evening mtg on the same day, and give yourself at least one day off from the constant meetings! Even consider attending the meetings on the days you work, so that you can free up your days off. That was one thing I hated before I started doubling up my meetings, having 3 days of work then 4 days of meetings, I felt like I never got away from it!
  13. by   Nanamarie
    My philosophy is if God will forgive me then I must also forgive myself.
  14. by   catsmeow1972
    I have to go to the bloody things even though I am mental health (Don't get me started on that) plus I personally don't think too much of the 12 step thing in general. I suppose that it's helpful if one wants to be there but forced attendance seems to be oxymoronic (or is that moronic)?
    Anyhow, I have managed to devise a number if different ways of cluster them so that they minimally impact my normal life. Not sure that that's quite the point of the things and it's pretty sad that that's what they've been reduced to.

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