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- by MyheartRN Apr 29, '12Hello everyone, I am a nurse in recovery.
I practice in ICU for almost 5 years. In June of 2010, I had a very tramatic experience. Ended up with a PTSD, depression, anxiety diagnosis and about 6-7 meds to go along with it. I had never had a mental illness disorder or substance abuse history in the past.
I went from taking my meds as prescribed, to taking them with alcohol. I attempted suicide twice and thought about it at least 100 times a day.
I had taken some time off of work, but once I returned, it wasn't long before I was diverting from work.
The drug and alcohol use got really out of hand. I had two mini interventions, neither one worked.
I was called at home and asked to come into work. I declined the invite and told them I resigned (obviously I knew what the meeting was about).
3 months later I was called by a state investigator (Michigan)
I came clean with him and self reported to HPRP.
I signed a contract with HPRP in December 2011. I have 3 years with them, but I am voluntary (non-regulatory).
I wanted to share this with anyone struggling. It is hard to wrap my head around the changes that have happened in my life, but I am started to see through the clouds. It is getting better and I am really (REALLY) happy I am alive today.
Print and share with friends and family.
Compliments of allnurses.com.
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- Apr 30, '12 by KaseyJoHello and welcome to the site . I won't go into detail about my story because I already wrote a million pages about it on a previous post. You can read it if you're bored However, our stories are very similar. In my situation, my license was suspended recently and will be so for about 3 years. It's only been a few months and I had been doing well with maintaining my hope and optimism. However, lately I haven't been doing as well with that. Feelings of depression have started taking over. I am not at all concerned about my sobriety as I have no feelings of returning to that dark place. It might be a combination of having a new baby, having absolutely no money, the fear of losing our home/bankruptcy, fighting with my husband about all of the troubles I have caused, having almost no friends....and the list goes on and on and on. I am very impressed with and encouraged by your story. Are you still practicing? Sometimes it helps me to hear of others going through the same struggles. I, too, was an ICU nurse and I miss it terribly. Lately, I just seem increasingly discouraged and shameful. I have a strong desire to make a difference in this world and I feel like I'm currently doing the opposite. I'm not at all trying to make you feel bad. I am very happy you are doing better. I think that's amazing that you are able to see through the darkness. My heart goes out to you. I'm sorry that you had to endure such trama but you will be a MUCH better person and nurse because of it. Let me know if you need to vent. I am always here
- Apr 30, '12 by VivaLasViejas(((((((((HUGS))))))))) to you both!!!
- Apr 30, '12 by Esme12I am glad you found us! Life is a struggle. Life is hard. To pick yourself up abd take the nexr step..harder. Congrats to you both for being so strong.
:kiss To you both for being alive and here....
- Apr 30, '12 by MyheartRNQuote from KaseyJoKaseyjo: No, I am not practicing. But let me go into a little more detail.It might be a combination of having a new baby, having absolutely no money, the fear of losing our home/bankruptcy, fighting with my husband about all of the troubles I have caused, having almost no friends....and the list goes on and on and on. I am very impressed with and encouraged by your story. Are you still practicing? Sometimes it helps me to hear of others going through the same struggles. I, too, was an ICU nurse and I miss it terribly. Lately, I just seem increasingly discouraged and shameful.
When my facility called me, I knew what it was about. There was A LOT of diverting going on, I wasn't even trying to cover it up at the end. So I just resigned.
This was kind of a God-send for me, as I wouldn't have stopped had this not happened. Also, the issues that caused my PTSD were always around me. I had no escape. So I used drugs and alcohol for temportary relief.
When I entered HPRP, I had stopped all of my prescribed meds as well as alcohol, but continued to take an ultram prescription that wasn't mine. In my addict mind I justified it by saying it wasn't a "true" narcotic. Well, it was in my urine, I was caught again.
I was really depressed for a few weeks of no substances in my body. But, once I was pretty much cleaned out, I started feeling better. I am going through a foreclosure, will be filing bankruptcy this year. I do not have a lot of friends. I don't want to share publically what caused my PTSD, as many people I worked with know my situation that caused it, but do not know what happened with me at work. The situation is fairly unique so the details I have given would probably give away who I was. This site is so public, it scares me to share too much. I think it would help you though in your relationship issues so once I hit the right amount of posts to get PM's, I would be happy to share it with you.
I miss ICU also, but not as much as I thought I would. I have young children at home so I have made that my priority for now. I have a few hoops to just through to return to work, and then returning is an issue in itself. Worksite monitor, limited hours, only certain places with hire HPRP, etc. At this moment, it's not worth the hoops, but maybe it will be in the future.
I know the discouragement and the shame that accompanies being where we are today. Are you in AA or NA? I have found these meetings are extremely helpful. I have a connection to God and am learning some very vital tools for everyday living that I didn't use to have.
- Apr 30, '12 by KaseyJoThank you very much for sharing and please do not feel obligated to share "everything" if you do not feel comfortable doing so. My initial descent into prescription medications stemmed from a very traumatic experience as well and I understand you not wanting to disclose everything. Unfortunately, with this disease, the stigma associated with addicted nurses is painful and isolating. I do attend NA/AA frequently. I go to therapy and see a psychiatrist. I am doing everything possible to better my situation. Both the Health Professional Services Program Case Manager as well as my Lawyer were shocked with the 3 year suspension but I was willing to accept any punishment for my wrong doing. I'm not saying that I don't deserve it, I'm just trying to learn acceptance. I am grateful for what I do have but frequently feel lost and defeated. I've always been a very positive person and I'm wondering where that person is right now. I have learned many things about myself and about life in the past few months....and for that, I am very grateful. I guess it's just the dread of how difficult the next 3 years are going to be on my husband and daughter. Anyway, enough complaining. Thank you for your story. I appreciate it.
- Apr 30, '12 by GitanoRNmy hat goes off to you for having the strength, determination and courage to post such a powerful revelation for others to realize that they are not alone. however, despite the notion that nurses should have a greater understanding of substance abuse and chemical dependency, the profession in not immune from either. therefore, some nurses may actually be at a greater risk for substance abuse based on the higher level of stress involved, in working in a healthcare environment and caring for acutely ill patients. needless to say, the availability and opportunity to access controlled substances in the work place and the combination may push some nurses over the edge. in conclusion, i admire your valor after suffering for so long, now you can say that you finally can see the light at the end of the tunnel. wishing you the best in all of your future endeavors...aloha~
- Apr 30, '12 by MerlynBeen there, done that ...Boy do I have T-shirts. (((((((hugs))))))). You don't have to face the beast alone now. You have stumbled into a place where there are a lot of broken survivors. We understand. On this board we kind of help each other cope when we are not throwing insults at each other. You can come here any time. There is always someone here. Just to listen. We, that are or have been there, will not let you face the abyss alone. So Welcome, Sweet Soul.
- Apr 30, '12 by ScrubRNwannabeHang in there!!!
- Apr 30, '12 by stargazer88There is a nurses in recovery place under "nurses" heading here that's good