I just wanted everyone reading these forums who has struggled with addiction to know-I am so proud of you and in awe of your courage. I came to these forums because a very good friend of mine who is an RN just disclosed to me she has a problem with Narcotics and is reporting herself. I wanted to get some idea of what she was going through and see if I could get any ideas on how to help support her through this because Ive never had an addiction to anything (unless you count carbs...yummmm) but I know simply from being fascinated by endocrinology, metabolism, neurology, and even nutrition that addiction is a REAL disease unlike any other "sickness" and recovery will require some very specific and the "right" support. Her brain is sick with an addiction in the same way a patient with seizures is sick in areas of his brain. But we don't treat seizure patients like criminals now do we??? I thought maybe if I read other nurses stories and saw how you supported each other I could better help her.
Instead-I found myself about 9 pages in reading all of your stories and just tearing up at each of them. From denial to shame to empowerment to recovery and every where in between I just wanted each and every one of you to know you are NOT a "bottom of the barrel" nurse as one nurse self-described herself trying to look for a job after being reported to the board and going through treatment.
You all are more of a source of inspiration than a nurse who has never even gotten a single speeding ticket. You have not only battled addiction and won-I cant even IMAGINE all the steps it sounds like the different state boards put you through to retain a license with a black mark. To go into a job interview and look nurse managers and HR reps in the face knowing how very judgmental they will be-and even if you get a compassionate one they may not feel it ethical to hire you-but to show up and keep trying is more courageous than any nurse applying for ANY job and I would choose each and every one of you to take care of me or my family any day because you proved you are a fighter and can come back from the very worst and make victory. That is EXACTLY the kind of nurse I would like on my side if I were a sick patient.
Thank you all so much for sharing your stories