Approaching 11 months and life is good.

Nurses Recovery

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I told my story here back in late summer/early fall and I'm happy to say that life is good....and gets better each day. I still struggle at times with old behavior, but thankfully the physical cravings are not there. I recently had my license re-instated and have been working at an outpatient dialysis clinic for the past few months. Very different from the ICU but in a good way. Being an RN again has come with its own set of stressors but I'm learning each day how to deal with those. And I feel so grateful that today, I'm able to accept my feelings and actually explore them, instead of running to a bottle of pills. Life with my stepkids has improved and my relationship with my little boy has grown by leaps and bounds.

I knew I had reached a crossroads when one day about 6 weeks ago, I was asked to put something in a co-worker's locker. As I threw the item in there and shut the door, I realized there was a bottle of narcotics sitting in there, unlocked. The old behavior would have been to take them and then help her look for her "lost" prescription. But my mind immediately went to how good my life today and how much I had to lose. I could have taken then and nobody would have been the wiser. But I would have been...and that guilt would have eaten me alive. What did I do after leaving the break room? I told everyone I could within my support system. I brought it to my nurse support group, my aftercare, my AA/NA meetings, sponsor, and husband. The more people I told about that little bottle, the less powerful those pills became. I now know the power of talking and keeping in contact with a support system. Had I kept it a secret, it would have given me the opportunity to continue obsessing about the damn things and possibly go back and take them. When I was able to examine my feelings towards the narcotics and how I felt having them in my presence, I felt a renewed sense of faith in the program and my higher power. I then went to my supervisor and told him about the narcotics and they were removed from the premise with a strict warning not to bring them into the building again.

I admit, I still have a hard time sitting down and making time for myself to pray/meditate and work in my steps in the way I should. It's something that I've struggled with since rehab. But I see all those in recovery around me and the sense of peace they have because they are doing the work. It's a constant reminder for me to get busy with what I know will work. I am so, so, so thankful for all that has happened over the past year because for me, it wasn't about the addiction. It was so much more than that. Simply stopping the pills wouldn't have brought me to where I am now. It was about searching inside of myself and admitting my part in life. For so long, I was the victim and I blamed, blamed, blamed. The pills were an escape from all those evil people in my life and that was my excuse for using. Forgiving my husband's ex-wife for the past 7 years was also a huge step for me, as was admitting my part in it. For me to step up and say to myself that I was not the innocent bystander....it felt good to take responsibility. I'm seeing little miracles happen all the time around me and for the first time in my life, my relationship with my mom feels....right. I'm working on the relationship with my husband, who attends my Saturday night meetings with me (it's one of our "date" nights w/o the kids...lol). He has come to understand what I'm going through and has been there every step of the way to support me.

I'm also so very thankful that I can look around today and see how wonderful my life is. Before, I was never satisfied with what I had. One of my favorite sayings I've heard in recovery is "Don't judge your insides by others' outsides". I did that NONSTOP....of course, I was never happy. Walking into the rooms of AA/NA is a wake up call that I'm not unique or different....there are so many out there who have the same feelings/thoughts/coping mechanisms that I did. It's a very comforting feeling and I always feel a sense of immediate peace upon being in those rooms. Saying that I'm an addict is no longer hard or shameful for me. I do still censor just how much I say to certain folks, but those I work with are aware and I'm always pleasantly surprised when someone comes up to me that I've met in meetings around town. We are everywhere! Just this weekend, I had a garage sale and one of them women walking around said she recognized me. I figured it was from the hospital but as it turns out, she's in recovery and has 18 years of sobriety (she got sober in her junior year of high school).

I know this turned out to be a lengthy post, but I wanted to share how I feel about recovery and being in the Alternative program in my state. I was ready to be done using but I never would have guessed just how much my life would change. I thought it was all about getting sober.....but it's all about changing how you live your life, acceptance, non-judgement, willingness, honesty, and seeing the miracles that happen as a result of these changes. I'm so, so, so grateful today for all those in recovery and for those who started the program. Without these things, and a faith in myself and higher power, I would not be here. I truly believe I would have died from my addiction. I can look at my child these days and feel the overwhelming love in my heart, whereas in the past, I was numb to that. My life today is good and for today, I am sober!:redbeathe

Specializes in ICU.

I feel every bit of that! Thank you for sharing! It is wonderful isn't it??? When a cucumber asks you how you're doing... and you can HONESTLY say,, "I'm doing very well, thank you" and REALLY MEAN IT!! I want to run to the rooftop and yell in happiness sometimes... I want everyone to know how happy I am!!

I was also addicted to pills,, and it was very numbing, and yes, it would have killed me in a few years had I not stopped. Thankfully my liver enzymes are normal...

Let me tell you.. I am so ooo proud of you for passing on that bottle of pills. I know exactly how you feel, and how proud of yourself that you are. My husband had a terrible injury a few months back and for a short time was on pain killers... I never touched them. Had it been a few years ago,, I would have swallowed them all,, and denied it. But, to this day,, five vicidin sit in my powder room drawer, in a bottle, untouched. They've been there for months. THey will stay there, in case hubby ever needs them again.

I leave them there because I know that I have the power, and it continously reminds me that I have the power, and I will not ever take them.

:) Keep up the good work,, and keep spreading the word about how wonderful sobriety is.

Tweety, BSN, RN

34,118 Posts

Specializes in Med-Surg, Trauma, Ortho, Neuro, Cardiac.

Thanks for sharing. Recovery is contingent on a thankful heart.

shugrr22107NA

49 Posts

Specializes in HH, SNF, LTC, Hospital.

Alive & sober by God's grace I have not found it necessary to take a drink since 2-21-2007.

My life and those around me have begun to heal and I've discovered Nursing as a calling. I constantly have new opportunities to grow in spiritual & professional ways. I am a Nursing Assistant now and began this journey cleaning toilets in a LTC facility...I needed to learn humility and He showed me how to complete each task as I grew. From self-care to truly caring for others and being a blessing not a burden.

AA's design for living has shown me I don't have to get sucked in when the 'normal' people are ranting and moaning about this and that isn't right or fair, or the way it should be...

Thank my Higher Power for that, and the power to keep on going when it seems old behavior would be the 'easiest' route....

Grateful to see this forum here, and even more grateful to be alive today.

If you're new to sobriety, keep coming back, if you're sober a few 24 hours, keep coming back...It gets better, and better, and better....

Nurseforatu

14 Posts

I just made 25 months sober after a battle with iv narcotics...and yes it continues to get better and better. My advocate told me that for the 1st whole year and I couldn't see past not being able to find a nursing job. She was right though, God makes a place for us where we need to be. I too, am working in an out pt dialysis clinic, and I LOVE it!! It's nothing like ER nursing--which I did for 8 years--and I thank God every day that its not! My stress level is down, my boss is understanding to my needs and yes...life is great. I feel more healthy and vital than I have in forever!

Specializes in LTC, Psych, Med/Surg.

Congratulations, Nurseforatu, on your recovery and ability to see how wonderful sober life can be. By the way, I love your screen name! :cool:

Catmom :paw:

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