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feeling so sorry

by alive_again alive_again (New) New

Hello. I finally registered on here after months of reading all of your helpful stories and words of encouragement. I think I'm ready to join you all now. My story..... caught diverting from work, had been doing it for about 4 months and was questioned regarding discrepencies in my documentation, I tried to deny it at first but after realizing I was going to have to take a drug test I decided I had to admit. I was placed on admin. leave for two weeks before I got a letter in the mail telling me I was fired. I had grown up working in the hospital I diverted from...worked as a secretary for four years until completing nursing school when i was hired directly into the ER and worked for three years until my "problem" was discovered. I loved my job and I have so much guilt over what I have done. I miss everyone I worked with for all of those years.

The BON was good to me, however, I did take an attorney along with me to my meeting with the investigator. I got the usual narcotic restriction (6 months in my state) which I have two months left with. Plus all of the requirements of the monitoring program. I waited three months to start working but got a job relatively quickly after applying only a couple of places. I am currently working at a LTC facility and was so thankful to be offered a job and have been there for about a month. Right now I am having SO MUCH PAIN over missing my old job. I feel so much guilt over what I did and the fact that I took the job that I absolutely loved for granted. I guess the main thing I wanted to hear from others right now is if you have felt like I feel at this moment. I am very grateful to have a job but it is so much different and frankly as soon as my narc restriction is lifted I am wanting to find something in a hospital. Is it unrealistic to think I will be able to work in an ER anytime soon? ER is not a restriction in my state. But even if ER is out of the question I would rather work anywhere in the acute care setting. Working in this LTC facility is making me question if I even want to be a nurse. How long have others stayed in the LTC setting after something like this?? I REALLY want to be positive but it's extremely difficult right now:(

Magsulfate, BSN, RN

Specializes in ICU. Has 13 years experience.

First of all,, stop feeling so sorry for yourself. You are doing the best you can right? Look, you're recovering,,, so you screwed up,, it is not the end of the world.

Right now you're taking the steps and instead of digging the hole deeper, you've jumped out of the hole.. now you need to start putting the dirt back in it. And you can do that by being proud of yourself,,

Sure, you made this bed and have to lie in it... but you don't need to wallow in self pity forever. It's over with and get on with your recovery, get on with a better life that you deserve. You will miss your friends, but you will make new ones.

Right now, you're doing what you have to do to recover,, you're working in a nursing job,, you're going to meetings and doing drug tests right? You cannot continue to punish yourself, this is not a good thing.

Be grateful for the job that you have,, I have seen nurses who go for a year that cannot find a job with these restrictions. They would have been jumping for joy just to work at an LTC.

Keep your head high,, you've got to look forward,, And with recovery,, you have soo many good things to look forward to :)

Congratulations on getting clean.

Change your name. Recovering Nurse or Grateful Nurse are much more positive than Shameful Nurse. DO NOT CLING TO GUILT. We get that free.



Specializes in Trauma/ER, Dialysis (yuck!).

I think it is all individual...I experienced the exact same thing you are going through...shame, guilt, self pity, resenments....I also worked for 10yrs in ER.....Now today, 5years clean would I go back and work ER? Not sure...honestly I am scared to find out! I LOVE ER...I MEAN I LOVED IT!....but is that worth my soberiety? Not just er....any setting with access to narcotics. It required allot of humility to admit I was not "the man"...no longer one of those cocky er nurses....but it was a huge part of my recovery....after about 3 yrs I learned my job does not define me!

I would like to think I could do it and honestly, probably could....but I have found a job that pays well, I get to use critical care skills (not as much, but still do sometimes) and has awesome hours. So for me I am not ready to risk going back to that setting, working midnights or second shift, having time alone away from support system....

I watch the helicopter land all the time as I sit in the icu and dialyize my pt....I get bummed out, start feeling guilty, and sorry for myself, then I look at my tattoo with my clean date and realize it's not worth the risk....

Think about dialysis.....not the chronic setting....try acutes....that way you are in the hospital and will still get to see sick patients (occasionally)....it pays well, hours good, and always a demand. It is one of the more "recovery friendly" fields.......


Specializes in Impaired Nurse Advocate, CRNA, ER,. Has 34 years experience.

I agree...change the screen name. This sounds so trite but it's true...we become what we think.

I felt the same way you do right now. It's normal and part of the disease. In early recovery (the first 18 months to 2 years) your brain chemistry is so messed up as a result of the chronic misuse of chemicals that it affects your mood, thoughts and decision making. Abstinence allows the brain to begin to recuperate but it takes time. And unfortunately, time takes time!

Guilt is the emotion we feel when we have done something that adversely affects someone (including ourselves). It tells us there is a problem in our relationship with someone (including ourselves) that needs to be repairedd. In this respect, guilt is a healthy emotion that helps us make amends and strengthen the bonds of the relationship.

Shame is the emotion we experience when we believe we are evil,ugly, slime on the bottom of the deepest abyss in the universe. In other words, we ARE the problem.

Guilt helps us repair and strengthen relationships, shame prevents us from forming relationships and destroys us from within.

You have a chronic, progressive disease called addiction. The target organ is the brain. The signs and symptoms of the disease are the negative emotions and behaviors which occur as a result of the chemical and structural changes in the most primitive areas of our brain. These areas are responsible for 2 things...keeping us alive and propagating the species. These areas are responsible for motivation and decision making on a subconscious level. They are most commonly called survival instincts. Any activity that the brain interprets as necessary for staying alive and keeping the species going is rewarded with a jolt of dopamine resulting in a pleasurable, rewarding sensation in order to repeat the activity. The stronger the stimulation, the more dopamine is released, the more pleasure we experience. Some of the natural stimulants include food, water, sex, caring for our children, doing a good job, participating in exercise or a favorite sport, etc.

In genetically susceptible people (like you, me, and every other addict), taking a mood altering substance (especially the class of our "drug of choice") directly stimulate the release of dopamine in the primitive areas of our brain. The more potent the substance, the more dopamine is released and the more pleasure we feel. It also assures that we will repeat the use of the substance. As time goes on, the brain changes and now the use is no longer voluntary. The brain literally believes it requires this substance to survive. Everything else false by the wayside. Natural activities that used to provide this stimulation, like sex, food, and caring for our children (or anyone for that matter) lose their ability to motivate us to participate in those activities. The only thing the brain believes will keep it alive and propagating is the drug. That's why we lose weight, don't sleep, stop making love, etc.

This is also why an intervention is required to get the person into treatment. When we ask a loved one or colleague with addiction to stop using and enter treatment, it's like we're telling them to stop breathing and get in the casket. No one IN THEIR RIGHT MIND would do that! Therein lies the problem. Non-addicts have no idea how powerful the urge to use becomes once the gene for addiction is activated. They continue to think the addict is still in control and has "decided" the drugs are more important. The reality is, the brain thinks they are necessary for survival and will do anything to get the next dose. Try to stop breathing, voluntarily, for 5 minutes. At some point, no matter how hard you try, you WILL take a breath. The brain will do anything and everything it can to get you to breath! For the addict in active disease, the drug has the same importance as breathing. This is why trying to recover by shear force of will is destined to fail.

You are not a bad person trying to become good...you have a potentially fatal disease and you are trying to become healthy. You can become healthy, but you'll need help from your family of recovering addicts....US (and your 12 Step families as well).

We love you...

WELCOME HOME!!!!!! :redbeathe :yeah: :up: :jester: :w00t::icon_hug:

Edited by jackstem

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