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Living a double life............

by littlesara littlesara (New) New

Has 10 years experience.


I've been lurking around here for some time now, I have enjoyed the many posts and suggestions. A little about myself: I'm in recovery (will celebrate 7 years in a few months). I am no stranger to the rooms, having literally "grown up" in them, was introduced to the rooms 20 years ago. I have had more time clean than using, during those years, but I seem to suffer from sporadic relapses (1 every 5-6 years or so). One relapse lasted several years, the rest were a few days/weeks. Anyways............I have obviously been down that road of hell and back, arrests, convictions, etc. I know how to stay clean, I think depression got to the best of me, yada yada................so my issue is:

I went to nursing school (Psych Tech) a few years ago. It was a life-changing event, to say the least. I was in a slump, job wise, working here and there, and my husband suggested that I try this school, which was and still is, geared to pump out new graduates to work at the this State facility. He got word of this school, through the rooms, basically people we have known for years, who have gone to RN or PT school and are now working there now.

So, I did just that. I never thought I would like nursing, always said I hated needles (I still do, but I figured out it was if I was the one getting the shot), and have basically excelled in everything that I have tried since starting this program. I still attended meetings, while going to school, and while studying for the boards, and while waiting for hiring at this facility. It took over a year to be hired, due to long waits with the board in regards to my record (no felonies, just misdemeanors, felony was expunged and dismissed, all drug related stuff, no violence). Anyways.........sorry for the long story....in the meantime, I suckered up and worked in home health care as an aid. While in school, I had to humble myself, and write letters to the investigators for the clinical sites, and submit to Live Scans, etc., even had a meeting with the Special Investigations of the facility and had to write a letter for this facility, we had a clinical there (this was before I was hired). I felt like I was the only one who was going through this. There was only one other lady who had a similar situation. Finally, passed my test and and submitted my letters of recommendation etc, to the board, and had to submit all my legal history with explanations. So finally, update: I was finally hired! yay! go me! I've been there over 2 years now, and have learned a lot and have changed hats several times, when supervisors want to train me for another assignment, etc. I love my job, I work in a maximum security facility. The problem I am having is: I don't want to go to meetings anymore, yet I do..............does that make sense? I feel like I am living a double life, the more I work, which is an hour away, the more I feel connected to this life at this job, and the less I feel connected to my old social life. I guess it doesn't help that people that I used to hang out with at the meetings, are working right near me, I see them everyday. I have no problem, i am just so afraid, someone new at my work is going to find out WHO I AM, get it? I walk through those gates every $$%#@ day and am subjected to scans, police dogs, etc, and I feel like I'm the criminal still. Even on social online networks, everybody knows I work there, yet the "new people" (we shall call them) don't know my history. More update: I have decided to pursue my RN, I am halfway through my Pre-reqs right now. I am considering cutting back my hours, so I don't lose my status, which is doable, it's done all the time, so staff can go back to school, I'm just afraid to "apply" again for the different position, and starting the background crap again. I told myself that if I can just get these hours cut, I can finish and go to the Nursing Program and only have to re-apply one more time as an RN (and one more state test). Then one more probation, etc.......When will this feeling go away???? I'm tired of feeling like an ex-con....................:(

sorry so long................


Has 10 years experience.

wow 30 views and not one comment?? ok i'm tired, going to bed.

I think no response is because you are all over the place you rambled on without a point. I will first say you stated that every 4=6 years you relapse, that speaks volumes get your ass to regular meetings when WE start to think we no longer need AA or NA we are already starting our relapse. 2 I no longer care who knows I belong to AA especially after picking up my 4 year chip. Remember " we will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it" this reminds me of where Ive been and where I now am at. If you have no DUIs or drug records you shouldn't have any probation, but even 1 can land you in an AP program for chemical dependency. If you truly want to be a RN and are called for it nothing else matters and you will jump through the hoops. I wish you luck with whatever you decide but again get to a meeting and continue to go regularly, do you have a sponsor? If not for God's sake and your sobriety get one today.

dirtyhippiegirl, BSN, RN

Specializes in PDN; Burn; Phone triage. Has 8 years experience.

My advice would be to find a recovery program that keeps you from relapsing. As evidenced by other threads in this forum, relapses are not looked upon lightly by the BON. Whether that includes AA or something else is up to you.

Plenty of people struggle with self-identifying as an addict after years of sobriety. Drifting away from AA can be a natural part of earned long-term sobriety. But you KNOW that you have a pattern of relapse behavior. Relapsing could cause you to lose your nursing license. (Or your job and other potential future employment opportunities, at least.) I think a little self-reflection is going to be necessary.

relapse is part of recovery. we go from every day constant use, to complete abstinence. one slip up every couple of years is a whole lot better then how we used to be. you can't beat ur self up. just brush urself off, get up and start over.

Isn't the guilt awful? I've got a few 24/hrs & I still think that every one (family) thinks of me as that stupid kid that I used to be. Im also in school and was worried about the same thing. My sis is a DON and told me that most place don't care about your past, they look at job history. if you bounce around a lot to all different places, not staying anywhere for long, then that looks bad. if you have been at a couple of places for a decent amount of time, that is what is important.

you got this girly! stay strong :sarcastic:

Well said dirtyhippiegirl! Self reflection is such a powerful tool! It is something I utilize every day with all aspects of my life including sobriety. Stay away from the Stinking Thinking! That is where you can get in trouble. You are already trying to justify not going to meetings but they are obviously a big part of your sobriety. Do your best to fit it into your schedule somehow.

Wow, lots of stuff going on here. The regular pattern of relapse concerns me--yes, it's often a part of the disease of addiction, but it's also a sign that the disease is not adequately under control. Please get with your sponsor and people in your group and try to figure out why you've had this pattern and what you can do about it--I would hate for you to have come this far, get through nursing school, then fail a drug test or something. I wish you the best of luck, whatever you do! As far as people recognizing you, so what? You know you're doing the right thing, going to meetings and working, if they have a problem with that, it's their problem--as far as I can tell, you're not doing anything wrong, so the heck with them! You don't have to feel guilty--you aren't a criminal, you're just living your life. It's not necessarily a bad thing that you're drifting away from your old social life (people, places, things, right?), as long as you're not drifting away from meetings and your sponsor--your history tells me these people are crucial to maintaining your sobriety. Recovery first!