25 years clean in June - and work doesnt know!

  1. Well, I have been reflecting that I have been clean since June 28, 1983. I am coming up on 25 years, mostly in NA. I sponsor 8 women, I got clean at the age of 24 and am pushing 50. Its amazing.

    Two years ago I got to awaken a lost dream and became an RN at 47 yrs old. This is the first job I have ever had where they don't know I am in recovery. I have seen a few people I know at meetings of course but we are all quiet about it.

    Im having a big bbq in June to celebrate. Id love to invite a couple people I work with but they wouldn't get it. I am afraid I will be judged and monitored at work. Most of em know I don't imbibe, but that is as far as I have gone. It's weird to me not to tell, but this profession seems to be rather black or white. I would think MD's would be more understanding but they seem instead to be very intolerant.
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    About Fairlythere, RN

    Joined: Apr '06; Posts: 87; Likes: 7


  3. by   Tweety
    Weird, I was going to make a post asking if people are "out" at work.

    Congratulations on 25 years!!! How do you work on yourself with 8 sponsees?? Of course working with others is how we work on ourselves isn't it?

    When I entered nursing I was in recovery and never told anyone, then relapsed for a couple of years and have been sober 11 years. Fortunately, my relapse didn't affect my job.....yet.

    I choose to adhere to the "anonymous" part of my program and not tell anyone. I have the same concerns as you do. People just don't get it and I don't want to come in tired from insomnia one day and find myself giving urine because someone's "concerns".

    I'm sure it will come out one day and I won't deny it (after all I have pics of myself in my gallery here and someone will sooner or later put two and two together ) because I have nothing to be ashamed of and nothing to hide.

    It gets awkward because my boss wants me to go out for drinks with her and another coworker, and a doctor gave me some expensive vodka for Christmas last year. I've often said "It's my personal policy never to drink in front of co-workers because I can't trust what I might say" so it's no big deal for outside functions for me to not drink, but still sometimes I wish I could be honest, and actually get support rather than judgement, but for now I'll keep it to myself.
  4. by   Donna Rose
    I am truly happy that both of you have made it this far in recovery. Although I have never had an addiction, I lived with my husband for 25 years and went through all the stages of his alcoholism.

    I applaud everyone who works on improving themselves.

    Donna Rose
  5. by   TazziRN
    I am out, but only because I felt safe in doing so. Not everyone at the agency knows but the ones I work closest with do and they are supportive. Outting themselves is not the best idea for everyone, and I encourage anyone who is not comfortable with that to keep quiet. Best way to explain not drinking is either "I never liked the taste" or "I'm allergic to alcohol." In a sense, the last answer is correct.
  6. by   *tattooed~princess*
    yea we break out in bad ideas and handcuffs!
  7. by   Tweety
    Quote from *tattooed~princess*
    yea we break out in bad ideas and handcuffs!
  8. by   michigooseBSN
    After 52 years of putting on a facade to the world and living in fear that I would be found out (this was both before and during my active disease), when I got sober I promised myself I would never have to be afraid of being found out again. Therefore I have told many people at work that I am in recovery (on an as need to know basis or when it comes up comfortable in a conversation). I told my principal (I'm a school nurse) and nurse leader before accepting the job of course and others as it came up. My theory is that if I tell, I don't have to fear being found out. So far (16 years in less than 2 weeks) that has proved to be true.
  9. by   bigredrn57
    Congratulations! 25 years is quite a milestone. As my sponsor pointed out to me, "There is honesty and there is suicide. What are you practicing?" You sponsor 8 people and work full time? Where do you find the energy?
  10. by   Shell5
    My hats are off to all of you have gone on before, paving the way for me. I just got 7 years in May. I almost lost my license before coming into recovery. I didn't work for a year as a nurse. I work now at a hospital and try to keep it simple. The only thing my boss knows is that I completed Texas Peer Assistance Program for Nurses which some of you may know is a program for nurses that have an impairment with drugs, alcohol and/or mental illness. By now she has probably forgotten. I choose not to share with others at work for some of the same reason described above. Over the years, I have met doctors, lawyers, and nurses in recovery. This disease is no respecter of persons. If I believe someone is reaching out for help I will be more than willing to share my experience, strength and hope. I know I have to give it away to keep it. "But for the grace of God there go I."
  11. by   billyehaynes
    If asked, I tell. If I feel that my sharing my past will help someone, I tell. Just remember that if you put yourself in a position to turn down a drink 25 times then by the 26th time you might say yes. While in nursing school I outted myself and not once did anyone ever ask me to drink. On the flip side when they wanted to enjoy a drink they avoided me like the plague, or they would appologize for drinking. Basically this whole topic is a slippery slope. Whether or not to out yourself is as personal a choice as it is to stop drinking. No right or wrongs.
  12. by   time4meRN
    Wow, congrats ! I know , I always laugh to myself when the other nurses tell, me , you are so "put togeher", or other such statements. First thing I think is , " if you only knew how many comittiees are streaming through my head right now", or that I just got off the phone with my sponsor because some nurse ****** me off,,,,or the termoil my life can be in and how many meetings I go to to keep peace in my life. But, thank goodness, I can laugh at myself today. We are not a glum lot ! Again, congrats !!!!
  13. by   bigredrn57
    Quote from *tattooed~princess*
    yea we break out in bad ideas and handcuffs!
    As the jailer once said, "Why do you keep coming back?"