4 years, 3 months, and 3 days....life is good!

  1. I haven't been on this board in forever and wanted to "check in". I'm so happy this board is still somewhat active as I'm seeing more and more nurses in my state who are turning up with alcohol and drug problems. I've also been working in an outpatient psychiatric clinic for over 3 years now and am able to see what this disease does to those who choose NOTto work a program of recovery. It's devastating. I have 3 clients who are former nurses and all of them are interested in taking benzos and opiates to deal with their problems rather than surrendering and finding recovery. I also wanted to share with everyone that I recently had to have surgery on my knee and was put on Percocet after surgery. I was terrified, to be clear, but I also prepared for it by making sure I had LOTS of safeguards to keep me from relapsing. My husband filled the meds and had them locked up. I discussed the pain scale with my LADC and also attending meetings from the first day of surgery....nothing like hitting a meeting while on crutches and your leg all bandaged up from surgery 2 hours prior! My sponsor came over while I was recovering to make dinner while my husband was at work and talk recovery. I made sure to continue my Aftercare while on the medication to help process how I was feeling. And when it was time for me to stop the meds, I had my husband count them at home then took them to my LADC, who counted them (because that 3 miles I have to drive is enough for temptation to set in). Husband texted LADC to let him know there should be 44 Percocets left and there were

    I also discussed how I was feeling, mentally, and how quickly the obsession and craving came back, even after 4 years. It was scary and there was a lot of crying involved but I made it through and 3 days into detoxing off the pain meds, I was gifted in a meeting. After the meeting was over, a lady came up and was staring at me. I didn't recognize her and she said she didn't think I remembered her. She leaned over and whispered in my ear that she was my old supervisor from the ICU (this was the morning I was found unconscious at work). The emotional dam broke and I hugged her, sobbing. Because at that moment, I can admit that there was a small part of me mourning the loss of the pain meds, knowing I wouldn't be able to take them anymore. I'm an addict and that's what the disease does to my thinking. But when I saw her, it all came flooding back....what those pills did to my brain, my health, my job, my life. It turned them to oop: (which is my LADC had me flush them down the toilet...I know you are not supposed to do that anymore but it was a symbolic thing).

    Seeing her reminded me that I was gifted another chance at life and if I wanted to, I could easily go back "there". It also made me realize that I hadn't really emotionally connected with that morning I almost lost my life. Accidentally overdosing sounded scary but in truth, I don't think I "felt" it inside. When I saw my old supervisor (in a meeting, no less!), I came to the realization that I need to work on where I stuffed all the emotions from that morning. Then, a few days later, I went to a speaker meeting and both speakers shared on how pain pills took them out after years of sobriety. I needed to hear all of that to recognize that I don't "need" those pills and I don't need that numbness. Now, thinking about taking pain pills kind of makes me sick to my stomach and that's okay with me! I just wanted to share my experience with this board because it really has been a journey. I am grateful and blessed with my life today. Life is good
  2. Visit LilRedRN1973 profile page

    About LilRedRN1973

    Joined: Sep '03; Posts: 1,163; Likes: 460
    Registered Nurse; from US
    Specialty: 8 year(s) of experience in ICU, psych, corrections


  3. by   wish_me_luck
    Great job! It's really nice that you are able to see what would have happened if you didn't get help.
  4. by   manisha03
    good job
  5. by   VivaLasViejas
    Congratulations!!! WOOOOOT!!!

    As you now undoubtedly know, the price of liberty (in our case, freedom from substance abuse) is eternal vigilance. We can never let our guard down, not even for an instant. Good for you in recognizing the need to limit your access to pain meds and get rid of them as soon as you no longer needed them

    Just remember, the temptation will always be there, and relapse will always be just one sip or one pill away. Back in March when I had a mental health crisis and subsequent breakdown, I almost took my last dozen Ativan and told my husband I was going to the store to buy a bottle of Jack Daniels so I could make the pain go away. That was 20 years, 2 months, and 11 days after my last drink.......so even after two full decades of sobriety, that urge still remains, and as such, it must be squashed like a dangerous insect.

    Keep up the good work, and know that you are NEVER alone.
  6. by   CarryThatWeight
    Thank you for sharing your story. Your honesty and transparency are refreshing and I know you have helped and will help many people in the future.
  7. by   kingofthekicks20
    Thank you for sharing and congratulations! Your post speaks truth about the struggles of sobriety. It's a much-needed reminder of what one stands to gain from quitting.
  8. by   josie25
    Good job!
  9. by   smurfynursey