Did I do the right thing? - page 6

Did I do the right thing? I have a close friend.....and that person has been denying they have a alcohol addiction problem. They made me feel guilty for even asking if they had a problem.Things got... Read More

  1. by   sissiesmama
    Keys - Hello - I am glad that you are there for your friend. I have been clean and sober and working my program since 1999. August 16th, 1999 to be exact, is the day that I got caught at work diverting Demerol, going into the bathroom at work that was right in front of the nurses station and shooting it into my thigh.

    I graduated from nursing school in October 1991, and started working on a med surg unit. My dream was always to work in the ER of a busy hospital - I'm a typical adrenaline junkie, I guess, and I could just see myself there, working in the ER, caring for GSWs, stabbings, traumas, codes, ect.

    In 1997, I was going through a divorce, and took a second part time job after the separation to help out with some of the bills. I worked 6 12 hour day shifts a week, every week. I started taking Adipex every am as soon as my feet hit the floor to get my motor started, and by the time I got home, I had so much caffeine in me that I started taking mbien to help me "shut down" at night to get any rest at all. I was not overweight, I weighed 140 lbs and I am 5 ft 8 inches, so I didn't need the Adipex for medical reasons. I had no problems getting it, though. I knew which docs to flirt with to get what I wanted and I though I "needed". I could harrass one in the hall briefly and walk away with whatever rx I was asking for.

    My PCP I guess knew I had a prioblem, even before I did, or before I admitted it to anyone, including myself. I had chronic migraines, and he never doubted me when I called the office to get my "fix". I didn't even have to see him, just call and come in and the nurse would shoot me in the butt with 100mg of Demerol and 50mg of Phenergan and pour me back into my car for the 15 minute drive home. They knew I drove myself there and back, but of course, I lied to them and said I lived just a minute or so away from their office. My nickname at his office was the "Meperdine Queen". He even called me that at work a few times, and I thought it was just TOO funny. He wasn't making fun of me, just joking around with me - it was always so funny to me, we got a good laugh about it.

    Anyway, long story short (kind of!) on August 16th, 1999, I had changed jobs and finally got caught coming out of the BR and was escorted from the property. I had to call the state board the next day, and told them everything. I think I cried nonstop for the next month while waiting for a bed in our state inpt rehab facility since when I got caught, I got fired and lost my health insurance.

    So, back to the point, I was a lot like your friend at first. And I was so very angry, felt like it just wasn't fair (not sure why) and that I was just being singled out - just a big old pity party that I had trouble getting away from. I hope your friend realizes what a good friend they have in you. I wish someone had been there for me like that back then.

    But, anyway, I digress. I did meet my hubbie after finishing inpatient rehab and finally found a new job. He is an RN also, and has 1 month more than me in the sobriety dept. In August this year, I will celebrate 10 years of being in recovery, and Brian will celebrate 10 years in July.

    Jack, Mag - Ya'll always bring up such good points! You two have helped me working my program and I appreciate it. And I can still remember where I was when I found out about Chris Farley's death. That just about broke my heart. It is awful to see a young successful actor, ect succumb (sp??) to their ETOH/drug using and die. Thank God I was able to get help when I did, or I would have appeared in the obits of our local newspaper a long time ago.

    And, I know I was lucky, even though I didn't think so at the time, to get a contract for more than 2 years. God knows I needed it!

    Anne, RNC
  2. by   jackstem
    here are some links to good information:

    free videos...aimed at anesthesia but can be helpful in understanding the disease, signs, symptoms, etc.

    one of the best books about addiction available.

    lots of free information and publications available from the national clearinghouse for alcohol and drug information

    samhsa news
  3. by   Keysnurse2008
    I think I am just going to step out of his life for awhile....and BTW...jack/...you said I cant help my friend by becoming obsessed by learning everything in a couple weeks. I want to clarify....I didnt know anything before I started asking questions here. I am sorry if my questions seemed" obsessed". I was actually trying to just educate myself. The case manager person...I havent spoke to since a day or so after I reported him. The information I have gotten is from him or his family and I have no idea if it is accurate or not. That is why I have asked questions. This is just too much....I think I will stop taking hi s calls. I have no idea what is the truth anymore and I dont want people thinkin I am obsessed bc I wanted to help a friend. Thank you all for the information you provided...and for sharing your wisdom, insight and personal stories.
  4. by   jackstem
    Quote from Keysnurse2008
    I think I am just going to step out of his life for awhile....and BTW...jack/...you said I cant help my friend by becoming obsessed by learning everything in a couple weeks. I want to clarify....I didnt know anything before I started asking questions here. I am sorry if my questions seemed" obsessed". I was actually trying to just educate myself. The case manager person...I havent spoke to since a day or so after I reported him. The information I have gotten is from him or his family and I have no idea if it is accurate or not. That is why I have asked questions. This is just too much....I think I will stop taking hi s calls. I have no idea what is the truth anymore and I dont want people thinkin I am obsessed bc I wanted to help a friend. Thank you all for the information you provided...and for sharing your wisdom, insight and personal stories.
    Keys, take a deep breath and step back. You're taking much of this out of context. That's a problem with this medium...no facial expressions, no body language, no tone of voice during communications. It's the reason I suggested you attend open AA meetings, Al Anon meetings, and visit a treatment center in order to discuss this stuff with real, live, EXPERIENCED people. Everything said here has been said with compassion and empathy. I'm sure it doesn't feel like it, but it rarely does when we're in the middle.

    I have offered to discuss this with you further through PMs or private email. I'm even willing to discuss it over the phone. So far, you haven't taken me up on those offers. You are experiencing what most colleagues, friends and family of addicts experience...co-dependence. While I detest that term, it's the most common one in use. It's never comfortable to here some of the things you've heard. You have begun a difficult journey, and it will most likely become more difficult before it becomes less. When dealing with addiction, whether in self or others, we will be required to face things about ourselves that can be uncomfortable, painful, and sometimes really ugly. That's a path you must traverse. I have no idea what it is you will need to face if you continue to attempt to help your friend (and others, including yourself). When it comes to this disease you are very naive. That's not a criticism...it's an observation. If you read back through your posts as objectively as possible, you'll see that. Ignorance (lack of knowlege...not an insult as many believe) is not the same as naive (also not an insult). Either one can can keep us from seeing the truth and the facts. Combined, they can present an even tougher mountain to climb. Being able to overcome the emotional response when facing some of the difficult truths that are revealed are key to overcoming them.

    Again, none of the things said her were intended to be disrespectful or insulting in anyway. However, they needed to be said in order to convey the information and the concern I had and still have for you and your friend. What you do with that information, how you choose to proceed is entirely up to you. My offers still stand.

    Jack
  5. by   exnursie
    Quote from Keysnurse2008
    I think I am just going to step out of his life for awhile....and BTW...jack/...you said I cant help my friend by becoming obsessed by learning everything in a couple weeks. I want to clarify....I didnt know anything before I started asking questions here. I am sorry if my questions seemed" obsessed". I was actually trying to just educate myself. The case manager person...I havent spoke to since a day or so after I reported him. The information I have gotten is from him or his family and I have no idea if it is accurate or not. That is why I have asked questions. This is just too much....I think I will stop taking hi s calls. I have no idea what is the truth anymore and I dont want people thinkin I am obsessed bc I wanted to help a friend. Thank you all for the information you provided...and for sharing your wisdom, insight and personal stories.
    You need to keep these 3 things in mind ( the 3 c's of alanon)
    1, You did not cause this
    2, you cannot cure him
    3, you cannot control what he thinks , does, says...

    I admire your desire to be involved, but in all honesty,for someone who is not an addict to try to understand the though processes and the behaviors that an addict uses is very difficult to grasp and instead you should look more into alanon and how they deal with addicts.
  6. by   Keysnurse2008
    I keep trying to wrap my brain around it...and I dont understand it. Part of me...can see maybe how some of this works,..but it still doesnt make sense. I feel like I was lied to ...bc I was lied to. Now...I listen when he calls....I listen when his kids call...and when his mom calls.....and I am now thinking he is feeding us all a line of BS and maybe ....they have to deal with it. But I ...just dont. So...I think....until he does get it together Id be better off just cutting off the ties until he deals with this stuff. I dont even think he can establish a relationship with his mom and kids till he deals with all this stuff...so I am just probably feeding into his pity party. I know you guys have probably had alot of friends kinda walk away out of your life when things kinda got rough.....so ....I guess.....while I have learned a tremendous amount from you guys......maybe......I can help you can understand WHY some have walked out of your life too. You guys were and still are successful, smart , well educated , personable......and we dont understand. I ...probably like alot of your friends, wonder if I am still gettting manipulated or lied to. When I asked my friend if he had a problem....he made me feel guilty or bad I had even asked. then when I found out he TRULY did have a problem...I felt lied to....and then felt like I had to question everything he said...or everything he tells anyone to screen them for lies. I know all this stuff is so complicated.....but when you feel like you are having to internally screen everything for truthfullness...it cant be healthy for anyone. So.....I know he is a good guy. But....I think....it would just be better to just stay away for a few months till he gets more of a grip with his life. Then maybe he can deal with his kids,...and then his family....and when he is more sober...add friends back to the mix. And I have heard from a few people ....that had hard feelings bc friends just scattered by the wayside after your "intervention". I hope you guys realize...maybe they just didnt want to complicate things,...and that they probably didnt want to make things worse for you...and that maybe....they felt like I do. That you'd be best left to sort through your problems and primary family members issues befor eyou added friends to the mix. I want to thank each of you....while I still dont fully understand this stuff...I do have a bettter idea of it. I want to thank you for sharing your stories and insight. If my friend was as far along as you guys are in your acknowledgement...Id stick around.....but he isnt. So I cant see myself helping him ...so I think I am going to do the best thing I can do.....leave him alone to sort out his issues.I dont want it to seem like I reported him and then walked away...it isnt like that. I feel guilty...really guilty I reported him. But...I cant make his get control of his life....what I can do.....is walk away and let him focus all his time and energy into dealing with his issues. And maybe .....this is what happened to some of the people in your lives too. And now....that you have reached the point in your recovery....I bet they'd like to hear from you.
  7. by   Ginger45
    I am kind of late to this, but being just plain stressed out or burned out can cause some of those symptoms. I use the bathroom frequently because I have an overactive bladder. But as I have always said, "Drug test me anytime, I don't care, no way am I going to risk my license for drugs."
  8. by   Keysnurse2008
    Quote from exnursie
    you need to keep these 3 things in mind ( the 3 c's of alanon)
    1, you did not cause this
    2, you cannot cure him
    3, you cannot control what he thinks , does, says...

    i admire your desire to be involved, but in all honesty,for someone who is not an addict to try to understand the though processes and the behaviors that an addict uses is very difficult to grasp and instead you should look more into alanon and how they deal with addicts.
    right now...i think...he just needs to concentrate on him. so...i am just going to leave him be for awhile. let him sort stuff out and in a few months or weeks....try to see whats up. i mean..until everybody sees what he is going to do....we cant help. whats that old saying? god helps those who help themselves...so hopefully he will see this as a way to a better life.
  9. by   Keysnurse2008
    Quote from ginger45
    i am kind of late to this, but being just plain stressed out or burned out can cause some of those symptoms. i use the bathroom frequently because i have an overactive bladder. but as i have always said, "drug test me anytime, i don't care, no way am i going to risk my license for drugs."
    hmm...i dont understand. what do you mean? being stressed out can cause you to become an alcoholic or addicted to drugs? i mean.....i guess stress may play a part....but i am not sure what you mean. from what i have read their is a big physiological component that kinda gets activated if you are predispositioned for addiction. i dont understand what u mean......just bc people go to the bathroom alot...nobody thinks there on drugs.....hell id think they had a uti before id think they had a problem with drugs or etoh.
  10. by   jackstem
    Check this out:

    http://www.nicd.us/thediseaseconcept.html

    One of NUMEROUS articles on variety of topics dealing with addiction from the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
    http://www.nicd.us/ALCOHOLISMandADDI...NCYatNICD.html
  11. by   jackstem
    Quote from keysnurse2008
    right now...i think...he just needs to concentrate on him. so...i am just going to leave him be for awhile. let him sort stuff out and in a few months or weeks....try to see whats up. i mean..until everybody sees what he is going to do....we cant help. whats that old saying? god helps those who help themselves...so hopefully he will see this as a way to a better life.
    keys...you're right to let him concentrate on him. but instead of just "going away", learn what you can about how this is affecting you. based on your questions, comments, confusion, anger, "hurt" over comments, etc., you have been deeply affected by all of this. i urge you to consider talking with a counselor to learn why you are having these strong feelings. something is going on. by focusing on your friend and his disease, you're avoiding the more important issue(s), your issues.

    the above paragraph may have caused an emotional, visceral response (and then again, maybe not). more confusion mixed with anger would be expected. if this is so, things need to be looked into if you want to become more capable of dealing with your friend's disease as well as the patients you will face with the disease of addiction.

    as for god helping those who help themselves? this is a disease in which the patient is incapable of "helping themselves", especially in the early stages. god provides us with each other for that help.

    jack
  12. by   jackstem
    Quote from keysnurse2008
    hmm...i dont understand. what do you mean? being stressed out can cause you to become an alcoholic or addicted to drugs? i mean.....i guess stress may play a part....but i am not sure what you mean. from what i have read their is a big physiological component that kinda gets activated if you are predispositioned for addiction. i dont understand what u mean......just bc people go to the bathroom alot...nobody thinks there on drugs.....hell id think they had a uti before id think they had a problem with drugs or etoh.
    yes, just because people go to the bathroom a lot, people do think they are on drugs. a sign of substance abuse/addiction in a health care professional is frequent trips to the bathroom. that's where i did most of "dosing", both at home and everywhere else. the fact that you would think uti before addiction means you lack the knowledge base to conduct an in-depth assessment and differential nursing diagnosis of a patient's presenting symptoms that might make an accurate diagnosis of the cause in a patient who presents with trauma, domestic violence, and any other number of signs associated with substance abuse and addiction. that's not a criticism, it's an honest observation. it also is a good example of what happens in the addict. just as you aren't aware of your lack of knowledge about specific signs and symptoms of the disease (because like most other nurses, you haven't received appropriate or adequate training about the disease), the addict isn't aware of their inability to recognize their addiction. the difference between a non-addict and an addict in this regard? the non-addict is capable of learning what they don't know...while the addict is actively using and for the first several months of abstinence in early (mostly "forced" recovery) their brain isn't capable of learning from their negative consequences or retain the information about their disease...because of the brain chemistry and structure alterations. and when do we conduct most of the treatment for addicts? in the early stages when they have difficulty learning. and then we're surprised when they relapse? of course we are, because we lack education about the disease. that lack of education can be excused in the non-health care professional. it is inexcusable in the professional.

    granted, if the schools aren't training their students (and they're not...medical, nursing, or any other discipline), they do have an "excuse". but once they leave school, the responsibility is now the individual clinician's. what do most nurses do when it comes to ceus? they pick the cheapest method of obtaining the bare minimum number of ceus, choosing topics they love and ignoring the topics they don't care for or think they don't need. (i don't work in addiction treatment...why do i need to know this stuff?) because almost a third of hospitalized patients are admitted as a result of substance abuse or addiction (pancreatitis, cirrhosis, heart diseases, gi diseases, infections, etc. can all be a result of sa or cd). over 50% of all er admissions at trauma centers are there as a result of sa and cd. so the "average" nurse will be dealing with addicts all the time. couple that with a 10 - 15% addiction rate (depending on the study) in the general population, a 15 - 17% rate in nurses, and a 15 - 20% rate in anesthesia providers, the "average nurse" will work with an impaired colleage more than once in their career.

    and, the disease of addiction doesn't just adversely affect the addict. if affects family, friends, neighbors, colleagues, and communities. but most of those dealing with significant repercussions in their own life as a result of someone else's addiction don't recognize it in themselves. it comes out in other ways...usually in physical illnesses as a result of unrelieved stress (irritable bowel, anxiety disorders, depression, ocd, control issues and controlling behaviors, insomnia, relationship dysfunction and failures, abusive relationships...over and over and over, to mention but a few. the non-addicts become addicted to the addict...to controlling or "helping/saving" the addict. many many health care providers...especially nurses enter the profession as a result of an unhealthy relationship with an addict...usually a parent or sibling. they are going to "help" society. i'm not saying that is every nurse or doctor. but it is a larger number than you would think.

    once you learn as much about how this has affected you and learn healthy ways to deal with that...then you will be an effective nurse for your patients with the disease and your friend. by saying...he's the one with the problem, not me! you are repeating the mantra repeated by those most affected by the addict (friend, family or colleague). it's what my first wife said more than once when i went through treatment. it's the reason she didn't participate in the family program. it almost cost our daughter her life, because her mother learned nothing from our experience with my addiction. it wasn't her problem! she wasn't sick! so when kim's disease became active, her mother made all the same mistakes with kim as she did with me. she's an intelligent nurse who started a couple of successful companies and sold them for serious money. but she still doesn't "get it". thank god kim's step-dad knew he didn't get it and recognized kim's mom didn't get it either. it's what saved kim's life! i'll always bee grateful to him.

    use this time while your friend is in treatment to discover what's going on in you...or not. but if you don't, you'll never be able to wrap your brain around this...and your patients (and any other addicts in your life) will suffer for that. you're not bad...stupid...or a moron. if that's what you get out of all of this.....wow! i'm willing to go to the may with you (or anyone else). but if it becomes clear that you're not really following the suggestions you're getting. that's when i call it quits. we're not even close to that right now.

    the ball is in your court.

    jack
  13. by   sissiesmama
    Keys - Hello - It's late, and I just wanted to say that I am glad you are there for your friend through all this. I got caught for diversion back in August of 1999. I had gone through a very nasty divorce, and since I had started using on a daily basis, I had alienated so many of my friends and family. I figured that of the ones that knew me well, it wouldn't take long for one of them to realize what I was doing. After I got caught, it was almost like they (esp. fellow nurses) thought it was like I had the plague or something and they would be looked at too, kind of guilt by association.

    I had very few friends who stuck by me, I so much hated to tell my dad, that I asked my mom to call him and tell him after we had crossed the line into another parish while on my way to rehab. I was always a daddy's girl, and that was the phone call I never made myself place before I went in.

    I am glad you are there for your friend. With everything going on, he may not be in a very good "place" right now. He will be angry, whether it is anger towards himself, to you, to any body. Lord knows I was - and I knew I didn't have the right to be angry to others, it's not like I was set up, anything like that. I was just stupid.

    You have given him something he will appreciate, either now or later in recovery - your friendship. Even if he isn't in the plaace to apppreciate it right now, he will.

    As an addict, thanks for being there for him. Some friends just don't a lot of times, it is hard living with "us". Like I said, there weren't many there for me then and I hated it going inro rehab with no support systems. He will meet other addicts while in treatment, but I appreciated having one stand by me then.

    Anne, RNC

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