Identity Crisis - page 2

I don't want to be a Debbie Downer but this may come across that way. Just having a difficult time lately. Sort of an identity crisis maybe. This new clean, sober life.....will I ever really... Read More

  1. by   Twoyearnurse
    Pets are the best! On my worst days my little friend always cheers me up, and if he doesn't he reminds me that I have him as a responsibility.
  2. by   CryssyD
    I feel you. I put on 30 pounds within 2 years--food was my substitute for cigarettes, and those times when I REALLY needed a drink. All those healthy coping skills I didn't have--it really showed in stressful situations, and me and my family went through some really bad times.

    I really relate to your identity crisis--I went through the same sort of thing. When I was really depressed and down on life, the best and healthiest way of coping with it was to drag myself in to work to take care of sick kids, people who needed me. Also, work was one of the very few places in my life I felt competent. The idea of losing that forever--some days I could just barely deal with it.

    But I got through it. I had an awesome therapist, which was a godsend--I don't know how I could have done it without her. I learned how to accept and love myself just for being me, warts and all. I gained some badly needed self esteem and coping skills. I was also lucky that my sponsor was willing to use the steps as a starting point, rather than gospel. One example--I don't believe in the first step, I don't believe in being helpless; helpless-and-hopeless is what was killing me. I think lots of women need empowerment for successful recovery, not helplessness. You can gain the power to say No--to family, to work, to those who have abused you in the past and those who would abuse you now if you let them. You can still depend on your Higher Power for guiding your mind to good and healthy choices--but they are YOUR choices. It's OK to be proud of yourself when you make the right choice, just as it's OK to forgive yourself when you don't.

    It really will get better. I know it's hard to see that light at the end of the tunnel, but it really is there. Hang in there.
  3. by   SororAKS
    "But I got through it. I had an awesome therapist, which was a godsend--I don't know how I could have done it without her. I learned how to accept and love myself just for being me, warts and all. I gained some badly needed self esteem and coping skills. I was also lucky that my sponsor was willing to use the steps as a starting point, rather than gospel. One example--I don't believe in the first step, I don't believe in being helpless; helpless-and-hopeless is what was killing me. I think lots of women need empowerment for successful recovery, not helplessness. You can gain the power to say No--to family, to work, to those who have abused you in the past and those who would abuse you now if you let them. You can still depend on your Higher Power for guiding your mind to good and healthy choices--but they are YOUR choices. It's OK to be proud of yourself when you make the right choice, just as it's OK to forgive yourself when you don't." (CrissyD, see PP)


    You outline a few great points here about substance abuse, and about the 12 Steps. I agree. I had no problem admitting that I had moved beyond the point where I had (or realized I had) the power of choice to pick up my drug of choice. But the whole interpretation of that first Step, to me, suggested I should admit i was powerless over everything...which was where I stop because that, to me, just screams Victimhood. I knew that I could not fall into that trap, so I chose my own interpretation of the First Step, a narrow one, focusing on the fact that I diverted drugs from work because I felt I had no other choice. I was an addict. I committed crimes to obtain the drugs I felt I had to have.

    But once I stopped, or was stopped, I chose to not pick up that drug or find any substitute drugs. I took back that power of choice I had lost.

    I also know that there are factors in society, and nursing, which encourage helplessness and victimhood. This isn't limited to women, but I think women are socialized to be compliant, to not say no, to ignore their own needs and give give give until it hurts. To BE NICE, which is really code to not make waves. Very few of us are taught how to relate to others in a healthy manner that honors them but also empowers us to be our best. We are not taught how to care for ourselves, most of us have to learn those skills on our own. Then we carry this background to nursing, where the healthcare system has a vested interest in continuing the status quo.

    Those are facts, but I have the responsibility to make right choices. I have the responsibility to learn how to say no, to stay out of unhealthy situations, and to do the best I can to not be part of the problem. I also have a responsibility to not fall back on all the old excuses I had for using, to not blame others, society, or healthcare, for my lack of skills or lack of coping mechanisms.

    The 12 Steps have their uses. I still go to NA and to a lesser extent AA...and filter out the helplessness and heavy Christianity stuff when it flies. Bottom line, in my humble opinion, if one is really done and wants to live differently without dependency on substances, they will find the resources. Even if they are laced with Christianity and seem to be dispensing double messages...a lot of people stay clean and sober with them. There are also other alternatives, other programs, that don't use the steps or format AA/NA does.

close