I just wanted everyone reading these forums who has struggled with addiction to know-I am so proud of you and in awe of your courage. I came to these forums because a very good friend of mine who is an RN just disclosed to me she has a problem with Narcotics and is reporting herself. I wanted to get some idea of what she was going through and see if I could get any ideas on how to help support her through this because Ive never had an addiction to anything (unless you count carbs...yummmm) but I know simply from being fascinated by endocrinology, metabolism, neurology, and even nutrition that addiction is a REAL disease unlike any other "sickness" and recovery will require some very specific and the "right" support. Her brain is sick with an addiction in the same way a patient with seizures is sick in areas of his brain. But we don't treat seizure patients like criminals now do we??? I thought maybe if I read other nurses stories and saw how you supported each other I could better help her.
Instead-I found myself about 9 pages in reading all of your stories and just tearing up at each of them. From denial to shame to empowerment to recovery and every where in between I just wanted each and every one of you to know you are NOT a "bottom of the barrel" nurse as one nurse self-described herself trying to look for a job after being reported to the board and going through treatment.
You all are more of a source of inspiration than a nurse who has never even gotten a single speeding ticket. You have not only battled addiction and won-I cant even IMAGINE all the steps it sounds like the different state boards put you through to retain a license with a black mark. To go into a job interview and look nurse managers and HR reps in the face knowing how very judgmental they will be-and even if you get a compassionate one they may not feel it ethical to hire you-but to show up and keep trying is more courageous than any nurse applying for ANY job and I would choose each and every one of you to take care of me or my family any day because you proved you are a fighter and can come back from the very worst and make victory. That is EXACTLY the kind of nurse I would like on my side if I were a sick patient.
Thank you all so much for sharing your stories
Oct 10, '13
Thank you for sharing! You sound like a great advocate and support person, and your RN friend is lucky to have you on her side.
There's really no magic formula for helping someone in the early stages of recovery. Each addict/alcoholic is different and will need different assistance at different stages in her recovery. Sometimes it's one step forward, two steps back; sometimes it's a whole bunch of steps forward and a very BIG step back. (I recently relapsed after almost 22 years of sobriety and am working to get myself back on track quickly......it can happen no matter how long we are clean and/or sober.) But wherever your friend is in her healing process, your support will be invaluable to her and I'm sure you'll know how to help her as her situation changes.
Oct 10, '13
Just believe in her and her recovery and tell her to get to meetings!! Best of Luck to you both along the journey
Oct 11, '13
Welcome, mustang! Glad you are here with us! I thing we have a pretty great group of AN posters and mods. Everyone is so understanding about what you're going thru.
I'm Anne and an addict. I've been in recovery since August of 1999. Sending positive thoughts and prayers that your friend is doing ok with it. Let her know she can come talk,lean on us for support, or simply listen.
Oct 11, '13
wow! it's so refreshing to hear from someone with an open heart when it comes to us nurses with substance abuse/addiction issues. wish future employers were more like you, Mustang_convt. you are exactly correct in saying that we are judged morally when someone with another disease is not. I have been judged and looked down on because of mistakes I made in my past. I was the only victim in my substance abuse history. I never hurt anyone. yet, i'm treated like a criminal. I am very angry, shameful and guilt ridden because of my mistakes, yet I can't find a single person to give me a second chance. I am a really really good nurse....... thanks again for your encouragement.
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