Good stuff in this post. I was one who self-reported after 2-year drug addiction to opioid prescriptions. I was in denial after about the 3rd prescription and illegally. I got sick and tired of being sick and tired. I could longer help myself. I never got caught but need help.
My wife is a nurse also and never know, in fact nobody knew. That's the way us drug addicts like to keep it! When I reached my bottom of wanting to be done, I informed my wife about it and she initially supported me. I went to a healthcare professional treatment facility, never knowing it was in my back yard, Hazelden, Springbrook.
This is where it got a little dicey for me at that time. I left treatment after 30 days even though they wanted me to stay at least 60 days and up to 90 days. Yes, I left AMA. 2-weeks out of treatment, after much heavy suggestions from other nurses in recovery, they highly recommended I report myself to the Oregon State Board Nursing (That was part of the reason Hazelden wanted me to stay.) It was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do but I did. The board was compassionate and receptive to me. At that time, I really didn't get it but they asked me if I wanted to be on the monitoring program? Yes, it was a question or offer. I figured I had no choice because I told them what I had done and who I was. I was so sick at the time and said well....Yes. No, no, I do not regret it know. I still believe it is the right thing to do because I will never know what would have happened if I had not reported myself. Say, I might be dead? Or, hurt someone else in my practice. Remember, I had not informed my employer or given them any indication what was going on with me at this time. I knew that once I self-reported to BON I would have to inform my employer. It was time and that's what I did.
The hospital administration, suits I like to call them, fired me even though I self-referred to treatment and the BON. The department Head wanted willing to work with me but Admin had something else to say about it. Apparently they have a zero tolerance policy. I say now, they do have to right, but a that time, I was angry with their decision. I was angry, irritable and discontented for about 6-8 months into recovery and finally surrendered then started to accept everything that had happened to me (I am a slow learner). I can't blame anyone for what has happened. In fact, I'm thankful because I needed this humbling process to happen to me.
Hind sight can be mostly 20-20, but I don't think I would have changed a thing other than my addiction. I believe it was just the way it was support to be. I have not worked in nursing for 2 years and with over 2.5 years of sobriety. I have a solid foot in recovery and my life is much different today. I am very grateful for everything I have especially for my wife. Yes, getting a job in nursing today can be a challenge but God will make the way. It is hard being turned down for work but perseverance with win out. Today, I work with others new in recovery, attend regular AA meetings, have a sponsor and work the steps. We have a really good caduceus meeting here (mostly docs). I look at most everything through the lens of recovery these days (or I try). I have a lot better good days than bad days.
Recovery to me has given me the opportunity to start over again and live life more the way it support to be; Happy, Joyous and Free! As long as I'm in recovery and working a program and reaching out to help others, God with take care of the rest. Recovery comes first in my life because If I don't have recovery, I can't have anything else!