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So exhausted and haven't even started


In ohio when you are denied the alternative program you can reactive until they decide how to discipline you. They can also immediately suspend your license if you choose to reactivate and they believe you are dangerous. On one hand you might get into a new job that will support your through your contract but on the other you look bad for immediately jumping back into a drug-ridden work place.

I diverted and was caught. I may never be able to work again.. I have a criminal and license lawyer and am so tired of thinking about this. I have no idea what is going to happen on the criminal side and the nurse side? Complete revocation to a 2-5 year contract with temporary- permanent restrictions. I am so tired of the shame. Tired of the sadness from complete rejection by all of my coworkers (out of site, out of mind). Tired of feeling like the scum of the earth (I feel like everyone knows!).

I know I need to start attending AA/NA where i can find true support from those who understand but I am really struggling with but I just can't do it yet. Daily life and getting my sad butt to the once a week three hour alcohol and drug class is completely draining me.

I go back and forth of what I think I need to do for MYSELF but then I think the BON wants me to do. I am trying to look good for them by 'behaving'. I am not using at all and don't want to, reading about addiction, reaching out to the three loved ones that know, and trying so hard to look at the positive. I know I need to worry about me but I cannot for the life of me get them out of my head. This is all consuming and exhausting.

Just venting in a completely frazzled disjointed way.. :)

Wow...there is no better time for you to go to a meeting. This is life or death right now. Things WILL work out but only if you do your fair share. It is all very terrifying and unknown at the beginning and what seems like an endless sentence will change rapidly as you change and grow. Give yourself a good start. Big hugs....I know how terrifying the beginning is.

catmom1, BSN, RN

Specializes in LTC, Psych, Med/Surg.

When my stuff hit the fan, I was sure I would die of the shame. :yes: My name was even in my city's newspaper. I will never forget that pain, but it does get better.

I celebrated 10 years clean on Dec 8. My state has NO alternative to discipline program so when I got in trouble, it was bad. My license is unrestricted now but will always have a black mark.

Big hugs to you & know that you are NOT alone! :hug:

Catmom :paw:

Hi and welcome to the site! Although we can't answer all your questions, you are in a great place to vent and receive support.....MANY of us truly get the shame that you are describing, the rejection, the WORRY of legal ramifications and of course the BON.....yes, it it all so painful and terrifying, to say the least. Do you know for sure if you were rejected to be in the alternative to discipline program? Just wondering.

Some of the answers you are seeking will unfold when it is time for them to be revealed....what I suggest for you is to work on YOU and your sobriety---that has to be your number one priority. I know you are struggling finding the ambition to get to 12 step meetings but they will be a GREAT resource for you.....listening to others share their experience, strength and hope may help you "get out of your own head" so things don't seem so overwhelming. Just admitting that I was an addict was hard enough to face, aside from all the issues with the BON, etc. (I don't know where you are at regarding your recovery so I apologize if I said anything that has bothered you-regarding addiction). I just know that having a strong basis in my recovery has certainly helped me to weather the storm I have been in since I got caught diverting and terminated for it....eventually getting into my state's monitoring program and attempting to find a job that will give me a chance. (Still looking for that job :) I know that if I just do the footwork and stay positive, that the right job will come along when it's meant to.

Enough about me, please know that you are not alone and to take this all one day at a time...reach out to others, get the help you need and have FAITH that things WILL GET BETTER. :)

I was denied the alternative program and now am waiting to hear what my contract will be. I will be disciplined and have it all visible online. I deserve it and I know this, I was hoping beyond hope that this could be private but that is not to be. I am glad to be away from it all and be given a real and true chance at sobriety. I have two weeks left of my alcohol/drug classes and am then hoping to get myself going to meetings regularly.

I am an addict and always will be, it is something that will follow me forever and completely up to me how I let that addiction dictate my life. My counselor is an ex crack/heroin addict that has turned her life around multiple times to become successful and keep a career. I am amazed and awed at the time and dedication this will take. Poor terrible decisions will dictate the next YEARS of my life but ultimately I choose what happens.

One day I have hope and see the silver lining like you all mention and the next all I think about is what I gave up, the friendships that are gone, all the good work I did seems to be void due to being fired..

I have so much regret and shame. I hope that someday I can be the nurse I know I am and make my family proud again. They are proud of the work I am doing now but DAMN this stinks!

I hear you. This is not meant to be easy, but you will come out of it glowing if you give yourself that chance. Things are so chaotic in the beginning. I remember clearly the day I was fired, the terror of what I had let life become for me. I promise you that if you take these steps towards bettering yourself you will never have to be in that dark, lonely, isolated place again.

A little over a year ago I sat in my apartment, my entire body reeling from the shock of losing my job. I continuously peered through my blinds waiting for the police to come and haul me away. And even in this sad state of affairs I still had more to lose.

I lost that apartment, the significant other. I sat back and realized I didn't know who I was. Such a sorry state of affairs. And then little by slowly the weeks went by, I started coming alive again. I began to know myself. I went to meetings and gained confidence. I faced the nursing board, got under contract. I realized early on that we teach people how to treat us.

I now have an amazing job outside nursing, it pays the bills and uses my degree. I have real relationships and I do not cower before others because of my past. I have a deep understanding that humans are fallible, and I am compassionate, helpful, and loving.

On those days where I just want to change it, where I want to go back and make a different decision, where I just want to close my eyes and skip to the next phase I remind myself about all of the small adventures there has been in between. It has been startling the compassion and understanding people have received me with provided I am honest and forthcoming. Bravery is nothing more than taking the action despite fear.

Edited by Twoyearnurse
Autocorrect fail


That was amazing, I just got back from my alcohol and drug class and that was very helpful to read. This is going to be a long road, hard and hopefully will get less lonely! That initial fear that we have gone through was absolutely horrible. I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. Seriously, thankyou for your supportive words.

sallyrnrrt, ADN, RN

Specializes in critical care, ER,ICU, CVSURG, CCU.

go to the meetings, you do not even have to believe they will work, but i promise if you will continue to go, learn about the 12 steps, seek a sponsor, who appears to be working a good program, keep doing this regardless of how you feel, .....you will start working the steps, you will start living the steps, you will forgive your self, and become a better nurse.......this is the promises.....27 years ago I felt like you do now.......I followed the advice you have been given....... i worked thru re-obtaining my revoked lis. i worked the three years of stipulations off....... I have been ADON, DON in several facilities, case mgr in home health, ER, Icu........my nursing career regained, an because I acted on the suggestions you have been given, I was afforded these opportunities...... I now am proud to be able to give back in a nursing profession........because I fillowed thru with recovery efforts fo me............I would not experience all this success without, placing my recovery as my highest priorty...... i regained my life, and have something to give back, faith, self worth, compassion to be an ethical safe nurse today.........I just followed the suggestions as I gave you, embrace recovery and EXPECT THE MIRICLE :) ....BEST WISHES FOR YOU! AND YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!! U ARE WORTH THE BLESSINGS OF RECOVERY ;)

Edited by sallyrnrrt

sallyrnrrt, ADN, RN

Specializes in critical care, ER,ICU, CVSURG, CCU.

twoyearnurse, thank you for the kind support you gave OP.

I promise 2yearnurse is absolutely correct.


i am in the exact same situation as you. The shame, guilt, fear, anger, loneliness, sadness, etc....and worst of all the waiting! please email me I would love to share thoughts and info.



I can tell you that Ohio is tough when you have to deal with addiction and criminal charges but there is hope. I have intimate knowledge with the OBN and the justice system. I will tell you what happened with me and I hope it helps those of you going through this now. I was first involved with the OBN and justice system in the early 90's when I wrote my own prescription for narcotics. The OBN gave me restrictions and the criminal system gave me treatment in lieu. All was well right? OH NO! I now have multiple felony convictions and a license that was suspended several times. My last conviction was in 2000 when I decided I was going to die or go to prison or both. I entered a 3 month inpatient program and became serious about changing my life. They actually had to kick me out the rehab doors after 3 months because I was afraid to leave. I came home to no license, no job, no money, no husband and a mother diagnosed with lung cancer. I had a child looking at me like "what is next"? I still resolved to follow my program and attempt to correct my life. I actually was given a job at a home health agency even with a pending criminal case. How I was not sent to prison the last time was only by the grace of God. I worked my job and my program for 4 years and had already been told by the OBN that my license would be permanently revoked. Again, I have no idea why but they also gave me yet another chance and reinstated my license with strict permanent restrictions. I vowed I would not waste that opportunity and I haven't. This whole mess was 14 years ago in which time I have always had employment and not even a parking ticket on my record. Is it fast and easy....not a chance. I am currently employed and now own my own nursing related business.

My point is that you can get through this and you can redeem yourself if you follow instructions and be humble. Nothing is more stressful than applying for a job with restrictions and felonies, but that does not define you. Does anyone hire felons? Absolutely not....they hire people. Keep your heads up and get to meetings. I hope this gave someone hope! Good luck

Thank you all for sharing your story and words of encouragement. It gives me hope that the glimmer of light at the end of this dark tunnel will get brighter. I have been waiting 7 months for a decision from the BON for diverting and it feels like I will never hear from them. I havent had any criminal charges yet either so here I am....still waiting. I have lost my job, totaled my car, my dog was diagnosed with kidney failure, and I lost my sister 2 weeks ago and my family has to wait on the autopsy report. But I'm going to meetings, seeing my counselor, in an after care program, doing yoga and trying to stay strong and focused in every aspect of my life. So thank you again!

@ Christy- that is an amazing story- & wonderful of you to share with those struggling at the beginning of their journey! @ CCHRN- just keep doing what you are- the next right thing, one foot in front of the other...you're doing great in spite of all that is going on in your life- YAY!


That is an AMAZING journey you have been on! I cannot imagine the stress you have lived through (although I am beginning too see now!) Every new thing that comes my way after this is so very painful.. The complete isolation from all your nursing friends and coworkers, knowing what is being said about you, the fear of being hauled off to jail, and the utter shame at what was done. It is all so painful but realistically I know this pain is here for a reason and I MUST learn from it. Narcotics hid pain or what I thought was pain but now I have to face the very real very raw things that are happening to me daily now.

Thank you all so much for you support, this forum is going to be a rock for me to lean on...

sallyrnrrt, ADN, RN

Specializes in critical care, ER,ICU, CVSURG, CCU.

berdene, the pain, the humiliation, in a way is a good thing.......it can be your "hitting bottom" which gets our attention, with humility, come acceptance, what ever we were doing we did not have control over, it did not and would not work any longer..... we realize the powerless, and surrender to the journey of recovery......it does get better, .........you are at the begining, where you are suppose to be, i highly recommend 12 step meetings, some do AA, some do NA, some do cadeusus......you will come to hear how others are living life on life's terms without chemicals.........you would do well after a brief while to seek out a sponsor....someone you admire, who appears to work and live the steps...... i also recommend you seek this sponsor of the same sex......we are here for you....you certainly are not alone.

Edited by sallyrnrrt

I just adore everyone here. This site is powerful and I know for me it was a saving grace at times. Remembering I am not the only nurse to so this. It was also relieving to find nurses in AA who had also done what I did. It is a lovely journey. Painful, but lovely.

sissiesmama, ASN, RN

Specializes in ER, TRAUMA, MED-SURG. Has 22 years experience.

I just adore everyone here. This site is powerful and I know for me it was a saving grace at times. Remembering I am not the only nurse to so this. It was also relieving to find nurses in AA who had also done what I did. It is a lovely journey. Painful, but lovely.

I know it! I don't know what I would do if I hadn't found the recovery forum here at AN. Whether it is talking me down off a ledge, helping with a question or just letting me vent - u guys have always helped me in more ways than u know.

Fellow recovering nurses and mods - u guys rock!!

Anne, RNC

How are you doing? Haven't heard anything on here from you in a bit.