Hi. I am Connie. I am a nurse. I should know. Right? Do you know how many nurses, doctors and professionals are in recovery for opioid and alcohol addiction? Statistically I don’t have the numbers but it is a growing number.
My story starts back to 2000 when I was started on an opioid for migraines. At first I took only as needed, then I realized I liked the high from the pills and I started taking them just on weekends because I worked during the week. I didn’t want to be driving of course. But eventually I started taking them more frequently until that was not enough.
I started taking them everyday in the evening. Then I took them at lunch time. When I could no longer get out of bed without taking drugs, I took them in the morning. I begged and borrowed and stole drugs. This happened over a 10 year span. In 2010, I got called to the office at work and questioned about the possibility of me using drugs and I denied it. This time, I had a friend that worked with meth recovery so I talked to him. He tried to help but the drugs were so powerful.
I couldn’t stay clean. I relapsed several times. I was questioned at work again and told the next time would not be in my best interest. So I went home and confessed to my family. Told them I was going to work the next day and tell them.
The next day I went into work and told my boss and her supervisor. They said they wanted to help me. In the meantime, I had called One of the nurse advocates I know helped me get into a program. The Georgia Board of Nursing Advocacy program. Little did I know what was ahead of me. Five years on a consent order. Calling in daily for random drug screens. Monthly reports. And then they told my work I could not work in that area of nursing so I lost my job.
It would be 9 months before I got a job. Our family relied on my income. Not long after this, my nurse advocate friend had relapsed and died of an opioid overdose.
Today, I am 8 years sober on 2-1-2018. I attended AA several times a week. I have a sponsor and I sponsor others. My life has forever changed and so has my families. When my son was 18 he went with me to AA when I was receiving a chip. It’s a family disease.
If anything could be done different, I wished my doctor screened me better for potential addiction and family history. I have three grandparents and both my mom and dad are addicts. My grandmother was my age when she died in the DTs.
This disease is real.