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HABITS: old and new

Posted by on Jan 5, 2014 in Healthy Nurses Blog, Public BLOG, Recovery | 1 comment

HABITS: old and new

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” -Aristotle “We are what we repeatedly do”. We have the opportunity then, to change who we are, what we repeatedly do. By changing the things we repeatedly do we change our habits. I challenge you, this new year, to change your habits, to try one new thing. To strive for excellence. Make this a new year, a new...

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Impairment to Empowerment: Speaking at the STTI convention

Posted by on Dec 10, 2013 in Public BLOG, Recovery | 0 comments

Impairment to Empowerment: Speaking at the STTI convention

On November 18, 2013, my coauthor, Carrie Morgan and I  were invited to present “From Impairment to Empowerment:  Addressing Substance Use Disorder in the Nurse Profession” at the nurses honor society, Sigma Theta Tau International’s 42nd Biennial Convention in Indianapolis, IN. The purpose of the presentation was to start a conversation, dispel stigma and ignorance regarding nurses who suffer from substance use disorder, promote healthier conversations and informed responses for coworkers, managers, administrators and educators. We would like to see addicted nurses treated as patients, giving them the care that we give others with chronic diseases. We hope to see SUD have parity with other diseases and addiction treated as the disease that it is. The presentation was very well received. Comments like: “You addressed a subject head on that so many (including myself) have had misconceptions about”. “Everyone knows someone with this problem-we need to talk about it more”.  “We need to address it with student nurses”. My hope is that this is just a beginning. The start of many conversations. Any ideas on conversation starters will be appreciated!...

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Golden Pen Award for Re-entry

Posted by on Dec 10, 2013 in Public BLOG, Recovery | 0 comments

Golden Pen Award for Re-entry

I was recently honored by my employer (St. Alphonsus RMC) with the Golden Pen Award. The Golden Pen is awarded to someone who has written and published a book or scholarly article or presented at a conference. I was asked by my employer , “Why did you write the book and present at the conference (STTI)?” Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI), the nurse’s honor society, asked me to write a book on nurses in recovery from substance use disorder (SUD) and the reentry of recovering nurses into practice. I wanted to write this book as there is a lack of information and understanding about the alternative to discipline model in the treatment of nurses in recovery. There is a silence in general and a silence in nursing regarding SUD’s, perpetuating a stigma around SUD. We KNOW that addiction is a brain disease similar to other chronic diseases. It can be treated with appropriate therapies. So why is it that nurses take care of patients, but when they become the patient there is no one to take care of them? For years, I have been telling nurses in the Insight Support Groups that “ The only way things will change is when we get healthy, move into the community and start the conversation”. When I was asked by STTI to write the book it was a wonderful opportunity to do just that—start the conversation. I asked Carrie Morgan, my coauthor to help me on that journey. One aspect of St Alphonsus I would like to comment on is their open-mindedness and support of a therapeutic recovery model. At St Alphonsus we really practice within a “Just Culture” model where problems and errors are disclosed and dealt with as opposed to driving them underground. In my work with the recovering nurse community, working in a culture where the disease model of substance use is embraced is important to me. I am proud to work with an organization that supports recovering nurses and their re-entry into...

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Save The Date

Posted by on Oct 24, 2013 in Public BLOG | 0 comments

Save The Date

From Impairment To Empowerment You are invited to join us to learn about how to move from Impairment To Empowerment based on the book, Re/Entry: A Guide For Nurses Dealing With Substance Use Disorder. Presenters: KC Crowley & Carrie Morgan Date: Wednesday, October 30, 2013 Time: 7:30-9:00 p.m. Location: St. Alphonsus Medical Regional Center (In the back of the cafeteria on the second floor) We hope to see you there! Questions? Call KC Crowley at...

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Just Published!

Posted by on Sep 30, 2013 in Public BLOG | 0 comments

Just Published!

Just Published! Re-Entry: A Guide for Nurses Dealing with Substance Use Disorder by Karolyn Crowley & Carrie Morgan This book is a must-have personal recovery compass for nurses traveling from addiction to professional reentry. Authors Karolyn Crowley and Carrie Morgan take nurses step by step through challenges, including licensing, legal, and monitoring issues; shame and loss of professional standing; triggers; and workplace stressors. Crowley and Morgan provide nurses with the knowledge, tools, and courage to overcome their disorder and successfully reenter the nursing profession. About the Authors Karolyn Crowley, RN, is founder of Insight Support Groups, a recovery program for nursing professionals that evolved from her earlier work with the Idaho Board of Nursing to create an alternative-to-discipline program. Crowley has been a registered nurse since 1985. Carrie Morgan, BA, is a recovery coach, business consultant, speaker, and writer. Her recovery coaching expertise comes from combining recovery principles with 14 years of coaching and consulting expertise. Morgan trains professional coaches and accompanies her clients and support groups on the journey from addiction toward self-mastery. To learn more or to purchase, go to: Re/Entry...

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D’s Story

Posted by on Aug 20, 2013 in Healthy Nurses Blog, Personal Stories, Public BLOG | 4 comments

D’s Story

I am a nurse, an addict and alcoholic. Here is my story: I had not had an alcoholic beverage in over 10 years. I thought I was safe from addiction and didn’t realize how easy it would be for me to fall into bed with alcohols’ sisters (drugs ) and to start a relationship with them. I was confronted at work for diverting. Now I say, “Thank God!” but not how I felt at the time of being confronted. I was terrified and remorseful. I felt tremendous guilt and self loathing. I thought I was the worst nurse ever allowed to practice as a nurse. I was also terrified of what might be in store for me. I was lucky, I was not arrested or prosecuted and the subsequent investigation of my actions showed that no harm was done to those I had been “caring” for. I had many questions at the start of the PRN program. But I had given up the right to decide my fate by using. At first when I started the different programs I was required to complete, I was angry, bitter and resentful. I felt some of the classes and requirements were punitive, not necessarily there to help me or for my benefit–an addicts mind and messed up thinking! I can see that now. I did this to my residents and to myself, and I probably deserved much worse than I got. But I am grateful the Board understands the disease of addiction, and gave me an opportunity to “come back”. Now I am grateful to be in recovery and to be back into nursing. I will tell you that if you are new, have faith you are not alone, you are not the worst nurse ever. Others have become addicted before you, and others will become addicted in the future. Most importantly you can overcome this, You can get through this, You can recover from this, You can recover from the humiliation that you feel but also from your addictions if, like me, you are an addict. These days I do a simple program, I take direction and I try to pray to god everyday. I am not perfect but as the saying goes progress not perfection. If you come to the insight meetings you will see me there. Good luck, have faith, and be kind to yourself, you are no more and no less than human. And like nursing, being human takes practice. Thank you....

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Speaking In August: 8/26 Ted Burgess, then 8/27 & 8/28 Board of Nursing will join us for Q&A

Posted by on Jul 4, 2013 in Meetings Announcements, Public BLOG | 2 comments

Speaking In August: 8/26 Ted Burgess, then 8/27 & 8/28 Board of Nursing will join us for Q&A

DID YOU KNOW? The practice of mindfulness derives from Buddhism and has been used to alleviate a variety of mental and physical conditions, including obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety, and in the prevention of relapse in depression and drug addiction. In August, Ted Burgess, LCSW, will be speaking on mindfulness and addiction during our Monday Support Group Meetings. Ted was the psychiatric manager of the Addiction Recovery Center at St. Alphonsus. He has been a manager, consultant and in private practice in the addiction/recovery field. He has also coauthored a work on mindfulness in recovery. He is an engaging speaker and we hope you will join us. 8/5    Mindfulness and addiction 8/12  Minding your health 8/26 Minding your message All members of our Healthy Nurses Support Program  and Alumni Program are invited to attend one or all of these...

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The Stories We Tell

Posted by on Feb 7, 2013 in Public BLOG, Recovery | 4 comments

The Stories We Tell

[Author: LilyQ] They say that storytelling is an art and as an alcoholic I perfected the art. It seems that as human beings, we are compelled to make up stories about the people, events, happenings in our lives.  We tell ourselves stories all the time. For example, someone that drops in and visits me on a regular basis, stops dropping by. I don’t notice for a couple of weeks but then one day I realize he/she hasn’t been by lately.  I call them to reconnect and they don’t answer. I leave them a message that they don’t return. At this point I have created a story in my head that I have done something to offend this person. As time goes on, without a returned call, I make up bigger stories about how this person is totally unreasonable in his/her expectations of me as a friend, etc.  By the time I actually reconnect with this person I am furious, only to find that his/her parent died suddenly and they’ve been out of town for 3 weeks.  Well, don’t I feel the fool! It seems to me that I do this a lot.  I create stories where I get to be the victim and/or the offended one.  I think it has something to do with my self-esteem, my ego.  But I also think it has something to do with how we humans try to cope with our world. These little dramas can fill up my life.  They used to be a reason for drinking. Sergeant Friday: Just The Facts Ma’am But now, I’ve invited Sergeant Joe Friday to come live with me and he keeps asking me for “Just the facts, ma’am.  Just the facts.”  And when I focus on the facts only, I notice I am making up fewer and fewer stories.  And there is a whole lot less drama in my life. Living in a drama-free zone helps me to maintain my sobriety and to create the kind of life where I have greater clarity about who I am and what is going on around me so that I can live with greater intention and integrity. With Hugs & Love, LilyQ Please Feel Free To Reply To This Post All comments must be approved by an Insight Support Group moderator.  Once you submit your comment, it can take up to 24 hours before your post will be approved. Confidentiality If you are a member of one of our support programs and you reply to this post while logged in as a member, your confidentiality will be maintained. Your name will not be associated with your reply.  Instead you will be identified as “Anonymous.” If you are not logged in as a member and you reply or comment to this post, your name and gravatar will be posted with your comment. If you are a member of the general public and your reply or comment to this post, your name and gravatar will be posted with your...

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The First Step: Sobriety

Posted by on Feb 6, 2013 in Public BLOG, Sobriety, Women For Sobriety | 1 comment

The First Step: Sobriety

[Author: LilyQ] If you want to get off the merry-go-round of addiction the first step is sobriety. Sobriety is the maintained abstinence of alcohol or drugs. I got sober using the Women For Sobriety Program (WFS) program.  This program is based on the daily application of 13 statements that are designed to help recovering alcoholics embrace sobriety, stay sober and then focus on creating a life free from addiction. For me, the first statement is the one that focuses on getting and staying sober. It reads: I have a life-threatening problem that once had me.  I now take charge of my life and my disease.  I accept the responsibility. For me, Statement 1 contains two levels of acceptance: 1. I must come to accept that I have a life-threatening problem with alcohol. 2. I must accept responsibility for my life and the life-long management of my problem or disease. Sobriety Requires Accepting That I Am An Alcoholic In struggling with acceptance, I think we do go through a grieving process.  Elisabeth Kubler-Ross in 1969 defined grieving as a 5 stage process by which people cope and deal grief and tragedy, especially when diagnosed with a terminal illness or experience a catastrophic loss.  Here is how the process goes with regard to acceptance that we have a life threatening problem with alcohol: 1. Denial: I am not an alcoholic, I just drink too much sometimes….. 2. Anger: Why did I have to born with the DNA of an alcoholic? Why can’t I have diabetes or some other disease? 3. Bargaining: If I take care of myself, manage my stress, my relationships, my problems then I won’t have to/feel the need/want to drink so much; I can moderate. 4. Depression:  I don’t care anymore–I am going to just drink myself into oblivion, I am just going to drink myself to death. 5. Acceptance: OK.  I have a life-threatening problem.  That is what it is and I am just going to have to deal with it. When we finally reach acceptance, we are ready to become sober.  Many of us however stay stuck bouncing back and forth in the first 4 stages of grief.  And so we go on the wagon and then off the wagon and then on the wagon and then…..Getting to sobriety can be a long process.  It takes a great deal of honesty, self-reflection and determination to move to the 5th stage of acceptance.   Ultimately though, the amount of time we spend going through this grieving process is up to us.  We can choose to stay stuck or we can choose to move into acceptance. Sobriety Requires Accepting Responsibility For My Life The second level–accepting responsibility for our lives and our disease is the jumping point for recovery and lays the foundation for our new life.  At this second level, I really believe that daily reflection on the statements is the one thing or tool that will make or break us in our effort to create and build a new life for ourselves.  The statements are a road map to building self-esteem and creating the life we are seeking to have for ourselves and with our loved ones. At the same time, at this second level of acceptance we must be actively managing the care of ourselves with...

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Has Your Drinking Become A Problem?

Posted by on Feb 6, 2013 in Public BLOG, The Decision To Quit | 3 comments

Has Your Drinking Become A Problem?

Alcohol and drug use can progress into abuse and even addiction so quickly that sometimes people do not realize that it has become a problem for them and those around them. For those drinkers who may be trying to determine if their drinking has reached the level of alcoholism, or alcohol dependence, there are some common-sense questions that might provide the answers. Simply put, if you have to ask, you probably have a problem. “Normal” drinkers don’t wonder if their drinking is a problem. They don’t even think about it. If you have tried to quit drinking – swore to yourself that you would never drink again – and found yourself a few days or a week later drinking again, you probably have a problem. If you have tried to quit and cannot do so, you are no longer in control; alcohol is in control of your life. There are many diagnostic quizzes or tools you can use to assess your drinking. The CAGE Test One of the oldest and most popular screening tools for alcohol abuse is the CAGE test, which is a short, four-question test that diagnoses alcohol problems over a lifetime. C– Have you ever felt you should cut down on your drinking? A- Have people annoyed you by criticizing your drinking? G – Have you ever felt bad or guilty about your drinking? E – Eye opener: Have you ever had a drink first thing in the morning to steady your nerves or to get rid of a hangover? Whatever test you take, the important thing to pay attention to is the degree to which you experience the seven major symptoms of alcohol dependence the drinker is experiencing.  According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, the symptoms of alcohol dependence include: Neglect of Other Activities: The drinker’s alcohol use reduces or eliminates important social, work-related or recreational activities. Excessive Use: The drinker begins to consume larger amounts of alcohol over a longer period of time than intended. Impaired Control: The drinker makes repeated unsuccessful attempts to cut down or control how much he/she drinks. Persistence of Use: The drinker continues to consume alcohol despite knowing that his/her drinking is causing or contributing to a persistent or recurrent physical or psychological problem. Large Amounts of Time Spent in Alcohol Related Activities: The drinker spends an abnormal amount of time on activities involved with obtaining, using and/or recovering from the effects of alcohol. Withdrawal: When the drinker stops drinking for a short period of time, he/she experiences symptoms such as nausea, sweating, shaking or anxiety. Tolerance: The drinker needs increasing amounts of alcohol to achieve the same level of intoxication. If your drinking is negatively impacting your life in some or all of these areas, you may want to learn more about alcoholism and consider options for how to stop drinking. Please Feel Free To Reply To This Post All comments must be approved by an Insight Support Group moderator.  Once you submit your comment, it can take up to 24 hours before your post will be approved. Confidentiality If you are a member of one of our support programs and you reply to this post while logged in as a member, your confidentiality will be maintained. Your name will not be associated with your reply.  Instead you will be identified as “Anonymous.” If you are...

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