Out of suffering have emerged the strongest of souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.
“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...read more
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!...read more
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...read more
[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...read more