Thursday, April 1, 2010

progress not perfection...

In my "real life" I work as an RN in a very small 25 bed critical access hospital. In a nutshell that means that I do everything--Pediatric, Surgical, Medical, ER, etc... Needless to say, it is a very interesting and at times a very stressful job.

As an active alcoholic, I use to use my job as an excuse to drink. As a recovering alcoholic, I now use my job as a measuring device of sorts to indicate where I am at in my recovery. However, instead of using a nice, tidy lichert scale and rating my performance on a 1-10, I now sift through and categorize the emotions, mental images and "rogue thoughts" that arise during emergent or critical situations.

I found this entry in my journal--it is from a few months back...

I can see though where there has been some improvements in my alcoholic disposition. I remember that a few weeks after I had returned to work after CD treatment there was a code in ER (Yup--CPR, intubation, drip, drugs, flight crew on the way kind of deal). All during this crisis situation tears kept clouding my vision. My most predominant thought..."I am not going to be able to go home and drink this stress away"...and I was crying because of it! How incredibly selfish. Someone is dying and I am most concerned about having a drink. And tears--not for the dead; but for the the drink.

Well perhaps progress has been made. This week--another code. However, this time--not until the very end, after the patient was safely packaged and loaded on the helicopter, did that first tear tumble. This time--not until the very end, did I have that very same selfish thought, "...and I can't go home and drink this away". I was sad. I cried. I went home. I did not drink.

Well, the nature of life is such that I will at some point find myself a participant in a similar scenario. However, perhaps next time I will not have those awful thoughts and sad tears until I am in my car and on my way home...and perhaps the time after that, I will not have those awful thoughts and sad tears until after I arrive at my home... and perhaps the time after that I will not have those thoughts and tears until the day after...and perhaps...perhaps someday I will no longer have those awful thoughts or sad tears at all...

" I was taught that the way of progress is neither swift nor easy"

~Marie Curie~


  1. As I was reading this post,it made me think of how someone would decribe their grieving process of a loved one who had died and how they were getting through it - but to you - the person who died is not a person at all, but the alcohol. Interesting how on the day I read this, its EASTER Sunday - GOD IS ALIVE and he is working in you and through you and making you whole again! I have never been more proud of you as I am right now - I love you and there will come a day when you will no longer have these thoughts or tears - GOD WILL walk you though this "valley of the shadow of death called Alcholism".

  2. Wow, I am in awww of your writing skills.