Saturday, April 13, 2013

A Nurse Reaches Out For Help

***Submitted by Anonymous

So this is my issue- I'm a new nurse and work the 3-11 shift.

I know I will be wired when I get home from running for the whole time at work.

I have trouble sleeping as it is and being by myself all amped when I get home doesn't help so I stop and get a 6 pack on my way home so I can wind down.

I think the fact that I have no one to talk to doesn't help so I'm self medicating and I'm well aware of how unhealthy this is. I say to myself every day I'm not going to pick up beer, but after a crazy shift (which it always is in some way or another) I always do.

Its not like I get wasted and I'm never hungover and I function at work great, but why do I always do it? I drink the 6 pack eat something and go to bed wake up 2 hours before my shift and have never been late for work. I feel like its more of an issue because I compulsively do it and spend $10 a day $50 a week $200 a month (which is a car payment).

How do I stop?

An on the weekends I go a little crazy when I know I have the next day off and then sleep a good amount of the day and don't get what I need done.

Please help I'm at a loss and I can;t do AA.


  1. Wow. I don't read this site that often, but I feel like I was meant to read this post. You are me. I never had any real negative effects from alcohol - I thought - but I drank every single night when I got home. I needed to relax. I needed to be able to fall asleep. I went to work every day, kept all my relationships just fine, but there was that one thing. I tried to cut back. I told myself many nights that I wasn't going to pick up a bottle of wine on the way home, but I always did.

    I felt ashamed of myself that I couldn't quit, and after a while couldn't even cut back. I knew I wasted a lot of time because I was never productive after the first glass. I couldn't read or clean house or write or drive, so I just vegged out.

    8 days ago, I quit. I quit forever. I had to. I couldn't keep facing myself. I didn't hit bottom like a lot of other people, but I had been feeding on the bottom of my life for a long time, and I decided I wanted a better life for myself. Once I made the decision, it was a lot simpler. I don't have to wonder if I am going to have one drink on weekends (that turns into 2 or 3 that turns into part of a bottle of wine being left over for the next day and so on). I don't have to wonder if my drinking will gradually creep back up on me again, because I now know I can't drink. At all. Ever.

    And that's ok. It's just something I have to do like brushing my teeth every day - I have to not drink because I want to be healthy and happy and productive.

    These past 8 days have been really good. I wake up proud of myself, not ashamed. I have hours in the evenings back to do more things that I want to do, instead of vegging out. I have found that making complicated non-alcoholic drinks (fizzy water with ice and a splash of pomegranate juice and a slice of lime or something) makes me feel like I am treating myself right. I dunno, but it works for me.

    I just wanted to say that it is possible and I hope you find a way to do it. Looking around, I see so many of my favorite people are people who don't drink. I think there's a good reason for that, and I want to be on their team, not Team Drunk. Not anymore. I'm sending you every good thought.

    1. Goodness, this really hit home. I have to quit drinking. I am not able to just have a glass anymore. I think quitting is the only way. I tell myself daiy I won't grab a bottle of wine but something happens and I find a way to justify it. I didn't really drink a lot until after my son was born and I left my career to be a stay home mom. I don't want to continue having regret or hit rock bottom. I am so blessed and pray that in 8 days I can feel as good as you do!

  2. Dear Nurse,
    I am a school teacher. I feel your pain and frustration. I've lived this cycle for years. I'm only 31 days sober and have had many ups and downs in my self-discoveries of what I want and need in my life. I've quit many times, went through rehab, a divorce, a tough childhood.
    I can finally say that sobriety is the way for me! I, too, would drink daily, be okay for work and drink again. I spent a lot of lonely nights, sipping wine in the tub or drinking beer with a good movie, only to feel even lonelier than I was before I drank. The beer store would call me in on a daily basis, even when I tried to convince myself not to stop. I had a really hard time sleeping peacefully. Tossed and turned nightly, due to dehydration and having to pee.
    It catches up to us because it's not what we really want. You are not happy with the life you're living. You need to make changes before happiness is discovered. Only you can do it! You are reaching out because it's not the life you want.
    Keep reaching out! Create your own blog. Find blogging buddies. They are amazing support!!
    You can be free from this insanity. You can be healthy, sleep like a baby, and feel alive again!!
    Good luck on your journey! Jen

    1. Congratulations on 31 days ... IT'S A BIG DEAL. If you are alcoholic, any day you do not drink is a MIRACLE. Celebrate all 31 days ... and add another ... and another ... o.d.a.t.

  3. I'm on this vicious cycle too. I tell myself that tomorrow I will quit drinking, but it never happens. It doesn't make sense, because addiction doesn't know common sense. It's a monkey on your back that won't get off.

  4. I can't give you advice on not drinking, but I can tell you what works for me to calm that crazy post work mind without booze. I call it floor yoga. Basically getting low to the floor to stretch and bend and feel like a cat and have your eyes closed while you let the day drain out of you. Your body will tell you what it wants, it may just want to lay there some nights, others it may want to stretch and twist. It calms the hamster on the wheel.

  5. Yoga got me over the first few months and years until I could calm the raging monkey myself. Meditation and breathing are still key coping mechanisms. Sleep helps when nothing else will; just brush your teeth, turn on the heating pad and call it a day at six in the evening once in a while. Taking a walk, laying in the yard watching the Milky Way above, breathing in thru my nose and out thru my mouth are all ways of getting ahold of myself when I need to.

    You'll be able to as well. I have faith in your abilities to learn to cope.

  6. I too am a nurse. I work 7p-7a on a "train wreck" med surg floor where smooth nights are far & few between.

    On any given day we have patients on our floor on detox protocol. Also we have those with chronic diseases attributed to alcohol & drug abuse. Seeing this still didn't make me stop drinking. I am a nurse & of all people should know better.

    After a crazy night, as I was passing early morning meds, a big "whew" would hit knowing I had beer on ice in the car or could hit the convenience store on the way home. My mentality (the alcohol talking) was that I just worked a 14 hour shift (on avg) & I was entitled & deserved it.

    Kids were at school & hubby at work so I would PLAN on two beers to unwind then on to bed. Because I'm an alcoholic those two beers always turned out to be at least six with wasted hours "unwinding" on the computer. Instead of 5-6 hours of sleep before my next shift I was lucky if I got 3-4 & not real sleep because of tossing & turning from the guilt, anxiety & sweats. If I didn't have to work the next night then I often got so consumed with drinking & so called "unwinding" that I wouldn't go to bed at all. Of course I wasn't productive - no cleaning house, etc. By the time my family got home I was drunk with no sleep which meant I was a complete wreck & they paid for it. I would go postal on my kids. My husband would go postal on me for drinking. This of course made me drink even more ......

    By the grace of God & support of AA I just got my "Sunshine" chip for 6 months of sobriety. Five years ago I was sober for 18 months & felt amazing but then decided I could drink like a "normal" person (NOT!!!) & landed back into the clutches of alcohol.

    I told myself time & time again I won't drink today or just have two. Once I took that first sip that was all she wrote. It took God's wake up call of totaling my truck a 1/2 mile from my house (after driving 3 hrs),hence a DUI, & almost losing my 25 yr marriage & amazing kids before I cried "uncle".

    I knew all along that I was powerless over alcohol & wished I could take a magic pill to make the demon go away If I was diagnosed with cancer, wouldn't I seek all possible treatments? If I was diabetic wouldn't I check my sugar & take insulin. Treating my disease is up to me & me only. For me it is AA plus online support like this. I sleep like a baby now, am productive around the house, & there for my family. I feel SO much better now & my self-esteem increases each & every day I don't drink.

    I have never done yoga or meditated but I know they help a lot of people. For me it is reading. I love a good book & can't wait to curl up by myself & lose myself in the pages. I only have a few favorite TV shows that I record so that is another treat I look forward to.

    You can do this. Just try it for a day. I promise you'll feel better. Then try it the next day. Take that $200 you were spending & reward yourself. Perhaps new shoes or a piece of jewlery that is tangible vs beer which in the end is just flushed down the toilet. Seek support online or AA. It is amazing & comforting to know that you aren't alone. There are so many women out there just like you & I. Life is too short not to be happy & healthy.

    My thoughts & prayers are with you ........

  7. I stopped excess alcohol partly by 'thinking about tomorrow' ( No more 2 days in bed sick)
    amongst other fears and needs , you say you have trouble sleeping because of the excess alcohol think how much you and others need you to be awake and refreshed in the morning, one night , just one , try and take a different route home NOT past the beer store (If you can) . Even if it's longer . Change the routine , Try to have a big meal FIRST when you get home so you are STUFFED full , get cozy in a chair or even in bed with a favourite treat a movie or something that really will get your attention.

    Meditation helps unwind a wound up mind . Slow easy 'Pilates' or Yoga.

    Maybe you've already tried ideas like this , I don't know , I hope you find some help on these pages.

    It's (for me it was anyway) about changing routines so as NOT to include alcohol.
    Because YOU are worth it and the people you look after deserve it.

  8. Good advice from responses above. I drank in a similar fashion to relax at the end of the day. Got to feel like a crutch I "needed". Didn't like that feeling. Quit totally almost 3 years ago. Replaced the ritual with making tea in the beginning good idea to replace the ritual and not just sit around missing the drinking. Was hard at first. Now way more positives. Meditation is also helpful.

  9. Just read your post I am a nurse too and I;ve taken care of alot of alcoholics took me a long time to realize that I am one too. A "high bottom" drunk :) never affected job perfomance/relationships etc thankfully. I tried to moderate DOESNT work, I had to go to AA and it is wonderful, it was so different than what I thought and being a nurse I thought I new what it was about. I am almost 7 months sober and I never thought life without wine could be so good! alcoholism progresses rapidly among women, it will get worse with more consequences quickly...keep reading this blog, try AA get a big book, try women for sobriety...As far as evenings go,search for other ways to unwind, get a pet to stay up w/you, I ate alot of triscuits and watch TV be kind to yourself for awhile.. you CAN do this and you arent alone

  10. Do you admit your an alcoholic? Sounds like you are. Get this in check before really bad things start to happen due to your drinking.

  11. You reach out for support, of any kind. Find a sober group online (like this one), confide in a close friend. We're all here for you.

  12. I am also a nurse. I started drinking more regularly about 4 years ago when I was taking care of my mom who had cancer. I was trying to numb the pain of what I was witnessing as I watched her suffer so greatly. She died and then I began caring for my aunt, my mom's sister, who was also dying of cancer. I loved her as much as I loved my mother.

    Let me start by saying that these are all excuses for plunging into my alcoholism. My dad and eldest brother were both alcoholics. It killed my dad at 49 and my brother has been saved by recovery. I had almost 90 days sober about 6 months ago and then I thought I could handle having a couple of drinks here and there to relax with my husband and family. I have quickly spiraled back into a very bad place. Every day I say I will not drink tomorrow and somehow I find myself gulping down the vodka when no one is looking. The funny thing that hit me yesterday was that someone is looking..... Me. I am watching myself numb my feelings.

    I know I need help. I tried AA for a little while but it didn't seem to fit for me. It's not to say I won't try it again but right now I feel like sharing her is my first step to recommit to sobriety. Today is day 1 sober. Today is all I have and I pray for the grace of God to give me tomorrow sober too. We will see. I don't have the power over the alcohol but God has the power and I need to depend on Him..... One day at a time. Oh, and I am doing yoga to help with the decompression of the stress. We can all support one another in our journey of sobriety and true happiness!!!!