I have vowed not to include work on this blog for various reasons. However, when my professional life (work) impacts my recovery, there is an opportunity for others to learn how We, the recovering addict, deal with our addictions on a daily basis.  This is one such time.

I am now a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) with only five months of experience.  The facility that I work at is currently understaffed, badly.  Everyone is miserable.  I vowed not to get involved, do what is required of me and leave on a daily basis without a further thought of what went on.  While that worked for a while, I have found that in recent weeks, I too became miserable.  Right now, I’m not in a good place.

I never boast about how many years of sobriety I have because it doesn’t matter.  Each of us just have today.  After nine years of sobriety, the last couple of days, I am struggling with keeping my sobriety.  Last night, it peaked; I thought about drinking.  Did I relapse?

Keep reading . . .

I knew that my job was going to be challenging.  A CNA is not an easy job.  The job is disgusting at times (literally); I take care of the elderly who can’t take care of themselves in all aspects of their lives, including toileting themselves. You just get use to it.  Residents can be quite the handful at times; each one has a range of medical problems and mental health issues.  As a CNA, you are required by state law to respect their rights.  You have to be a CNA because you enjoy those that you help no matter what is presented in front of  you.  Don’t get me wrong, I love working with these people no matter what they do or say to me.  I know that they are struggling inside to keep the last sanity they have, in the only way they know how.

On a daily basis, I am treated like shit by residents and even my own co-workers.  I am the low one on the totem pole, thus people take advantage of it (many times to the extreme).  In addition, there are not many male CNA’s.  Nursing is typically a women’s field.  I’ve been told “. . . you just have to deal with it”.

Right now, I feel like I’m fighting for my job.  I feel like my co-workers are all against me including management.  The don’t listen to what I have to say, as if I’m speaking a foreign language.  They don’t help asking me to do things that I’m not suppose to do.  Then when I complain of the illegal activity, they turn my words or events around as if I’m the problem.  They don’t help me when I ask for help, instead think I’m just an incompetent person.  There are dead wrong – I take the necessary time to ensure that my residents are cared for in the proper fashion and with the dignity and respect that any human being deserves!

Sorry I’m getting on tangents, but bare with me . . .now how sobriety plays a part.

Before I go into work, I say the Serenity Prayer.  During the day, I must say it over 1,000 times.  I’m not a person that prays.  Recently, I have really asked for guidance and help, yet I get no relief. Is there a lesson here that I should be learning besides patience and tolerance because if there is, I just don’t seem to get it.

Psychologically, its torture.  I don’t want to be there, nor do I want to work with my co-workers.  But the other side of me doesn’t want to abandon my residents.  They are human beings and should not be treated in the manner that I have witnessed.

My Sponsor and I have constant communication.  He doesn’t understand why I still work there.  He believes I should just look for another job and leave. With only five months of experience, it’s hard to get another job somewhere else; it’s just not that easy to pick up, leave and get another job.  He doesn’t understand because he hasn’t been in my shoes.  However, he has given me suggestions.

Last night, I called him on the verge of tears.  I was going to just walk off the job and I didn’t care about my license as a CNA.  I had a fear that I was going to drink; I didn’t trust myself.  I have so much anger, resentment, fear, etc. built up, I just didn’t know what to do.  We talked on my break but I have to cut him off because Gods forbid I was late coming back in.  The point is, he was there for me.  That got my through the last hour of work, home and I DID NOT DRINK.

This morning we went out for breakfast (I had to pay – another issue, later).  As always, he made suggestions.  Some I can do, others are difficult to implement.  But I still listened.

One suggestion was attending meetings.  I don’t go to enough because of my scattered schedule, complacency and timing.  All excuses.  I don’t MAKE THE TIME to get to meetings.  Yes, it would mean less sleep (I drive three hours a day to work, plus an eight hour day, so do the math).  But there are plenty of meetings right before work, that I can just attend a meeting, then drive to work.  There is even a meeting in a town that I drive through every day.  I just haven’t ever been to a meeting there.  So I’m going to take his suggestion because that is what Sponsee’s should do – ACT on SUGGESTIONS given by our Sponsors.

I have now lost my train of thought, if I really had one.  Recent events have put my mental capabilities to shambles; I can’t think straight, I can’t concentrate, I can’t remember even the littlest things.  It’s rough.  I know it and I need to DO something about it.

This is where I feel that I’m a hypocrite.  I tell people going through something like this to think of a river, you’re standing on a stone in the middle of a river.  No matter what you do (build a dam to block it or control it), build a bridge or try to avoid it, etc., the river is going to keep flowing around you.  You need to DO something, like step off the stone, before the river just pulls you downstream and drowns you.  But do I take my own advice?

Perhaps this time I should!

4 thoughts on “Struggling

  1. Working in a horrible work environment is mentally exhausting and can affect us physically too. I’m so sorry that you’re dealing with so much at work. I worked in a horrible work environment in my last job for almost 5 years and took a $15k/year wage cut to move to a different location in order to save my sanity. I didn’t know at the time if I’d be jumping from the frying pan into the fire, but I did know that if I didn’t get the heck out of there it was only going to get worse with who knows what effects on my body and mind.
    I know that you mentioned that you don’t have time to go to meetings, but you said that there’s one that you haven’t been to yet that would fit into your schedule. I hope that you give that one a try, and I hope that there are some awesome people there!
    Do you have time to schedule in something to look forward to each week (ie art class or movie, or people watching at a fun little cafe or hiking in a local park…)? When it gets tough at work, sometimes having something like that to spend a few minutes happily daydreaming about / looking forward to / or thinking about can help.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Unfortunately I have no time to schedule anything else. I leave my house at 1:30 to get to work at 3, leave work at 11 to get home by 12:30 a.m., go to sleep around 3 a.m., wake up at 10 a.m. now I might be scheduling the meeting at 12 noon so that doesn’t really give me any leeway for anything else

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Physically, Mentally, Spiritually Fit – The Wandering Enigma

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