Pam, South Carolina Nurse

RPP made me a better person.  Let me tell you my story.

In 2007, I was charged with DUI.  To avoid going to jail, I went to the ER – a horrible mistake! When the ER wouldn’t admit me, I broke into the crash cart and injected myself with “harmless” medications. Not in an attempt to hurt me, but as a desperate cry to not go to jail. That was a double failure because, on top of going to jail, I lost my job as a nurse. This was the catalyst that caused my “downfall” but eventually became my saving grace.

Since I was 15 years old, I had been drinking in spells. My issue wasn’t drugs. Plus, I didn’t drink on the job, so I thought I was OK. I may have drunk once a year or once a month, so I never thought there was any problem. What I didn’t realize at the time was that you don’t have to drink every day or even every week to be an alcoholic. It was the fact that I couldn’t control my drinking. I couldn’t be happy with a social drink here or there, or even a “buzz”. I also didn’t think about the effect my drinking had on my family and friends. Back in 2002 my mom, grandmother, and grandfather died. Besides my daughter, my mom and my grandmother were my worlds. I was lost. I went from hardly ever drinking to drinking every weekend. Then it grew to just about every night. I put alcohol above everything. I even lost my house, because I wouldn’t go to work.

Once I started, I wouldn’t stop until I got sick or passed out. I was mean…a very mean drunk. While intoxicated, I would hit my friends. I’ve even called the police on friends to report them stealing my car when they took my keys so I couldn’t drive! I don’t know how I didn’t get arrested before. I honestly don’t know how I am alive and well. The thoughts of how often I drove drunk, walked back alleys drunk, or went with people I didn’t know amazes me.

Finally, in 2007 I started with RPP. Being an alcoholic, I didn’t think my situation was that bad. So, I didn’t do what the program asked me to do, and eventually, my nursing license was suspended. At one point, I almost lost my daughter. I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt I had to accept the fact that I was an alcoholic and needed help. RPP tried to help me before, but this time, I was ready to help myself, so I reached out to them!

My RPP case manager was there to guide and direct me. I don’t know where I would be without “Mr. Maureece’s” patience! RPP referred me to a 30-day inpatient treatment program. There I worked through issues I didn’t even realize I had. I learned that my father, grandfather, and older brother were alcoholics, so I had been predisposed to the disease of addiction and alcohol. I should never have touched the stuff. Also, while in treatment, I worked through the loss of my mommy.

Although I completed treatment, I still wanted to rebel. I wasn’t drinking and I was going to meetings like I was supposed to, but I thought that’s all I needed. Recovery is a long process that doesn’t happen overnight. I would get so angry because I was “fixed” but no one would give me a chance to work. Being in RPP, and having “a monkey on my back” – as I was told by a Nursing Director – made it feel impossible to get a job. Still, Mr. Maureece was firm but kind to me. Sometimes I would get so mad, but he would tell me that it was going to be OK and remind me how far I had come. While applying for nursing jobs, I worked at a call center for a major cell phone company. This was the worst job I can imagine, but still I had to work. What I know now is it wasn’t God’s time for me yet.

Then one day my best friend told me she knew a doctor that worked in our local nursing home. She asked him if he needed a nurse, and he said yes. When I applied to the nursing home, I talked with the administrator, but he didn’t have any positions that I could do related to the restrictions on my probationary license. Thankfully, he did believe in second chances, and he already had a nurse in RPP working with her probationary license, as well. As a nurse with over 20 years of experience, while applying to hundreds of nursing jobs, I told employers I would work for the wage of a nurse fresh out of school!  Even though I had 20 years in the field. So, although I had to sacrifice pay I was anxious to be a nurse again.

Soon, a job became available, and he hired me! I got the job! I began working as a nurse again in March 2015. I was so happy to be back in the field where I belonged. Since returning to nursing, I have been promoted twice. I am now the Director of Nursing in our nursing home. Now I see God’s plan.

So many times I wanted to give up, but I didn’t. I finally made it with a lot of prayer, family, NA and AA meetings, my sponsor, and love. I “graduated” from RPP in August 2016. When I look back now over these years, it’s amazing how I have changed. I am truly a different and better person than I ever was before.