Thursday, March 22, 2012

Fixin' To

"It's never too late to be what you might have been."
Overcoming Addiction Quote by George Eliot (November 1819 - December 1880)

Day 201

Another long absence to explain/excuse away, it’s such a relief to be able to be honest and not have to cover up my drinking anymore.  Last night we were supposed to go to yet another fundraiser and I just didn’t feel like it and called my friend who was throwing it to tell her that I wasn’t going to make it, a year ago she would have assumed that I was too drunk or hungover.  Not anymore.

I’ve been busy. Busy meddling in other people’s business and busy offering unsolicited advice.  Oh, and I didn’t have any internet service for three days which nettled me to no end.  And the internet provider didn’t even call to ask for my advice, which frustrated me even further.

You see, I’m a fixer.  I love to be given a problem and asked for a solution.  Okay, maybe I’m not asked for solutions all that often but I’m always ready with one if you do ask, or even if you don’t.  Except when it comes to my own problems.  Ah-ha!  I can remember sitting on my sofa in the dark, unkempt and miserable in the midst of shaky withdrawals and telling the cap’n how much I hated “this,” how I couldn’t do it anymore, how much I hated me.  He would reply, “Fix it.”

Oh God!  How simple that solution seems now but how insurmountable it seemed then.  If you’re just starting this journey, you’re probably saying, “Tell me how, tell me how.”  If you’re where I am, you’re probably saying, “Why did it take me so long.”  And if you’ve been sober for a while, your nodding and saying, “I told you so.”

The solution is simply quit drinking.  So I quit drinking and everything is hunky-dory, right? Wrong.  Drinking is like a big road block sign warning you that there is danger ahead and that you’re better off taking the detour then hazarding the potholes and dangers that lie ahead.  For years,  I kept taking the detours and they kept taking me further and further from my destination, in the end I didn’t even remember where I wanted to go, much less how to get there.

So now I’ve climbed over the drinking road block and I’m hitting different road blocks and I have decisions to make.  I can take another detour, or change directions, or try to hitch a ride with someone and go wherever they’re going, or I can just sit there and be stuck.  OR I CAN CLIMB OVER THE DAMN THING AND START REPAIRING THE DAMN ROAD.

So last week I was sitting at one of these roadblocks, feeling trapped, and considering my options. Okay, enough already with the damn road construction, I’m going to speak plainly.  I was frustrated with a certain situation (How’s that for plain speaking?) and I was feeling trapped.  I was so sick and tired of someone else deciding what my options are.  So I decided I need to go back to work.  I mean really, here I am bellyaching and worrying about not being able to afford to live in CO and here but I won’t get off my lazy ass to support the cause?  But the problem is my ass ain’t just lazy, it’s scared.  Probably more scared than lazy.  But my ass is tired of being scared and lazy.

So I contacted some travel nursing agencies and I was actually getting past being scared to being excited while I was filling out the application packets.  One of the jobs I was really interested in was in a state that I don’t have a license in. “Just a tiny speed bump,” I thought. “All I have to do is apply for a license in that state.” WRONG!  Come to find out, in order to receive licensure in that particular state I have to prove that I have worked 520 hours in the past two years in the state I am licensed in.  I haven’t.  Major roadblock.  But not insurmountable, all I have to do is clock some hours in my home state.

I went to the website of the hospital in which I worked for 20 odd years and yes, there was an opening in the OR.  Great, right?  I wasn’t so sure.  The OR director is the same one who was my boss for a few years and we always had a good relationship….I think.  The last time I inquired about working there a few years ago, she told me that they didn’t need me, that their surgery schedule wasn’t busy enough.  That was true, but as an alcoholic, I always get to wonder if my drinking had anything to do with it.  Let me make it clear, I never went to work impaired, not unless you count hangovers, in that case I was impaired for 20 years, but I’m sure the apt description, “She’s a damn good nurse, but you know she’s a drinker” that I had heard applied to several of my esteemed colleagues was applied to me as well through the years.

I could have detoured around the discomfort of applying for a job back at this facility and applied at another facility in the state, but I really wanted to refresh my skills in a place that I was familiar with, plus, I needed a good reference from this supervisor to apply for other jobs.  So,…gulp…I emailed her about my situation and prepared to wait for the verdict.

I didn’t have to wait long. She emailed me the next morning, “I’ve been thinking about you,” she wrote, “I could really use you while some of the new staff is training”.

Alleluia! One more roadblock kicked to the ditch along with one more fear that my drinking had left more potholes to fill.

So I’m fixin’ to get my lazy, scared, old ass back to work.  There are a lot more roadblocks to get rid of before I can go back to work, and going back to work is just one more leg of the journey, but God it feels good to be back on the road. 

Damn good!  

So today I’m just out there doing by best to keep jumpin’ those roadblocks, fillin’ in the potholes and fixin’ the road that lies ahead.  I’m fixin’ to get to where I’m goin’.

P.S. In reference to the picture above, it doesn't seem to matter how far I go, I always end up back in KS.  Can someone tell me how to delete the "No Place Like Home" app in my ruby red slippers?


  1. Great news! I didn't know you were a nurse. You'll feel good getting back in that place and doing what you know. And hangover free! Awesome xxx

  2. woot! you're doing so great, Kary. I'm so glad that I'm able to follow along on this journey of yours!

  3. Thanks guys. Jeez! I never know how long-winded I'm getting until I publish a blog. I'm fixin' to be more concise.

  4. I do that too, publish what call 'blongs' and laugh at how verbose I am. You are a storyteller, thats a fun thing! :)