Time to clear the air here on my blog, and let me just preface this by saying that I don’t give a flying fuck what you think about me, my family, this blog, my comments on MWOP, etc. I am a grown woman who is finally comfortable in her own skin.
Hello there ☺ My name is Carmen Jackson. *shaking hands* I am 33 years old, and I live in Tucson, Arizona. I have two wonderful parents, Mom and Dad, a handsome little brother, Butthead, and, as you know, my own little family consisting of J, Footlong, and 6-inch. I am a former RN turned stay-at-home-mom. I am a recovering drug addict and have been clean for over 2 years. I have battled depression and anxiety most of my adult life. I see a psychiatrist and take two anti-depressants (Wellbutrin and Zoloft for those of you who might be curious), a mood stabilizer (gabapentin…..because I refuse to take benzodiazepines due to their addictive qualities), and a very low dose of Seroquel for sleep because some nights I just can’t turn off my brain. I also take Alive! vitamins, Vitamin D-3, an iron supplement, and Benadryl too in case you were wondering.
I have no secrets. I do not lie. I have publicly (on this blog, on FB, and in person with friends/family) owned up to my shortcomings, namely my 6-9 month battle with narcotic addiction. It’s a part of who I am. My addiction is also a matter of public record. Do I care that someone posted details of my addiction on another blog? No, not really. It, like I said, is a matter of public record, and I owned up to all of it.
I will say this, though. I never used drugs before or during my shift. I worked in a busy, fast-paced ER. I gave everything I had to my patients. I used after a shift when I was at home. When confronted by management I confessed all. It was my rock-bottom. I had battled with depression and increasing professional burnout for about 5 years leading up to using drugs. I spent most of my life taking care of other people, and I gave and gave until I had nothing else left to give. No one took care of me, and I just couldn’t cope. Was it a good idea? Fuck no. Did I know it was wrong? Duh.
I voluntarily went to intensive outpatient rehab and started seeing a psychiatrist. I had been on anti-depressants for years, but no doctor had ever had me on a regimen of more than one drug at a time. My psychiatrist, a caring woman who specialized in treating women, told me that the rate of substance abuse among nurses (alcohol, drugs, or both) was approximately 18%. It it easy for the majority of you who have never worked as a nurse to point your anonymous little fingers and tear me a new asshole for my mistakes, but you just don’t get it. You never will. You have no idea the things we as nurses in certain areas have to deal with. You have no idea what we see and hear. You have no idea what images are seered into our brains. You have no idea how we are treated. You can think of nursing as being like one of those softly backlit Johnsons & Johnsons commercials where they celebrate nurses and everyone is all smiley. Nursing is nothing like the picture painted for the masses. What I did was wrong, but until you have struggled with depression or addiction (both of which run in my family, by the way) you’ll never understand. It’s easy to look down your nose at someone like me, isn’t it? Whatever. If you feel justified doing it or it makes you feel better about yourself then go ahead. I don’t give a rat’s ass.
This is also a matter of public record, but I didn’t see it posted at the other blog. How convenient! I was not “stripped” of my nursing license. No one took it away from me. As a first-time offender with a spotless record for 10 years I was offered a chance to complete the rehab program the state nursing board has. (See? If your profession’s state board has to have a rehab program in place….that should tell you this is a widespread problem.) The program is 3 years long and consists of outpatient rehab, nursing-specific rehab meetings, attendance of NA or AA meetings, and weekly random drug tests. I could have kept my license and still worked. I chose not to. My psychiatrist and rehab counselor helped me to recognize and admit that nursing just wasn’t healthy for me anymore. The stress, burnout, and drugs were evidence of that. I turned down the nursing board. I VOLUNTARILY surrendered my license. No one took it. There was no hearing before the board. I owned up to what I did, and I politely told them that I was better off leaving the profession. I can renew my license next summer and get back into the profession if I want, but I don’t. I am perfectly happy, content, fulfilled, and grateful to have the life I have now as a homemaker, wife, and mother. I don’t care what you think. This is my life and what works for me.
Unlike Jennifer McKinney (I saw the comparisons!) I have never lied about who I am. It is less than desirable, but, hey, it is what it is. I most certainly will not draw any lines between me and Jennifer and say that I’m better or worse than she is. We are all equal. We all fuck up. Some people cheat on their spouses. Some people shoplift. Some people have other addictions, like sex or gambling. In my opinion, Jennifer lying about stuff that is a matter of public record is just wrong and makes her look like a jackass. It would be akin to me, regarding my nursing record, saying, “Oh, no, you misunderstood. I was stealing drugs for other people. It wasn’t me. You say my drug test was positive? Someone must have spiked my Diet Coke. Why are you picking on me?” I have no respect for her anymore. I followed her blog faithfully since the days of Stellan in utero. I was heavily emotionally invested in that baby. And to see Jennifer now lie under oath, sign federal documents full of false information, underreport her income by $100,000 a year, place blame on others, and tell hopeful people that the supplements she sells cure migraines and anxiety, just pisses me off; I’m entitled to feel this way just like you’re entitled to feel whatever you feel about me.
So, there you have it. Point your fingers all you like, and sling your anonymous barbs if you want. I don’t care. If you like me then great. If you don’t then piss off and go read another blog. Regardless, though…….have a nice day ☺