A week ago I was in a dark place. For the first time in nine years of sobriety I was afraid I was going to drink. My job, as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), is always stressful when taking care of the elderly. Many have dementia compounded with other mental illnesses and health issues. However, I have come to “walk in their shoes”. The issue was my employer: staffing issues, miserable employees, management problems and the fact I’m the only male CNA in the facility. I felt alone, was verbally warned by my employer “to pick up your [my] pace” and I almost just threw in the towel with the job, as well as sobriety. However, the last week, I reflected my part in the whole situation and thank my Higher Power for getting involved. There is no other explanation.
After calling my Sponsor and talking to unexpected ally at work, I went to bed sober Wednesday night. Friday, I knew something was stirring at work. There was something in the wind that just didn’t feel right. I was given a warning by my employer for my job performance. Despite the lack of cooperation from my co-workers, I knew I had to do something quickly. I kept to myself and got my job done.
Sunday night rolled around. A rumor was going around the Director of Nursing (DON) was stepping down. The supervisor on my shift was accepting the position. A co-worker, who is now an ally and a recovering addict, and I talked about his possibility just the night before. Right before our eyes it was becoming a reality. Monday, it was officially announced. Suddenly there is a change with my fellow co-workers. There were suddenly nervous, as I have never seen them.
Sunday night, I pulled a double shift, working 16 hours. The new coming DON had already filled one shift herself, she couldn’t get anyone to come in early nor come in at all, so I volunteered. Overnight shift is just me, myself and I besides a charge nurse. I have more freedom, can get things done quickly, however there is a lot of downtime I sit twiddling my thumbs. Monday morning, a co-worker graciously offered to stay until 5 p.m., so that I may get a couple hours of extra sleep. Now that is teamwork!
I was looking forward to a day off on Wednesday. As expected, they called to ask me to work, “Michael, you can refuse.” The Assistant DON, who was calling, then threw in, “I can give you Friday off, so you have a three day weekend.” Accepted! Hell YES! When I came into work, the Assistant DON said, “Thank you for coming in.” For the first time, I felt it was a genuine comment.
In addition, I have started to attend a local ‘nooner’ meeting. Just a couple of days, thus far, due to my schedule changes. But I think I’m going to make it my temporary home group (until I move this Summer) and attend it daily. There is a lot of sobriety and I heard a lot of good messages.
My Sponsor and I are texting, as he is checking in with me. I apologized for yesterday since it was suppose to be “our day” to get together to discuss recent events in person. He says, “It’s been smooth sailing because you adjusted your sails.” I added, “With your help and my Higher Power, yes!”
I’m looking forward to my three day weekend. Saturday and Sunday, my Sponsor and I are going to visit his brother who lives near NYC. They have a large recovery community with hundreds of years of sobriety (literally). The meetings there are a little different from local meetings and it will be a nice change to return since July 2016. Sunday night is NASCAR night for me too- Daytona 500 ! Dale Jr qualified 2nd, so this might a good start to a new year.
It was rough but I got through it! Today I am thankful to AA, my Higher Power, my Sponsor, those following this blog, as well those blogging about recovery. Everyone gave me hope and kept me strong. Thank you all!