Freelance writer, nurse, and grateful recovering addict. Read more at modernjunkieprincess.com

Four Years Later And The Pain Is Still Just As Fresh

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Photo by Aron Visuals on Unsplash

I remember hearing the words through the phone very clearly, but not processing everything that was said.

“We found George in his bedroom about an hour ago.”

George and I had been a couple for ten years. Together we had two little girls, who were ages 8 and 6 at the time. We had been living separately for about five months, a requirement of our then open case with Child Protective Services, which was opened a year prior specifically in relation to George’s substance abuse. He had begun using opiate painkillers about eight years before as a way to numb the emotional pain of a personal tragedy he had endured. …


What does it mean for the future of drug policy and treatment in America?

A colorized photo of Joe Biden with the American flag waving behind him
A colorized photo of Joe Biden with the American flag waving behind him
Image via Stefano Garau on Shutterstock

For five days, the nation anxiously waited on standby while a handful of key battleground states finished counting their ballots. We finally received confirmation on November 8th that former Vice President Joe Biden was the projected winner of the election. Despite Donald Trump’s unfounded claims of mass voter fraud and a “rigged” election, Joe Biden will inevitably be sworn-in as the 46th President of the United States come January.

The fact that this election was as dramatic as it was isn’t surprising. The year 2020 has been full of turmoil and adversity for America — especially for the millions of individuals who are also battling a substance use disorder on top of everything else. …


And the role that stripping played in my addiction

A shot of a woman’s feet in stiletto high heels covered with rhinestones, standing next to a pole
A shot of a woman’s feet in stiletto high heels covered with rhinestones, standing next to a pole
Image via Eric Nopanen on Unsplash

I’ve had a handful of different job titles over the years- including pharmacy technician, bartender, and office temp, to name a few. I ended up settling into a nursing career, and that’s what I’ve done for the last 12 years.

Most of the people who know me today, either professionally or socially, know very little about my past, including my struggles with substance abuse and my mental health. Many would also be surprised to know about one particular job title that I held for eighteen months immediately before nursing school: exotic dancer.

How I Got The Job

I didn’t wake up one day and decide to become a stripper, and it certainly wasn’t something I aspired to be as a little girl. The opportunity fell into my lap when I was struggling to figure out who I was and what I was going to do with my life. …


Dealing with the wounds of our childhood is the only way to make progress in recovery

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Image via Pixaby on Pexels

Over the last ten years, I’ve learned a lot about my unhealthy coping mechanisms and self-defeating behavior patterns. Substance use at a young age affects the brain’s neurological development during a crucial time and has lasting results. Using drugs significantly contributed to a dysfunctional perception of myself, poor regulation of emotions, difficulties with relationships, etc.

But recently, a therapist brought to my attention that there is a crucial page of my psychological blueprint that has not gotten enough attention. My dysfunctional thoughts and behaviors began long before I ever picked up a drug — and even the quickest summary of my childhood would explain why. …


Bullet journals are useful for recovering addicts in several ways

A wooden table with an open journal, mug, glass of milk, and a small plate on top.
A wooden table with an open journal, mug, glass of milk, and a small plate on top.
Image via Thom Homles on Unsplash

If you are in recovery from a substance abuse disorder, it’s important to find engaging hobbies that interest you to avoid having too much idle time on your hands. This is especially true during the first year in recovery, as excessive boredom and a lack of structure can trigger relapses. If you’re at a loss for ideas or just looking to try something new, one activity you should consider is bullet journaling.

If you’re not familiar with the bullet journal, it’s basically just a written system that you can use to keep track of everything essential in your life. If you hate writing and started to lose interest upon hearing the word “journal,” — hear me out for a minute. The bullet journal setup is nothing like a traditional journal or diary with long written daily entries. …


His comments about Hunter Biden’s past substance use are exactly what this country doesn’t need

A Trump bobble-head doll with mouth open and hands held up
A Trump bobble-head doll with mouth open and hands held up
Image via Sean Ferigan on Unsplash

There were many reasons why watching the first presidential debate was infuriating. Donald Trump’s childish tantrums and displays of disrespect were worse than usual. I’ve seen grade-schoolers with better impulse control and guests on the Jerry Springer show behave better than he did during his first live debate with the former Vice President.

Joe Biden’s performance wasn’t exceptionally remarkable, but at the very least, he gave articulate answers to the questions asked and showed respect to the moderator. …


Treating opioid addiction has never been more imperative

Protesters stand with signs, large white sign says “Methadone and Buprenorphine Saves Lives”
Protesters stand with signs, large white sign says “Methadone and Buprenorphine Saves Lives”
Image via Shutterstock

The opioid crisis — the staggering number of individuals battling Opioid Use Disorder and dying from opioid-related overdoses — has persisted through two decades. Until recently, it was considered the worst public health tragedy to affect Americans since the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s. That was, of course, before Covid-19, which has already claimed over 200,000 lives in the US alone.

Although current events may have decreased the public’s focus on opioid addiction, it nonetheless continues to take lives and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. According to preliminary data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, deaths in the United States resulting from drug overdoses increased by 4.6% …


From the standpoint of a nurse who’s actually battling addiction in the real world

A stethoscope, blood pressure cuff, and two blister packs of pills.
A stethoscope, blood pressure cuff, and two blister packs of pills.
Image via Kristine Wook on Unsplash

It was the spring of 2009 when I first read a review for a new television series premiering called Nurse Jackie. I was intrigued by the title alone; Shows about the complexities of life as an MD are quite common, but few focus on nurses’ professional experiences. Mere curiosity became fervent interest upon reading the plotline: An ER nurse who works in a busy NYC hospital and is juggling the roles of wife, mother, and career professional, all while secretly battling an addiction to prescription painkillers.

I remember saying to myself, “Oh my God, they’ve made a show about your life.” …


Why Advocating Your Own Recovery Is Key

Woman sitting on balcony with legs up next to tropical drink
Woman sitting on balcony with legs up next to tropical drink
Photo courtesy of Unsplash

It wasn’t until hitting what I considered to be rock bottom in 2005 that I finally accepted a very hard truth — I needed professional help dealing with my drug addiction and unmanaged bipolar disorder.

It was a very hard pill for me to swallow. I had been successful at living a double life and hiding the extent of my problems for a long time. But behind closed doors, I was a train-wreck. I was a college drop-out with $70,000 in debt — caused by mania-fueled shopping sprees and my expensive addiction to opiates.

I honestly believed, however, that if I could only put the dope down long enough to walk into a rehab facility, that I could finally manage my mental illness and be free of my addiction, once and for all. …

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