As the world continues to navigate the healthcare implications of this global pandemic, I continue to run out of adjectives to describe how proud I am of the individuals who share my chosen profession.
I have always been proud to be a nurse. For decades we, as nurses, have quietly cared for others with compassion, empathy and grace. In dire circumstances, moments of joy and everything in between, we, as nurses, employ a variety of skills to manage the most delicate and difficult situations.
This pandemic has led to most of us exhibiting all sorts of abnormal behaviours, one of which has been an increase in substance use as a way of coping.
On a normal day having a loved one with a substance related disorders can be an emotional roller coaster. And in my experience talking to family members who have a loved one living with these illnesses, it can be extremely difficult to separate our emotions from the situation. Because of this difficulty, things get said to people living with the illness that can be judgmental, self-serving, stigmatizing, or even just downright mean. This is not meant to place blame on anyone; no one instantly knows how to talk to someone with an addiction or dependency.