I have lived in ECC now for seven months, and been at my new job at MECMC for six months. I’ve settled in. I like everything. For the last couple of months I’ve been really lazy and I need to push myself a little to get out of that rut. But luckily, my interns are coming online next week, which means I’ll be responsible for their education and industry, which means I have to appear to be a good PI. Have a plan. Etc.
But the big news today is that I have a new sponsor. My previous sponsor, Mickey S, was my sponsor for more than five years. From when I had less than six months sober until I had more than five and a half years. He took me through the steps, one by one, from the beginning to the end. At the time it felt like a nice, slow, measured pace. But I have come to see that it was actually pretty fast compared with many people I’ve watched go through the steps since I’ve been in the program.
I had already worked steps one through three when I met Mickey. But he had me go through them again with him. And then we ploughed through the next nine in about six months. I was deeply invested in getting through them. I really wanted to do the things I had to do in order for my life to change. And Mickey showed me how to do them. And I did. And it did.
But after seven months of living far away, and discovering that without my roughly weekly meeting with him, I was calling him less. Less than every week. One of the things we tell sponsees when they start is: “Don’t drink, and call me everyday.” I did that for a long time. But after a year or two, it was probably every two or three days that I called Mickey. Since I moved to ECC it’s been every 7-10. And I need more connection than that. Having him so far away was just too alienating.
In my Wednesday night men’s meeting there’s a guy named Scott M. He actually works at MECMC, but in a different building, in a different department. I’ve never seen him at work. I met Scott before I even started my job. He’s a little older than me, maybe just shy of 50. Maybe a touch past it. He doesn’t have all that much more time than I do. I think he’s coming up on 9 years. But he’s go what I want.
That’s what we say about picking a sponsor: pick someone who’s got what you want, and ask them to show you how they got it. Scott is a runner. For a guy in his late 40s or early 50s, with a visible paunch and a bad MCL, he can run like hell. He did a half marathon last week in 2:20. He’s got a wife and a couple of grown kids. A house in the same area of town that I want to move to. A good job and a good life. He knows ECC. He’s friendly and content. All the things that look like success and happiness to me.
And since I’ve gone through the steps, we’re just going to pick up in the maintenance phase. I’ll call him a few times a week. See him at meetings. Go to dinner. And I’ll be accountable to him for my meeting attendance and my ongoing step-work: admitting it when I’m wrong; meditation and reflection; carrying the message. I think it’s going to be good. And I think it’s important for me to make sure I’m adhering to the program despite the fact that my life is going so well that I don’t really know what to do with myself.
There’s an old saying to “dance with the girl what brung ya”. Well, I got where I am by doing the work that we do in AA to have a good, sober life. If I want that to continue, then I need to keep doing the things that got me where I am. So here I go.