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Last Day at MECMC.

12 January 2018

Well, this is it. I’m remembered of something one of Jimmy Legs’s friends said to him upon graduation: “Welp, that’s college.”

I’ve been in ECC for nearly 5 years. I built a new program at a prestigious institution. It will survive my departure. I met my life partner. I bought a home. I ran two marathons and a half-Ironman. More than a dozen shorter races. I published twelve papers. I was promoted twice. I won two grants. I trained two undergrads and placed them in med school and grad school, respectively.

The ECC years were good to Dr24hours. I’m proud of what I did. Upon leaving my job, I was kind but honest about the wrong turns I feel the organization is taking. I was grateful and, I hope, humble about what MECMC did for me. They helped establish my professional reputation in a way that never would have happened before. It is a hugely prestigious organization, and I could tell when submitting papers with that weight behind me. That resulted in free international trips to speak, and more invitations to collaborate.

Now I have six and a half weeks until I begin a new job. In which I will sell my house, move two homes, and drive cross country. I am happy, excited, nervous, bewildered, bemused, stunned, thrilled, and a little hungry. I know how to fix one of those.

I engaged with my local AA community, got a new sponsor, and spent nearly five years here without a drink. I arrived in ECC shortly before my 5th sober anniversary. I’m leaving shortly before my 10th. My sobriety has become part of the background radiation of my life. I feel comfortable in it, finally. After nearly ten years, I finally feel like I’m not a newcomer anymore. I understand how this works, and I’ve spent close to a decade working the program continuously.

That said, my disease still scares me. I know it’s waiting for me. As the men from my Wednesday night Men’s Meeting sat around and ate pizza two nights ago, after the meeting, we talked about a few people we know who’ve been in an out of the program, and try to drink normally. We were all kind of baffled. Around that table, the five of us had around 75 years of sobriety. Not one of us was interested in figuring out how to drink normally.

When I think about drinking, I think about getting fucked up. That’s what I want out of alcohol. So now I don’t drink. And my life is rather unsurprisingly better. I can do anything. Except drink.

So tonight I fly to Seattle and will begin my new life with my partner BB as we begin two new jobs and a new life. I’ll find new meetings. I’ll establish a new routine. And I’ll build again. It’ll be hard. But I know how to move forward now. One step at a time. Good therapy and a hundred people in the rooms  taught me that. I am a sober member of Alcoholics Anonymous, and I am not afraid.

Welp, that’s Philadelphia.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. 12 January 2018 12:08

    I’m so proud of you! I hate that it might sound condescending, I hope not.

    This post made me cry a little.

  2. pyrope permalink
    12 January 2018 14:19

    Congrats and best wishes with this new beginning – sounds fantastic on all fronts!

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