“I’m Nancy and I’m an addict and I hope I’m in the right place” were the first words I said on Monday, June 29, 2009 at 8:00pm. This is also when someone said, “Welcome home, and yes you are in the right place. Keep coming back. We’re glad you’re here.” I was so scared. I lived in fear for all my life and had these strangers telling me all of this! These are the things I remember from my very first meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous. It was a “Came to Believe” meeting upstairs at the Whitehouse. I sat on a couch with my daughter. I was scared still. When the meeting ended, we left immediately but these people weren’t running away. I couldn’t figure that out. I still didn’t know anything but I kept coming back with my daughter for support; I still got to the meetings on time and left immediately. I felt safe in the meeting, but scared when I left. I can’t honestly say when I realized I had hope. I don’t even remember when I started walking into the meetings by myself. Something inside of me changed. As some point, I realized that I am not alone. I felt so much love that the only way to explain it is that all of you loved me until I could love myself. I also remember asking, “Is there a right way to pray?” Since I have my own higher power and I know he loves me too. He is never too busy for me. Since those scary days, I’ve grown, but have had a lot of help. I got the most wonderful sponsor, who tells me the things I need to hear, not just what I want to hear. She holds me accountable. I thank God everyday for my sponsor and AA. Today I am so happy to be alive, I can love, and be loved. I can have goals, I can fulfill commitments. I can be a mom, grandma, friend, and I can say I am a child of God. Thanks to Alcoholics Anonymous, I’m going away for a while to clear up some wreckage of my past, but I will be back. You are all in my heart and my prayers. I want to thank each and every one of you for all you have given to me so freely. I just love how this works. You have to give it away to keep it.