My name is Sandy and I am a grateful alcoholic. When I first walked through the doors of AA I could not for the life of me understand why people said they were grateful to be alcoholic. In my mind I couldn’t figure out why all of you were so damn grateful. I didn’t want to grow up and be an alcoholic, I didn’t want to grow up and go to AA meetings, I didn’t want to grow up and meet “those type people”. But today, I am truly, incredibly, and humbly GRATEFUL to be an alcoholic. If I wasn’t an alcoholic, I wouldn’t know bikers, people who have been to prison, people who have been to jail, people who are in rehab, people fresh out of rehab, homemakers, working women, working men, people who have literally lived on the streets due to their diseases. ME! On Thanksgiving, I was on my way to sister’s house with pies in the back seat of my car, excited to see family members from over the river and through the woods (26 of them to be exact) and before I knew what was happening, my car pulled into a parking space at the Alano Club. My second home some could say. I parked on North side of the building and the minute I got out of my car, I was met with hugs and love from those gathered on the picnic tables sharing stories and meals, then I made my way downstairs to the best dive joint in the world, the Alano kitchen, and was again met with hugs and love, (and let me tell you, if you donated cash and/or food it was well received. I have never seen so much food in my life.) My heart was full that peeps had a loving place to go to enjoy an excellent meal, served by excellent cooks, and enjoy family! A quick step outside to the picnic tables on the South side, up the stairs to the big room, hugs and love, then into the room on the East side where I attend some very special and incredible meetings with the type of people I mentioned above who, in my recovery, have become my AA family. All of sudden I felt the urge to look up on the wall and who’s faces did I see? Bill and Bob. I stopped short in my tracks and said a prayer of thanks to those two men and their wives, Lois and Anne, for the movement they created. I have always heard how grateful we are to have found a Power greater than ourselves, but I found myself thinking about the two men who gave so selflessly and two strong women who stood by their sides and how I have neglected to say a word of Thanks and Prayer for what they started. After all, if there was no AA Fellowship and the Steps, where would I be? Something to ponder for the day…hmmm, My name is Sandy, and I am a Grateful Alcoholic!! I am truly humbled that I was asked to share this story for the Lifeline. When I crawled through the doors a little over 2 years and 10 months ago, I never imagined how ALL of you would change and affect my life. If you are reading this, please know, that you have!!!