From the March 2012 magazine.

A House to Call Home

An immigrant living in the streets finds AA in a half way house

When I was growing up, my family owned a bar and I had my first contact with alcohol over 30 years ago, when I was a kid. I drank a lot but I somehow managed to get married. After two years together, my wife and I had our first child. She was a beautiful baby girl who filled my heart with joy, but she was born with cerebral palsy. During the first two years of her life, we visited the hospital about four times a week, usually at nighttime. My wife and I fought often and she blamed me for our daughter's illness, saying that it was the result of my drinking.

During that time, my wife became pregnant again and we worried that this baby too would have health problems. She was born healthy but the problems between my wife and I continued. The inevitable happened, and we separated. My wife prevented me from seeing our daughters for many years. Alcohol became my companion and my escape.

-- Jose G.

San Jose, California

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