Grapevine Online Exclusive

Published June 2014.

Letter from Spain

An AA from Gijon, on Spain's northern coast, shares his story with Grapevine readers

I grew up in a small town in the northern coast of Spain. Memories of my childhood mostly consist of the constant fights between my father and my mother. There were a lot of money issues because of my father's partying and gambling. I remember my father lying on the living room floor sleeping. Sometimes, he sent me to the bar to buy snuff or buy cokes for my brothers and sister and me. I remember when I was eight years old, we received a letter telling us to vacate our home within 15 days. My father had spent the rent money playing cards.

I started drinking when I was 14 years old...

-- Francisco P.

Gijón, Spain

Related Items:

True Rewards
Her young life was spent looking for awards and approval. That ultimately led her to drinking

A River So Swift
She was swept along in a current of alcoholism until her 10-year-old daughter pleaded with her one night

The Long Weekend
After she got sober, she learned that her experiences were very common

To See the Moon and Stars
She thought God had abandoned her when she went to prison. But that was the beginning of her sobriety