Grapevine Online Exclusive

From the November 2014 magazine.

Letter from Puerto Rico

A 24-year-old woman living in San Juan learns that you're never too young to be an alcoholic

The good times had passed. Those good ol' drinkin' days with friends, the endless nights at the punk shows, the parties in abandoned houses, all of them…gone. People used to call me in order to have a good time but as time passed I found myself losing friends. I slept with their boyfriends, embarrassed them in public, punched them in the face, threw beer at them, screamed obscenities. You see, I was never a blackout drunk. I woke up remembering all the gory details of my drunken state. It was like my body kept going but I lost control of my mind, of my reason. You wouldn't want to cross me when I was drunk.

My first drink was at 15 years old. I had a shot of rum, and then another, and then another. I was at a party and the misfits were drinking so I joined them. I was one of them after all. But I didn't get drunk. Maybe that was a sign that my body dealt with alcohol in a different way. My inhibitions were gone and I kissed the boy I had liked since kindergarten. That was my first kiss. I also picked up my first cigarette and smoked it 'til the end.

-- Ela F.

San Juan, Puerto Rico

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