Alonso Caparrós (Madrid, 1970) savored the sweetness of success in the nineties. Son of the journalist Andrés Caparrós and brother of the television presenter, also called Andrés, he made his debut on the small screen at the age of 20 as a collaborator with María Teresa Campos in the TVE program Pasa la vida. In 1998 he rose to fame as the presenter of the Furor contest on Antena 3. A phenomenon for three years. Then would come Little stars. Life was looking good.
But the presenter fell into hell. What he initially started as a drug flirtation turned into a serious addiction problem for twenty years. "I reached a limit point where it was only possible to die or survive," he confesses in conversation with La Vanguardia. After recounting that experience in his first book A piece of blue sky, now he has just published Empieza de cero, in which he offers the keys that helped him overcome that stage in which he broke family ties and went financially ruined.
Alone, without work or money and almost without hope, he found the first stone on his new path in what would end up being his partner, Angélica, a speech therapist and therapist he met "by chance and who brought with him special qualities such as understanding, kindness and patience." From that moment the change began, she admits. Partnering with books, discovering the power of retirement and solitude, working as a volunteer in a hospital or recovering ties with her two children -Claudia (18) and Andrés (15)- were some of the keys.
As were the memories, "which have the power to change everything." What is it referring to? “Memories have latent power for both good and bad. It is convenient to review, knead and polish what has happened to us in life to draw good conclusions and, above all, not repeat unnecessary mistakes ”, he replies. “They are like a private encyclopedia to look at when something happens to us. They should also serve us to recover from oblivion those people who had a positive influence on our lives”.
Other allies on that path towards a new life were books. From Tolstoy to Buddhist philosophy. "Reading seems fundamental to me, but I don't see books but human beings who tell you their story through a novel or directly from their personal experience and that at a certain moment in your life can be very useful."
Another tool for starting from scratch was experiencing the retreat and the power of solitude to rediscover oneself and achieve inner peace: “It works very well for me to go alone for ten days a couple of times a year, as isolated as possible, even without having to go buy food. All this noise and distraction that we carry with us dissolves. You see both the world and yourself more clearly and this helps a lot.”
The presenter recalls that the first time he practiced a withdrawal it was actually "an escape." In 2017, a media war broke out with his family after he was invited along with his father to the Deluxe program where they exposed their differences. "It was very unpleasant, I had the press behind me and I was overwhelmed." He fled with no destination set. The first four days were hellish, he remembers, but little by little she found the charm of him and now she continues to do so. "A month and a half ago I was in the Pyrenees."
An experience from which to draw lessons. “Family is the strongest. It is not worth wanting to impose our truth, but the important thing is that time passes and the magical moments disappear”, says Caparrós, who in the book also recounts how important it has been for him to recover ties with his children. "They were getting used to my absence and I was unable to start my own rebuilding without them." A trip to Auschwitz and another through France closed cracks.
In the book, Caparrós gives some "advice" ("I always want to be humble") that served him well. Like that volunteering in a hospital that he started in 2017 and that has been on his weekly schedule ever since. “A volunteer gives you the contrast of comparing your suffering with that of others: parents who see their child with a horrible disease, someone with quadriplegia, people who are alone and have not chosen it….”
This contrast makes you "put your feet on the ground and face your own mortality," he says. “I have seen many friends die and you see how at that moment it is imperative to be at peace and resolve any problems you may have had with friends and family; it is important to have that resolved without the need for the moment to arrive. You live much better ”, he recommends.