Journey's blog

Someone Stop This Merry-Go-Round: An Alcoholic Family in Crisis

Someone Stop This Merry-Go-Round  by Alberta Sequeira

INTRODUCTION

Alcoholism is a disease that affects millions of people along with heart problems, diabetes, cancer, and drug addiction. We hear and read about different diseases that kill people every day and how they leave broken-hearted families behind.
          Who is considered an alcoholic and what are they like in behavior? We all have our own personal conception about what a person has to do in order to be considered an alcoholic. Usually, they’re labeled as habitual drunks. 
          Most of us picture an alcoholic as a person, curled-up and passed out among the over-turned garbage cans and found on a hidden side-street between buildings or someone under a torn, grimy blanket sleeping on a park bench with a newspaper over their face and wearing ragged, filthy clothes looking as though they needed a hot, sudsy shower. In fact, a large percentage of the public automatically assumes it’s a man in this condition having the problem. Today, we realize that a woman could be the alcoholic in these situations. As the years pass, there is no special gender. 
          Our intellects come to the understanding and conclusion that the drinker has absolutely no desire to find a job or no wish to mingle with and contribute to society. We insist that many of them are living off the welfare system with no intention of bettering themselves. When we come in contact with the drinker, many of us lose patience with them or omit them completely in our conversations and social circles. 
          It’s more comfortable for us to pretend that they don’t exist. In other words, they’re not getting their act together to think and do things the way we believe they should.
Because our own lives are structured and orderly, we believe that we’re better than the alcoholic. We forget how blessed our families are to have jobs that pay well, three good meals a day on the table, independent lives, and the freedom to come and go as we like. This concept is what most people consider to be a healthy American life under normal living conditions. 
          The reality of an alcoholic’s life won’t hit us until we come in direct contact with a family member, friend, or a close acquaintance who’s struggling to combat this disease. Then we develop the need to understand fully and to gain the knowledge of what alcohol is doing to the alcoholic and the people around them. 
          Once the abuser’s actions start to affect our lives, we suddenly sit-up and open our eyes to what’s happening to the individual. The desire to help them is there because we love the person and can see that the disease has changed his or her personality, morals, and ambitions. The devastating fact hits us that alcohol is slowly killing our loved one.
The alcoholics themselves can become acutely aware that they are drowning in drink and still don’t feel the need or have the willpower to get help. For them, the battle to give up liquor has too many side effects, and it’s too hard to combat the habit, especially if this life-style has been going on for years. 
          It’s a struggle every day for an alcoholic to just get out of bed. Many spend their days sleeping. They skip meals because their appetite has disappeared, thereby causing more damage to their health because their bodies breakdown from lack of proper nutrition to keep them stable. 
          Many alcoholics who have tried to fight the disease don’t relish the unpleasant physical effects of going without a drink; instead, they give in and turn back to drinking. In their mind, taking a drink is the only way to stop the effects of withdrawal. They fear going to any public place, and the drinking imprisons them in their own home behind closed doors. 
          Their lives and minds are constantly in a confused state. Alcoholics live in uncertainty that immobilizes them. They find it hard to do anything for themselves or their families. All confidence disappears. They make up all kinds of stories in order to avoid doing anything that makes them uncomfortable. 
          Doctors’ appointments are cancelled because they fear what they may be told. Family events are ignored so they don’t have to hear about their behavior or their broken promises. They live in denial that they have any problem at all and believe they can stop drinking at any time. 
          Getting sober for an alcoholic means they’ll have to take the giant step of signing themselves into a detoxification center. There, they’ll experience what they feared: the shakes, being confined, and taking medicine that will make them feel worse before they get better. They’re subjected to answering personal, embarrassing questions and being cooped-up in a single room with strangers, whom they consider to be sicker than they are. 
          After weeks or months of drying out, they’re pushed into the outside world again to face the same problems that brought them there. Depending on circumstances, they’ll have to confront the people that they hurt, deal with job hunting, and return to having the responsibility of making family decisions. Some become paranoid, thinking that everyone is judging them and watching their every move to see if they slip. Some probably are being watched because the whole family becomes sick and confused from the disease.
          If they don’t continue to seek professional counseling after being rehabilitated, join an AA group, or find a sponsor, most alcoholics go right back to the bottle, which is always there to comfort them with no condemnation.
          Going back to drinking, or falling off the wagon as the expression goes, doesn’t mean that they want to—it means they’re sick. Alcoholism is a disease that is highly hereditary. It would be so much easier if drinking could be cured by simply taking a pill. The first step to recovery for the alcoholic is for him or her to want the help. No one can help them if they don’t want recovery. 
          Alcoholics have the same wants and dreams as the rest of us. There was a time when they held a job, had a marriage, brought up children, owned a home and a car, and had a social life with their friends and families. Now, they have become frightened human beings who have lost their dignity. 
          Alcoholism doesn’t happen overnight. The reality of their lives being out-of-control came when catastrophes started to happen all around them. Some drinkers are fortunate to be able to keep their lives fairly normal, but others don’t realize it’s a problem until they lose everything. 
         Society needs to stop looking at the millions of alcoholics as bums or low-class individuals who don’t want to better themselves. They have a disease that can reach the point of no return. 
          If a person has been drinking for years and wants to stop, the body may have reached the point where it needs the drink. The body craves it; then there’s no stopping. 
         Someone Stop This Merry-Go-Round is based on the true story of my life living with and losing a husband to alcoholism. Slowly, our happy lives as a secure family started to fall to pieces at different stages. It seems completely incomprehensible to me now that I couldn’t see the signs of serious drinking from this uncontrollable disease. 

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Truth in every page
By meme

I couldn't put this book down. I have been unable to read a complete book for the last 8 years and this one I couldn't put down. Not only is it an easy read but anyone who has been in an alcoholic marriage will find comfort in this. This is not a self help book, but it gives you the realization that someone else has felt exactly what you felt and you were not crazy.

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By Midwest Book Review

Alcoholism is not only destructive for the alcoholic, but his family as well. "Someone Stop This Merry-Go-Round" tells the story of Alberta H. Sequeira, and how she slowly lost her husband to alcohol. Reflecting on her own views, what happens to her family, and how one man's self-destruction proved to be more than only self, Sequeira has a life that many will sadly relate to, and will find comfort in. For those looking for strength from their own alcohol-driven problems, "Someone Stop This Merry-Go-Round" is a top pick.

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Purchase at www.amazon.com/author/albertasequeira

Writer's Event

Alberta Sequeira

 

Special Event

  Authors Without Borders Presents:

EXPLORING NEW STRATEGIES

 

 

You are invited to attend a fun and informative AWB program for writers and aspiring writers:

When: Saturday, April 22nd  2017

Noon to 3pm

 Where: John P. McKeon AMVETS Post #146

 4 Hill Top St.

Dorchester, MA          (617) 436-2991

Easy access from the Southeast Expressway, free parking available.

This event includes buffet and beverages, mingling with other writers, handouts, and your choice of one of the following sessions:

1.  How to publish with CreateSpace by the successful author and trainer, Alberta Sequeira;

2.  How to promote your work on social media by best-selling novelist and book marketer, Steven Manchester;

3.  How to pitch your work—preparation and videotaping by author, T.V. host/producer/director, Willie Pleasants.

Each of these sessions is critical to writers at stages in the journey of their work.

*Special Guests authors Terri Arthur, on the international publishing of her book (Fatal Decision: Edith Cavell WWI Nurse), and Priscilla E. Flint-Banks, memoir writer (I Look Back and Wonder How I Got Over), radio host, social activist, and marketer. 

*AWB members Pat Perry and Joyce Keller Walsh will be available to speak with guests individually about genre-writing, as well as other writing, publishing, and promoting topics.

*Cost is $35 per person$25  for AWB members) $40 the day of.

By reservation only.  Limit of 70 attendees. Please RSVP by April 1st  send your choice of session to:[email protected]    (617) 282-5984.     

 

 

Payment in advance may be via PayPal on our website: www.awb6.com

 

Spring: A Time for a Spiritual Change

Alberta at Tony's

I think the signs of Spring coming after winter is ending gives all of us hope for new things in our life.  Most of all, I hope we want to change our ways to a better way of living.  Not only with the usage of drugs, but with our souls.

So many don't put the two changes together.  No matter what you're trying to reach, I can't picture not praying to God to help us on our journey.  We seem to overlook Him, until something terrible happens to us or a loved one.  Then all of a sudden, we turn to God to help us out of the situation, even the unbelievers.  

I've heard people swearing to not believe in a God, including one man I've known for years.  His daughter fell off stairs and hit her head on cement and rushed to a hospital.  She was only six at the time. He had to drive an hour to get to the hospital. His first words were, "Please, God, let her be all right." 

How many of us send promises to God if He answers our prayers? You have to believe in Him first. You have to believe He is loving and merciful.  He may not answer your prayers the way you want.  He does in His time and His way. 

I know, because I could not have said more rosaries, novenas and prayers to Him to save my daughter, Lori, from her cirrhosis of the liver.  See, God had already taken  my husband, Lori's father, in 1985 at forty-five years of age from his drinking and suffering from the same disease. 

Why would God give me the same pain, even worse, take my daughter, my child?  It was 2006, and Lori was only 39 years old. My pain was still raw as I had to watch the same scene in Charlton Memorial Hospital in Fall River, MA, as I had with Richie at the VA Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island. I saw Lori take her first breath, and her last.

Things may not go as we plan or pray for with a crisis. THIS was a crisis to me. My child. I felt like my heart had been ripped out of me. There is no greater pain than losing a child. 

I went through my pain, and fought from going into a corner and dying myself. It took only minutes for me to know from my love of God that He had His reason.  To this day, I don't know what it was, but I know Lori and Richie can't be in better Hands. 

It's not easy. I may look and act strong, but I let go of my sorrow in private. I have to pray for another year without them to go on and do whatever I'm supposed to do. The same should go for you. Do you need and want to give up addiction, pray to Him. He never left you. You left Him. He gives us choices. We have to make them. Put your pain and decisions into His hands. Believe! Believe, until you think you can't make the decision or see the results.

Pray when you don't believe. He already knows you don't. And to think He still loves us when we don't believe in Him. How lucky we are to have Him with us no matter what we do or how bad our actions might be.  

To me, these are the changes for the Spring to head towards.  See if you find a difference. You will never be alone. You won't be judged. You will be understood. You don't have to explain. 

Easter is around the corner.  He rose from the dead to give us life with His death.  He promises a place for us if we believe in Him. This is our life now, but our death is life forever. 

Make those changes.  Don't hesitate.  Change is growth. Take a chance. If you don't try, you will always wonder "What if I had?" Believe in yourself.  Believe in God.

Alberta Sequeira

www.albertasequeira.wordpress.com

Email: [email protected]

New Book Coming!

 

Alberta

Get ready my followers. I finished The Rusty Years. My first fictional story. It will be a sequel in 3 books. Hopefully, it will be in print in 6 months.

Except: 

Today, June 14, 2013, is my birthday.  How did I ever live through all the catastrophes and heartbreak in my life to reach the ripe old age of ninety-two?  

Yes, Jenny Rose has been through a lot.  Many past memories of her growing years traveled through her old mind, as she sat in her rocking chair on the front porch facing the wide-open ocean from her home in Chatham, Massachusetts.  She kept the old rocker that her mother had used every night to read her stories while she sat on her lap as a young child.

Her memories traveled to losing her true love, Todd Costa, and giving their child up for adoption. Even at this old age, Jenny couldn't forget the past.  She struggled to let go, but wanted answers before she died. What happened to her daughter?  Where did she and Todd go wrong?

 

 

 

Alberta Sequeira

[email protected]

Welcome 2017

Alberta at Tony's

Yes, it’s here. A new year…a new beginning. No more putting your head in the sand.

Here are your New Years Goals.

I am an alcoholic and I need to face the fact. I want my wife, husband, children, job, friends and life back. I will not let anything get in my way; lies, other abusers calling me, going to drinking parties, a slip, or negative friends.

I will find:

A recovery program, new sober friends, search out jobs, face my past hurts and pains to talk them out with a professional team, forgive and let the past go. I will put my weakness in God’s hands, I won’t allow someone who hurt me to keep me from having the life God intended me to have, go into detox if necessary, find an outlet with exercise and fun, start a hobby, read, enjoy a non-alcoholic beverage!

Now, write down your own dreams you want to follow. Don’t get overwhelmed. Do them one at a time. If you fall, get up and start over. It took you a long time to become an alcoholic or drug addict, it will take you time to heal.

Be good to yourself. Have faith in God and you will in yourself. Pray. It’s more powerful than you think. Don’t think negative and push the fear away. Go to your house of worship.

Purchase my books at https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=alberta+sequeira from Amazon. Hopefully, one of my books will be like a potato chip….you start on one and want to finish them all. I love reviews from readers on Amazon!

Alberta Sequeira

Website: www.albertasequeira.wordpress.com

Email: [email protected]

Find the Why!

I have always believed that the professionals need to find out "Why" the substance abusers use; not concentrating on trying to cure them of their alcohol, drug or precription habits.  

Looking back to when I had been blessed with my husband, Richard (who we called Richie), and my daughter, Lori, being in my life, I remember the people they were before this horrible alcohol abuse kept them from being happy, as they once were.

Both of them had pain from their past and I didn't see it or tried.  I looked at the "problem" with their drinking; the blackouts, yelling or fights.  My life was upside down from the effects of their actions, and I had been struggling to get my normal life back, when I should have stopped and looked at how to help them get their lives back, get them into recovery (which they had in time).  

I should have sat down in a peaceful atmosphere and talked to them--no, I take that back. I should have listened to their hurt and pain. We don't learn anything from doing all the talking. 

I should have talked to Lori and Debbie after their father died in the beginning with our quiet time about my life with their father's drinking coming into our family and what happened when they were  babies listening to the fights and confusion. If I had, maybe, just maybe, Lori would have understood why she grew up with fear and no security in her life. 

As for Richie, I should have made demands as soon as I realized there was a drinking problem. How do you know it's a problem?  When it causes problems. Instead, I could have  gotten the highest award for being an enabler. There was the covering up with family that there was even a problem, not talking to Richie about it the day after a blackout, instead I went into the silent treatment. 

But the healthiest action should have been demanding getting professional help. If the answer, which it was, had been no, than I should have kicked him out until he did. I gave him no choice and excepted his actions day after day, year after year. When in the meantime, my daughters suffered. As parents, it's up to us to protect our children, not the other parent using. 

I didn't make him drink, but I helped bring him deeper into his problem. We didn't know Lori had a problem until she was thirty-seven and she died at thirty-nine. See doing something about the problem, even if they never recover, is from love and helps them look at their problem and maybe desire the want to stop their merry-go-round of bouts.

Richie came from a family of drinkers..another reason I believe this disease can be hereditary for some users. Others start by following the crowd, too many parties with heavy drinking, wanting to fit in with friends, have past hurts they are trying to bury, instead of facing them head-on, losing someone they love from death or a breakup. The list can go on. Instead of trying to get closer to Richie and trying to understand him, I pulled away from anger, fear, and abuse. One huge mistake, I didn't reach out for help for myself until ten years went by and the demon had a tight grip on him. I didn't turn to parents who might have helped us. 

As for Lori, after I lost Richie to cirrhosis of the liver, I didn't take the time to see the pain she had been in with her life.  I was now alone as a parent trying to act like a dad also instead of sitting down with both Lori and Debbie and talking about the loss of their father. We buried our heads in the sand. I was the adult, I should have started the talk and had us all listen to each other's pain.

I had no education on addiction. I came from a happy, close family. I was young myself with no idea what this disease was or how it could hurt the whole family. Looking back, if did have the knowledge maybe the problem would have been handled differently.  

Listen to your loved one!! That's the beginning and my most important advice. Don't give up on them. 

Lori loved and hurt losing her father (more than I had realized). Her drinking caused her to lose her job, home, car, kids, and her pride! 

Am I punishing myself...as people say I do?  No, I see the signs after their deaths of things I could have done to maybe help the situation. It's the maybe, should have, could have that kill us when they die. I want to open your eyes to what you maybe able to do to save your loved one, instead of going to a cemetery on holidays to see them. 

My books are in paperback and Kindle.   Go to my site:https://amazon.com/author/albertasequeira

Hopefully, my books will be like potato chips....you start on one and want to finish them all.  As always, I welcome and love reviews on Amazon.

Alberta Sequeira

Website: www.albertasequeira.wordpress.com
Email: [email protected]

Merry Christmas to All

christmas-bulbs      christmas-candles

Christmas has different meanings to all of us. I love this picture of the candles. It’s a time for peace and love. Those feelings come over me seeing the light flickering.

birth-of-jesus

Most of all, Christmas is Jesus. His birth to save us. Bring Him in your life. You won’t feel alone. Just open your hearts. Forget the gifts under the tree for a moment and remember what “Christ”..mas is all about for us.

Let Christmas and New Years be a safe holiday for all of you. Keep close to the people that love you. If you’re fighting your addiction, be with friends and family that don’t use. This is where you get high.

Alberta Sequeira

www.albertasequeira.wordpress.com

[email protected]

Please don't drink for the Holidays. We love you!

Merry Christmas!

Al & Alberta

 

Both my husband, Al, and myself, wish all of you a very Merry Christmas. It's a time to be thankful for what we have had through the year.

Sometimes, we aren't blessed with sharing our holiday with loved ones. Families maybe in different states and some of us might have lost loved ones. November 22, 2016 made ten years my daughter, Lori, has been gone from dying of cirrhosis of the liver from years of drinking. It doesn't seem possible that many years have passed.

The gap is always there opening gifts, seeing her children, having a lump in my throat hearing Christmas songs, and sitting around the dinning room table having a holiday meal. Her seat is empty again for another year.

I have to be thankful that we have our other children, grandchildren, a great-grandchild with another one due in May of 2017. God does bless us. We can't question his reasons on why he calls others home, and many too early in their life. He is a loving God. Our loved ones chose to go down this path. That does not ease the pain and it's not easy to say.

They are still with us. Our Blessed Mother in Medjugorje in Bosnia let one of the six visionaries see her Mom on her birthday, three months after she had died. She not only saw her but she spoke to her. The mother said, "I see you each and everyday, and I'm proud of you."

So remember, they do see us in a beautiful and peaceful world above us. They are no longer in suffering. Try to love and forgive.

My book A Spiritual Renewal: A Journey to Medjugorje is a wonderful memoir showing the love in a family and miracles that bring me to Medjugorje after three miracles happened to me. My books are in paperback and Kindle.   Go to my site:https://amazon.com/author/albertasequeira

Hopefully, my books will be like potato chips....you start on one and want to finish them all.  As always, I welcome and love reviews on Amazon.

Alberta Sequeira

Website: www.albertasequeira.wordpress.com
Email: [email protected]

Give a Book that Speaks to Substance Abusers instead of You!

 

NB Book Festival

I will went to Durfee High School for only Saturday, December 3, 2016 from 10am-4pm. Sunday, I had other plans. Not a bad day. My best part with selling books is meeting people. So many want to  share their lives with the topic of substance abuse in their families. The sad part is hearing, way too often, that the result was the death of their loved one. 

The best book of the day was What is and isn't Working for the Alcoholic and Addict. Reason being, we as family members, counselors or married partners want to know what substance abusers want from us to help them seek professional help. Read the book, and leave it for them without any lectures. "I read this great book and thought you might enjoy it. Make sure you give it back when you're done." The contributors talk to them, not us. 

Thirty-four alcoholic and drug user, from The United States and Canada, along with people abusing prescription drugs, tell their honest stories. Two women started drinking at five and seven years old from watching their parents. Another drank ginger ale and walked around falling to mimic parents actions at parties at home being drunk. 

Learn how the mindset is with substance abusers. See how our innocent enabling only brings them deeper into their alcohol or drug abuse. Read what you do in your early years is what and who you become as an adult.

Remember Christmas is coming and a book added to a gift is a joy to someone and also educational! Facing the problem together is the start of healing and recovery.

Go to my site: https://amazon.com/author/albertasequeira
Hopefully, my books will be like potato chips....you start on one and want to finish them all.  As always, I "love reviews."

Alberta Sequeira

Website: www.albertasequeira.wordpress.com
Email: [email protected]

 

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