Why do we have to wait for an intervention to try to reach our loved one fighting addiction? I wish I had thought of this before I lost my husband and daughter.
This may sound like a crazy action but think about it. When you talk to them they don’t want to hear what you're saying. They don’t want your advice. They block you out. First of all, don’t try to make any connection when they're in a fog from using.
If you send them a loving letter, they will read it. Maybe they won’t like what you’re saying, but they won’t be blocking you out. It gives you time to “think” about what you want to say.
Never knock them with their behavior or their personality. Don’t throw blame at them. They need to hear you love them and that you are scared to death with losing them. Don’t say you love them, show it.
One night, I received a call that my daughter had been staying at a friend’s home, and they wanted her out. She was not paying rent. At that time, it had been months that we had no idea where she was or in what condition.
We went to bring her home. It was a comfort mentally knowing she was with us. I sat on the couch and she put the back of her head against my chest. I ran my fingers through her matted hair. I wrapped my arms around her. It gave Lori such solace her remark to me was, “You don’t know how good it feels with your arms around me.”
I have never forgotten those words. You see, Lori died eight months later at thirty-nine and I never held her in my arms again. That moment was embedded in my mind and heart. It showed how much she needed her family as she hopped from one place to another alone. So, so many things I would have done differently. As parents, we miss the way to handle the alcoholics. What do they want, need, or desire?
I wanted the answers. Thirty-nine alcoholics, drug, and prescription users contributed their stories to me from the USA and Canada. They were asked: “Are there other family members who have an addiction, what age did you start, why did you, how did you recover, what do you need to help you desire the want for professional help? What do you think works and doesn’t in our recovery programs?" Many more questions.
These answers from all show the family, counselor, doctors, and society what they need. This is a book for all, not just the addicted. Here is a book you can read and then leave on a table for your loved one to read at their want. The contributors talk to them. You don’t have to. It is a great educational book for schools, libraries, and rehabilitation centers. One person told me they read it as a family and discussed every separate story and how it affected them.
The book is What is and isn’t Working for the Alcoholic and Addict; In Their Own Words. Your childhood life is what defines you as an adult. It can be purchased at www.amazon.com/author/albertasequeira.
Need a speaker at your location? Email me at [email protected]
How many of you look at beer as a non-alcoholic drink? You’re not an alcoholic if you drink beer and stay away from hard liquor. False! Open your eyes. Beer is liquor that can help you become an alcoholic.
How many think, if you can drink and get up for work the day after heavy binge drinking, that you’re not an alcoholic? You can hold down your job. You meet your bills.
My husband, Richard Lopes of North Dighton, Massachusetts had his own television repair shop down our cellar. His business was successful. People knew him in town and his family was well respected.
Richie’s family had a history of alcoholics. Something I learned after our marriage.
Before opening his own business, he had worked for a television company in Somerset, Massachusetts. A bar was next door named the Elbow Room. A perfect setting for an alcoholic or one to be made. Slowly and repeatedly, he and his boss went for a drink after work. This was a daily routine Monday through Friday.
I could push the button to a recording machine hearing, “I’ll be late for supper. We have to discuss some problems we had today. Don’t wait for me. I’ll eat when I get home.” Many nights my daughters and I eat alone.
I spent my time looking up at the clock around 5 pm. I knot started in my stomach with no arrival for supper. What condition and time would he be coming home? We had two beautiful daughters, Debbie and Lori. They were four years apart and this started when Debbie was around six years old. Lori had been two.
When Saturday and Sunday arrived, with liquor in the house, he never drank. In time, Saturday became a weekday with work. He never drank or over-drank visiting family. He was always stone sober. Monday would roll around and again, the drinking started. The hours coming home got later and later.
Because of this so-called “control ”, Richie believed he had no problem. Allowing this to go on with making no demands, only made our household become toxic. His light, happy drinking mood switched to blackouts. I was abused and our daughters saw things that children should not witness. Shame on me. I put him before our children. I should have been protecting them. I became a huge enabler.
Richie died in 1985 at forty-five years of age at the VA Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island. I didn’t make him an alcoholic but I added to the problem with putting blinders on each day. It brought him deeper into his addiction.
I wrote about the reality of our lives, with nothing held back, in Someone Stop This Merry-Go-Round; An Alcoholic Family in Crisis. Learn from my mistakes and do something about bad drinking behavior as soon as it starts. When is it a problem? When it causes problems.
The books can be bought at www.amazon.com/author/albertasequeira. The sequel with our daughter, Lori Cahill, and her use of alcohol and drugs brought her death at thirty-nine years of age is in Please, God, Not Two; This Killer Called Alcoholism. It's at the same link.
Richie and Lori have been buried together at the St. Patrick Cemetery in Somerset, Massachusetts. Don’t wait for that to happen to your loved one. Need a speaker for your event? Email me at [email protected]
I went to an Author’s Expo last night and met seventeen new author friends. What was sad was how many people are affected by a loved one’s drinking. One man was divorcing after thirty-five years of trying to help his wife give up her drinking. I’ve been there, done it. We chattered, and hopefully, he left with some encouragement to go on and pray she sees her life in reality and gets help.
I could hear and see the draining hope that left him, and more so, the love he still had for his wife and marriage. I had a small breakdown during those hard times trying to “save” my husband. It took all these years after his death in 1985 dying at forty-five, and years of learning, they have to want the help to recover. Meantime, the wives or husbands turn ourselves inside out trying to find the way for them. We remember the fights and abuse because we were sober during those hours, while they remained in blackout not remembering what they said or did.
The pain comes when the disease distroys their organs and we watch them die. Nothing is more painful than to give the doctor permission to take life support off your loved one. I watched my daughter, Lori, come into this world, and watched her take her last breathe leaving us as the machine went flat. A death that could have been preventable. As a non-drinker or drug user, we can’t fathom how they can’t reach out to get professional help to live.
There is no way of healing without admitting first that you have a problem; wanting the help, giving up and staying away from your drinking or drug user friends, don’t attend their parties you know the use will be easy, don’t meet that drug dealer around the corner; don’t follow your friend to give “them” support, or go back to your habit because it is easier than trying to get clean.
Remember one thing; those people you think are your friends would surprise you. If you died today, they would pick right up with someone else to hang out with to drag down to their level of drowning in their habit with substance abuse. It’s true…”misery loves company.”
Changes! A frightful thought and action. You’re so used to doing nothing but drink, use drugs, or overuse prescription drugs, that your lost on how to fill your days. Your mind was never clear enough to remember or worry about what you did.
Now, you face reality. Scary! Anything new is. Giving a speech is just as panicky. Substance abusers have to go through the step with drying out. That alone takes a toll on your mind and body coming down; the shakes, body aches, hallucinations, depression, clammy skin, fatigue, insomnia, irritability, mood swings, or serious seizures. Instead of being petified seeing the results, realize these are symptoms your drinking and drug use are doing to your body.
Lets jump ahead to recovery. There is no cure for alcohol abuse except staying away from it. Miracles have happened to others and they come out of their actions with no problems. Don’t ever go “cold turkey” and stop all at once. See professionals to help you. This could kill you.
I have never had a problem with drinking so I can’t judge the ones who do. Seeing my husband and daughter die from it, I have one drink…once or twice a year, and stop. Never had two. Does it make me better than you? No. I’m lucky not to have that gene where I can’t stop.
So my friend, throw in God or Who you call your Higher Power. You’ll never be alone. Go to your place of worship. Make friends with people with ambitions, love their families, believe in God, stay active without substance abuse, get a hobby, sign up to go to school to get the degree you want (don’t have money, look for organizations that will fund your schooling), go to meetings and only hook up with the ones serious with recovery, or help in your community.
I pray daily for substance abusers. I talk at event in private or publicly to give you strength, let you remember you’re worth something, learn to believe in yourself, and continue on the path for good mental and phyical health. You fall? Get right up again and walk to the light.
Talk to me or schedule a talk at your location:
Alberta Sequeira will be at the Apponequat Regional HS library with other authors signing books. The event is a one-night, Friday May 17th, from 5-8 pm. Come vist and introduce your self. The address is 100 E Howland Road, Lakeville, MA.
Lets start with my “real” younger years. Believe it or not, I am a twin. My brother came into the world before me..twenty minutes?
His name was Albert, named after our father. June 4, 2016, Albert died from lung cancer.
I’m the one with the stylish hat. I still love to dress up and look my best. I try to get woman to wear hats in church. I am told I still look stylish… even though I’m the only one.
Here is Albert sitting peacefully on top of me. He always wanted to win at everything. There’s the hat again. It must have brought me attention wearing one and Albert was trying to take my fame away.
Here we are in our playpen. Do any of you remember them? I’m on the left watching Albert probably getting attention from Mom. In those days, parents must have blessed those corrals. Can’t imagine running after two small babies going in two different directions from curiosity outside our enclosed area.
Here I am again on the right pouting while Albert is smiling. I probably got yelled at for something he did.
Look at the “old” carriage in the background. Wow, that was a long time ago.
Email: [email protected]
Here is a book, not only for the substance abusers, but for family members, society, doctors, and counselors to learn, not only what the addict is looking for with support to help them through with their recovery, but new ways to help the addicted. You will learn that childhood emotional wounds mold us into what we become in adulthood.
What is and isn’t Working for the Alcoholic and Addict is a book of personal stories by thirty-four alcoholics and drug users from all walks of life. The first few years of recovery in substance abuse contain numerous pitfalls which addicts in recovery must have the right kind of help with. The best-intention of friends, family, lovers, and co-workers can be healthy supports or obstacles to long-term sobriety. Addicts sharing their experience, strength, and hope with others is something that only a recovering addict or alcoholic can do. It is a unique gift.
This book contains the testimonies of individuals who were or are actively in a recovery program and wanted to share their habit and actions with their struggles trying to overcome their own addiction. Their main goal is to help others who are fighting with their recovery and sobriety. These are their own stories on how their addiction led to the devastation of losing control of their life, family, friends and the death of other family members from this disease we call Alcoholism. Their desire is to lift other substances abusers, especially young people, in learning the reality that it’s not that drinking and taking drugs may, could or would kill. It will.
Hopefully, the heartfelt honesty from the participants will help doctors and counselors to use their stories for their own study on what may be missing in the treatment methods.
The personal testaments within What is and isn’t Working for the Alcoholic and Addict is an added tool as to how people are affected, and how they suffer long-term drinking habits from living in an active alcoholic family. As one contributor wrote, “I was tired of getting sick, my hands shaking, my vision deteriorating, my nose bleeding, my bowels moving sporadically, the violence and running from many situations being paranoid to the point of staying home all day (I had a job, a husband, family), not sleeping and not feeling safe.”
What alcoholic or addict is not going to relate to these emotions?
Editorial Review:Light in the darkness
Rarely has anyone book described a solution to such a devastating public and personal health issue, in such a variety of voices and pathways, as does Alberta Sequeira’s “What is and isn’t Working for the Alcoholic.”
In this era of ever-increasing addiction to all types of substances including drugs and the ever-ongoing problem of alcohol addiction and abuse, this book offers hope and enlightenment to the addict and to those who love them and to the general public. There are few people whose lives have not been touched in some way by this epidemic. Frustration, chronic fear, worry, helplessness, and hopelessness characterize those of us who attempt to help or even control the downward spiral we witness in those we care about who are addicted or affected by these diseases. Without help, we stand little chance of breaking free from these chains.
This amazing book, however, offers hope and direction through the stories of those who have been there in the “trenches” – the addict and those who love them. This book identifies through the stories of those who have contributed that there are many “roads up the mountain” of freedom. It’s up to each of us to choose which path we will take.
Thank you, Alberta, for your courage and for your passion for helping those affected by this illness and showing us that this illness is not hopeless, and can, in fact, through recovery be the doorway into a new life.
Review by John R. Daubney, author of “Those Who Walk with Fire: Everyday People Discuss the Passion That Fuels Their Extraordinary Lives
From The Author: I want substance abusers
to know these important messages in my book: Choices: The word is
powerful. Realize the meaning when you
are faced with taking that other drink or buying that drug down the street. Choices, if someone calls you to go to his or
her party with alcohol or drugs.
Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future.
Stop hanging out with those who have no desire at all to recover.
First, you can do this. You can recover. Think it in your mind and want it more than life itself in your heart.
Get rid of the garbage in your life by talking to counselors or doctors. It’s a step to healing.
It takes more for a person to ask for help than the ones too scared to take the step and keep on the same “death” path.
Forgive the person who hurt you. You don’t have to keep them in your life. Give it up to God for Him to heal you. Forgiving moves you toward recovery. Let it go.
I learned writing this book that family can only love and support the
addict. They have to do the work to recover. They have to want it.
I had the contributors write their feelings in this book with their struggle with reaching sobriety because I wanted to know what happened to my husband, Richie and my daughter, Lori. What did they
need from me that I didn’t supply?
I want families and substance abusers to realize the mistakes I made along the way.
Book Genre: Narrative Non-Fiction
Paperback: 360 Pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (September 25, 2013)
Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
Amazon Customer Reviews:
About The Author: Start out by watching Alberta’s interview with Sheriff Thomas Hodgson from The Bristol County Jail & House of Corrections at 400 Faunce Corner, Dartmouth, MA 02747:
Interview Link: https://vimeo.com/album/3341606/video/254517198
Alberta H. Sequeira was born in Pocasset, Massachusetts. Her father, Albert L. Gramm, had been a Brigadier General in the Army and one of the commanding officers of the 26th Yankee Division during WWII fighting in the battles of Metz, Lorraine and The Battle of the Bulge. She spent her childhood in various towns across the different states traveling. She lives in North Dartmouth, Massachusetts with her husband, Al.
They have five children, and lost their daughter, Lori Cahill, in 2006 and her first husband, Richard Lopes, from their alcohol addiction. From these children, they were blessed with ten grandchildren. June of 2016, Al & Alberta were blessed with three “great-grandchildren. Isabel was born first in, Charlie was next followed by Lori’s daughter, Meagan, having a son, Brady, in October.
Ms. Sequeira is a four-time award-winning author, a Motivational Speaker, and an Awareness Coach on Alcohol and Drug Abuse for private and public events after the loss of her husband and daughter from North Dighton, Massachusetts. She is the producer, director, and co-host of the NBTV-95 Cable TV Station out of New Bedford, Massachusetts. Ms. Sequeira is a weekly writer for the Cape Cod Today blog at (http://www.capecodtoday.com/blogs/Journey)
***All Alberta’s paperbacks are offered in Kindle books. She is always excited to receive reviews from readers and getting emails.
Her first memoir A Spiritual Renewal: A Journey to Medjugorje is about her relationship with her father and learning too late about his remarkable military life fighting throughout Europe during WWII. After her father’s death, three miracles happen to her that leads her on a trip to Medjugorje in Bosnia. A ten-day pilgrimage to this tiny, remote village allowed her to witness four out of six visionaries having apparitions daily with The Blessed Mother. Their first vision was in 1981 and still continuing today (2016). They are receiving 10 secrets each and when they get them all, they will be revealed to the world. The priest has already been chosen to present them. There are only two visionaries left to get one more secret.
Her second memoir, Someone Stop This Merry-Go-Round; An Alcoholic Family in Crisis, is about her young life married to her alcoholic husband, Richard Lopes of North Dighton, Massachusetts and their two daughters who lived behind closed doors in silence with confusion and fear. It’s a roller coaster with Richie’s struggle trying to combat his addiction. Join her on a merry-go-round of her own enabling to only bring him deeper into his addiction. In 1985, Richie died at the VA Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island at 45 years old from cirrhosis of the liver. It’s a book of reality with families living with an alcoholic.
The sequel Please, God, Not Two; This Killer Called Alcoholism is the continuation of their lives after Richie’s death, and the story follows her daughter, Lori Cahill, going down the same path as her father. On November 22, 2006, after three rehabilitation stays, Lori died at 39 years old at the Charlton Memorial Hospital in Fall River from the same horrible, worldwide disease. The story follows all the hardships Lori developed from drinking and the pain of her struggle in and out of rehabs. This book contains some of the author’s speaking engagements behind closed doors to alcoholic abusers at halfway homes and substance abuse rehabilitation centers.
What is and isn’t Working for the Alcoholics and Addicts; In Their Own Words is a Narrative Non-Fiction book of testimonies from thirty-four recovering alcoholics and drug addicts from all walks of life from the United States and Canada telling what they believe does and does not work in their recovery programs. Hopefully, these honest testimonies will help others fighting the same battle and heading down this same destructive path and for family members to learn from them how they are suffering physically and mentally from their substance abuse. They want to reach doctors, counselors, family members and society on what they believe is needed for support for them to desire professional help.
She is working on her first fictional The Rusty Years.
Alberta wants readers to know there is a lighter side to her.
In 2013, Alberta and Al met with Stephen Meunier, who at the time had been the Policy Advisor to Senator John Kerry, in his office located in Boston, Massachusetts. They presented ways to try to modify the Patient Privacy Act to help alcoholics, drug addicts, the mentally ill and their families.
Reader Views of Austin, Texas had awarded A Spiritual Renewal; A Journey to Medjugorje the Reviewers Choice Award 2008 Semi-Finalist. Allbooks Review of Canada had nominated her memoirs Someone Stop This Merry-Go-Round with the “Editor’s Choice Award” and was nominated for the “Dan Poynter’s Global eBook Award 2011.” The sequel, Please, God, Not Two was also nominated for the “Editor’s Choice Award 2010” and appeared in the December 20, 2010, issue of Publishers Weekly.
She is a Continuing Education instructor for two three- hour writer’s workshops titled Bring Your Manuscript to Publication, How to Self-Publish Your Own Book with Create Space, and Writing Memoirs. All are published as handbooks with Amazon in paperback and Kindle.
Alberta is a co-founder to Authors Without Borders,” (www.awb6.com) with three other authors who offer their services with speaking engagements, readings, panel discussions, book signing, poetry slams and workshops at schools, bookstores, businesses, and libraries.
Alberta has now had the opportunity to give talks to the men and women in jails. It was a great chance to reach out and give them hope with the choices they have to recover.
Amazon Author’s Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/albertasequeira
Professional Website: http://www.albertasequeira.wordpress.com
Professional Blog: http://www.albertasequeira/org
FAMILY. Reading the article at www.webmed.com about family being the MOST important factor with helping an alcoholic or drug addict brings tears to my eyes.
Looking back at losing my husband, Richie and my daughter, Lori, brings tears and pulls at my heart strings with guilt. I think we would all love to redo an event, a talk, or giving support to the ones we have lost.
I bring this writing to those of you, fighting and struggling with addiction to drugs and alcohol in your family. PLEASE, listen. I’m not a professional but know from experience what may work as a savior.
DON’T push them out of your lives and let them pull themselves out of the quicksand. It’s impossible. How many times I heard, “They have to do it themselves, they have to reach rockbottom.” NO! Their rockbottom may be their deaths.
Substance abusers are sick. You wouldn’t throw patients with cancer, diabeties, dementia, or any uncurable disease out the door.
Yes, sometimes, we do throw them out to face their habit praying to God they come to their senses, or maybe we do to keep ourselves sane from the stress of seeing no hope. I had a small breakdown from pushing my mind and body to the point it couldn’t handle anymore stress with no change. I tried two months counseling together and separate. Richie’s thought after the treatment was he had no problem with drinking. After all, his buddies were and their wives didn’t complain.
I’ve had people ask me,”How do you know it’s a problem and not normal drinking?” I answer, “When the action causes problems in the family, relationships, work, with life in every aspect.
BUT, we should keep our loved ones in our lives. If possible, a phone call everyday saying, “I love you.”
Not long after losing Lori, I watched a program on television called Intervention. I wanted to learn what I did wrong and what I could have done better. A woman, who looked to be in her early twenties, came close to dying in the hospital from her liver giving out. Her family was called to say goodbye.
To the doctor’s and counselor’s shock, she survived. A counselor asked her, “How?
She replied, “My family. No matter where I was, what condition I was in, my family took turns; siblings, parents, relatives, and friends, called me each day or came by visiting to let me know they loved me. It was their love that pulled me through.”
How I wish I had done that loving jester. How many nights I wondered where Richie and Lori were, especially, Lori. Richie always found his way home nightly, but because I had made no demands on him, he went into blackouts, abusing me and causing my two daughters to witness things children shouldn’t see.
Lori disappeared for months living in with other alcoholics and drug users and never got out of the atmosphire. When she did live with us, her aunt, her sister, she still found ways to enter back into that black hole.
So my strongest advice to all of you, please, do your best to keep in touch. If they are under eighteen, commit them to a center, fighting or kicking, but they will be alive.
This is my first book, opening up my life with a husband hooked on alcohol. The book is honest with reality where ignoring the signs of abnormal drinking…and not doing anything about it, brings the addicted deeper into their habit.
Someone Stop This Merry-Go-Round tells of the conflict, confusion, and fear I dealt with behind closed doors. It started in the late 1970s and I see many families living the life I had back then. There is no reason to because alcohol and drug abuse are open in today’s world. Back then, we were ashamed our loved one was fighting this or we were hiding it, which protects them from making choices with their lives.
There are many lessons in this book on what I’d do differently today if I had the knowledge back then. The non-drinker becomes just as sick because we remember what happened during the blackouts. Sitting back and doing nothing made me as bad as my husband’s actions because we allowed our two young daughters to witness battles they never should have to cause them to live in fear and insecurity.
Follow the sequel Please, God, Not Two about losing my daughter, Lori, after Richie died from the same disease.
Both books can be purchased at www.amazon.com/author/albertasequeira
SESSION KEY-NOTES FOR TALKS
”The Effect of Alcoholism on the Whole Family”
* The devastating toll of alcoholism on the family
* The self-destruction of the addict
* For those looking for strength from their own alcoholic-driven problems
* The enabling
* Blackouts/physical and emotional abuse
* Protecting the children
* Feelings of hopelessness
* Communication in the marriage
* Professional help
* Separation or divorce
* Ignoring the signs of teenage drinking
* Hidden emotional problems with the children
* Taking time to listen and communicate with your teen
* Giving complete support
* Being involved in their counseling, doctor’s appointments and recovery program
“My Spiritual Changes Within”
* Focus on relationships with our loved ones
* Strengthening your belief in your faith
* Tours to Medjugorje/spiritual renewals
* Alberta’s spiritual experience in Medjugorje
* The secrets Our Lady is giving the visionaries
* Description of the apparitions
* The importance of Confession
* Miracles all around us
* Awareness of God in our lives
* Alberta encourages us to examine our life
* Recognize the value of thankfulness
* Saying goodbye to our loved ones * Renew the joy in life
”Where am I Heading?”
* The introduction to alcohol and drugs
* Signs of alcohol abuse
* Following the crowd
* Binge drinking
* Hereditary or a disease
* Habit, action, location, and friends
* Facing your family and school problems
* Recovery programs
* Breaking from the drinking and drug friends
* Getting on with life
* The reality of Cirrhosis of the Liver
**Alberta is willing to talk on any topic you may want for your event. She would love to discuss what would be the best fit. Please feel free to send questions to [email protected]
Visit her website at http://www.albertasequeira.wordpress.com
References from the Bristol Correction Office at Faunce Corner Road in North Dartmouth, MA:
1. Rui M. Lima, MA, MSW, LICSW, Director of Substance Abuse & Social Servies Programs & Treatment: Telephone: 508-995-6400 ext. 2821
2. Matthew Robitaille, Director of Classification and Programs ; Telephone: 508-995-6400 ext. 2504