Journey's blog

Losing a Child from Substance Abuse

Please, God, Not Two
Alberta Sequeira

There are no words I can put on paper with this kind of loss. Only the families who have gone through all this understand, especially, if it’s not the first member to die from this horrible, worldwide disease.

I read the newspaper articles about who died from alcohol or drug abuse, read the result led to the user being killed in a car accident, or worse, took an innocent person’s life from having been at the wrong place at the wrong time. I saw it on television or maybe I heard it from a friend.

Yes, my heart went out to all of them, but I went back to my daily, safe routine in life. I felt a protective bubble around me and those events would never hit my family because we lived without alcohol or drug abuse in our home….or so I thought. Users hide their addiction so well, or after I became an outright enabler, keeping blinders on, I could have won an award for living in denial myself. Even after losing my husband, Richard, (his story in Someone Stop This Merry-Go-Round)I thought Lori’s drinking was a stage. 

My thought was once she graduated from The Dighton Rehoboth High School in Rehoboth, Massachusetts, her actions would stop. They did. She married and had a son and daughter. She was always happy and a wonderful mother. All her friends flocked to our house for the fun. I knew where she was. Her sister, Debbie, was four years older and seemed to have her life together. Lori was the life of the party. She loved family and life itself. 

Things happen slowly in our lives to the point of not noticing something isn’t right. Maybe we fool ourselves into thinking our lives are normal. It wasn’t until, Lori was thirty-seven years old that we all learned she never stopped her teenage drinking and was also into drugs. How did I miss it? She never came home drunk or talked back. She was always loving. 

I wrote the sequel Please, God, Not Two: This Killer called Alcoholism, after losing Lori, hopefully, to help other family members to take notice as soon as you see there is a problem. When is it a problem? As soon as it causes problems. Take notice to when the arguments start and why. Is it every time they come home from parties, drinking, or being in the wrong crowd? 

Don’t become your child’s friend, be a parent. We don’t hate them from the frustration of their actions causing confusion, fear, or abuse. We hate the disease because we can’t stop it. They have to do the work to desire the want to recover. If they are under eighteen, pull them out of school, even without their consent or happiness over it. They can alway go back to school, but they can’t come back once they are buried. 

Read my book and learn all the mistakes I did without the knowledge I have today losing Richie and Lori. It’s too late for me, but not you!

Books at www.amazon.com/author/albertasequeira
Email: [email protected]…I love to hear from you!

Will it Ever Happen...Getting Known?

a-sequeira

It’s so true when they say, “It might happen if your in the right place, at the right time, with the right person.”

I’m still looking!! I listened to Steve Harrison on his talk show by telephone and he advised, “get yourself out there, get seen, talk about your book more than yourself.” My goal started in 2006 with my first book publication on A Spiritual Renewal; a Journey to Medjugorje

Since then, I opened myself up with becoming a co-founder to Authors Without Borders (www.awb6.com), meet monthly with our group for upcoming events, contributed stories for other books, spoke at halfway homes, rehabilitation centers, court-ordered programs, libraries, senior centers, became a co-host, producer, and director to the NBTV 95 Cable television shows, been interview numerous times at cable shows, newspapers, go directly into jails about every two months to talk to the inmates, attended numerous book festivals for years, given talks at schools and universities, write for blogs, and the list can go on. 

First, I did all this because I loved it, and second, to be seen with Steve Harrison saying the difference with a good and bad author is: one is happy to just sell the book, while the others push to get ahead and do other things.

I’m not crying to you, but showing how HARD it is to get known. It’s something you have to do every single day, and if you work, it’s worse. With disappointing movement to get ahead, and at least get your name known, it can drain you. Suddenly, you want to give up.

Where am I know in 2018? Writing my first fictional and telling myself to keep publishing with Create Space because it’s also disappointing to not hear back from query letters. Advertising is sky-high with pricing. If you’re an average person, money is the key issue. Then if you are comfortable on the financial side, you pray you’re not throwing your money out the window with promises from companies that swear to get your website up there and push to get you seen. Hum, not yet! That in turn causes you to maybe by-pass a company that is honest.

And the cycle goes on. My feelings are now to just continue to write for the fun of it. If it’s meant to be, it will happen. How many authors become famous after dying!! Maybe that’s me.

With all the stress of the promoting and marketing, I say, “Don’t give up.” If it gets to be too much, step away from the computer for a few weeks or months until the desire to push ahead returns. Writing is not suppose to become a nightmare.

Alberta Sequeira
www.albertasequeira.org
Email: [email protected]

The Effect of Alcoholism on the Whole Family

Someone Stop This Merry-Go-Round

Here is a memoir that hides nothing with the effect of alcoholism on the whole family. Parents putting their alcoholic mate before the security, comfort, and love of their children. 

It show how enabling is innocent in the hearts of the sober person not realizing that their actions only bringing the alcoholic deeper into their addiction. Enabling to the point of making no demands that the drinker gets professional help and the years go by with the confusion and fear which becomes a normal way of living. 

Here are some reviews:

Joyce K. Walsh
Well-written and fast-paced, Someone Stop This Merry-Go-Round is a poignant and painfully truthful story about being married to an alcoholic husband in denial. This gripping drama captures the reader’s attention in its depiction of the devastating toll of alcoholism as the family tries to compensate for the lack of emotional stability, loss of income and, ultimately, physical and mental abuse. More than just a personal memoir, this book offers important insights into the descent of the frequent drinker into full-blown alcoholism and the enabling behavior that provides the drinker with easy excuses. Ms Sequeira does not spare herself in this equation but, through it all, we are hoping that she will prevail.

John Castelot
As a recovering alcoholic, I found Alberta’s book very moving. It’s rare that the alcoholic gets to see the damage and destruction from the loved ones side. There were many tough moments as I thought back to events and people that the book pulled from the the recesses of my mind. This book is meant to share!

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.

Alberta Sequeira

Books at www.amazon.com/author/albertasequeira
Email: [email protected]…I love to hear from you!

Are AA and Al-Anon Meetings Working?

 

You hear and read that alcohol abuse is a “family disease, yet I feel it’s not treated that way.  We have AA, Al-Anon and Alateen meetings daily, with family members going to their separate gatherings behind closed doors; alcoholics to the AA meeting, the parents and siblings to the Al-Anon meeting, and the teens to the Alateen meetings.

When I went, our group kept everything that was discussed to ourselves; we were told not to share what we learned with the alcoholic or discuss our feelings about what we heard at the meeting.  These words of advice, made me feel more separated from my alcoholic husband. Each person in a family needs to help each other understand how they enable the substance abuser and what to do to show the alcoholic that he/she is loved and has the support of the family.  It’s not them that we hate, but the disease.  Some professionals work only with the addict, cutting out the family entirely and leaving the substance abusers to fight their own battle, even when they’re not in a healthy emotional state to make good choices about their lives.  

What is a family member taught behind these so-called closed-door meetings?  “The alcoholic has to do it on their own.  They have to reach rock bottom.  Don’t worry about them, take care of yourself.  Go on with your life as normally as you can.  Separate yourself.”  This belief is actually teaching every family member not to communicate and not work together with their loved one who is on a death path.

This belief, which I had been taught for years, that the addicted have to reach rock bottom, is so sad.  Lori and Richie’s rock bottoms were their deaths.  There is no need to let people get so deep into their addiction that they reach the stage of dying.  They suffer emotional and mental pain, which can institutionalize them and lead to suicide, when a family can pull together as a unit to give the love and support from the very moment of the discovery that there is a problem.  Alcohol and drugs become a problem when they cause serious disruptions in any form with the substance abuser’s lives or others around them.

After losing my husband, Richie, and my daughter, Lori, from their alcohol abuse, I needed answers to what I did wrong or could have done better to have helped them with their alcohol addiction.  I wanted to know what they felt with their sufferings.  How was I going to get the answers?

Finally, I found a website (no longer in use) for writers wanting answers for certain topics. I wrote asking for people struggling with alcohol and drug problems to become contributors to my new Narrative Non-Fiction What is and isn’t Working for the Alcoholic and Addict.  I sent them twenty-three questions about what they needed from family, counselors, doctors, and society and open up honestly on what they believe works and doesn’t in recovery.  What do they need from us?

I found thirty-four contributors who opened up about their private lives on how old they were when they started with their alcohol or drug use, if other family members were alcoholics, did relatives die from the disease, why did they start, what made them want help, was the recovery programs working, and what do they need from family to help them turn to professionals for help to reach sobriety?   What do they feel family is not doing to help them?  What advice to they give to other alcohol and drug users?

This is a family book for all.  Look no further. The answers are coming directly from the people suffering from addiction with alcohol and drugs. Who knows better than the people living this life.

It’s a great book to bring into the school systems, libraries, businesses for employee missing too many workdays from substance abuse, families struggling with trying to cope and handle the alcoholic or drug users.  It’s an eye-opener for counselors to learn what the addict needs for recovery.  It’s about them, not us.

It’s an educational book for other substance abusers and a way for those who can’t open up to their counselors with their past hurts. It’s the alcoholic, drug user, and prescription user over-dosing talking to all of us. Thirty-four short stories, all different, so readers can relate to one if not more with the contributor’s suggestions on the tools they need to recover.

The book can be purchased at www.amazon.com/author/albertasequeira. I love to hear from people, so drop me a line at [email protected]

 

Alberta Sequeira   

 

CHOICES

Choices

I guess every person in life has “Choices.” How many of us wish we could turn the clocks back with our decisions? I’m one of them. Once the choice is made we look at and feel the results. If they are good, we are to be congratulated. What if they have devastated our lives?

Our next step is to decide how to fix the mistake with another choice. We are all human, and at one time or another, we turn down the wrong path. Substance abusers have two paths facing them as the rest of us. 

Being free with the use of alcohol and drugs made you hooked on them. It’s not an easy action to change, especially, if you let it go on for years. My daughter, Lori, said to me a few months before her death, “This may sound crazy, Mom, but the best time of my life was when I was drinking.” I replied, “To you, it was, but look where you are from thinking it was just fun.” 

Lori died eight months later at the Charlton Memorial Hospital in Fall River, Massachusetts from cirrhosis of the liver. The disease she feared dying from like her father as she stayed by his bedside at the VA Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island when he died at forty-five years old. The same disease Lori died from at thirty-nine with her daughter and son by her side in her hospital bed. Lori was seventeen when her father died, and her daughter was seventeen when Lori died. 

You can change. “YOU” need to make the choice. Family can love and support you, but you have to do the work to reach sobriety. Don’t use excuses that you’ve tried and it’s too hard, you have no family to help support you, the cost is too much in a rehab, you can give it up anytime, and the list can go on to 50 pages. 

First, admit you are helpless in this situation. Be honest with family members (and yourself) that you want and need professional help. As hard as it is, open up to the counselors about your past. Your past is what got you here. Maybe you followed friends and thought it was fun, like Lori. Maybe you thought it was a stage you could give up at anytime. Did your past hurts come from living in an alcoholic environment with alcoholic parents, or did someone mentally and physically abused you? Did your classmates pick on you and caused you to lose your confidence? Maybe you felt isolated from friends. Whatever the incident(s) were, face them. If not, you will take them to the grave as my husband, Richie, and Lori did. Don’t become a number with the death count from users.

God gave you life for a reason. Reach out to Him. PRAY, PRAY, PRAY for His help. You will never feel alone when you have Him. He never left you. You closed the door to your faith and God. 

We can turn our lives around no matter what our choice had been that left us in turmoil. It took you a long-time to become addicted, it will take a long-time to heal. The important issue is to believe in your mind and heart that you can and have faith in God. 

Alberta Sequeira
www.albertasequeira.wordpress.com
[email protected]

Miracles Around Us

spiritual-renewal-cover

Do you still or ever believed in miracles? In a world that has pushed God out of our lives, many people go on each day ignoring the life after. I remember standing in my parent’s home in E. Falmouth, Massachusetts and  asking my father, “Dad, do you believe in miracles?” He looked at me shocked with a disappointed look on his face. “Alberta, miracles happen to us so often but we are blind to them. People walk when they were told they wouldn’t. Someone pulls through a disease that doctors gave no hope. You have to open your heart to be aware of them?”

That conversation happened over 25 years ago. My father, Brigadier General, Albert L. Gramm died in 1990 from cancer at eighty years old. He had been one of the commanding officers in the 26th Yankee Division and fought in WWII at Metz, Lorraine, and The Battle of the Bulge to name some. 

His death was my return to God after being away from the Church for over 15 years from a breakdown trying to keep my marriage together living with an alcoholic. I was angry at God, until I realized God didn’t give me my suffering. I did it to myself. I had choices just like the alcoholic. I chose to give and give until my body and mind couldn't take more, enabled, drag my two daughters through the mud with our conflicts. My innocent children lost their youth, feeling of security, and lived in a confused, unhealthy atmosphere. 

I lost Richie in 1985 at 45 years of age and Lori at 39 years old in 2006, both from their addiction. It wasn't easy for me to hold on to my faith when it happened. I sat by my father’s bedside with him dying watching him holding onto his rosaries. He had promised Our Lady during the war that if she brought him home alive to his family, he'd say the blessed prayer until he died.  He had trouble following the beautiful prayer as he went deeper into his death. I never knew how to say the prayers on the beads until my sister, Leona, showed me while we prayed them for my father. I learned it was a story of Jesus and Mary’s life. 

It was then that I realized that I not only needed God back in my life; I wanted Him. He is our life. Our world today is for a moment while death brings us into life forever. I kept his rosaries and pray them everyday since he died. 

Miracle are around me, and three of them brought me to Medjugorje in Bosnia, which I wrote about in A Spiritual Renewal. It’s about my life with my father, his military status, and my journey back to my faith in my 10 day journey to a strange country. Medjugorje is a sampler of heaven

I write about the apparitions with six visionaries since 1981. Our Lady’s messages to us coming straight from heaven. They are getting 10 secrets that will be revealed to the world when they receive them all. Two have one more secret to get from her. She gives the visonaries their choice of a gift on their birthdays. Two months after Our Lady started to appear to them, one visionary lost her mother. She requested to see her.  The visionary not only say her, but physically hugged her.  Her mother said to her, "I watch you each and every day and I'm proud of you." There is life after death and our loved ones who have left us do watch us.

Miracles happened with my daughter, Debbie and her husband Brian, taking Lori’s son and daughter into their family after her death. Joe served 4 years in the Marines and married a wonderful women. Meagan got married and had a son this year. Those are miracles.

So open your hearts, bring God into your soul, and you too will feel Him. Prayer is just talking to God like you do with anyone else. You may not get what you want how you want, but He will answer them in His time and way. He waits 24/7 for us to reach out to Him because He gives us free will to choice our life and how we live it. 

Try reaching Him, even if you don’t believe, because He already knows you don’t. There isn’t a thing He doesn’t know about us. We sin, and He forgives. We lose faith and He pulls us up to Him. You will never be alone with him in your minds each day you wake up and end the day.

Alberta Sequeira
Books at www.amazon.com/author/albertasequeira
Email: [email protected]…I love to hear from you!

Interview with Sheriff Thomas Hodgson

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https://vimeo.com/album/3341606/video/254517198

Please, pass to others!

Thank You!

Alberta Sequeira

Winter Blues

Robin

The summer is gone and how we wait for it to return. The season makes us realize what the sunshine does to us mentally. You feel the heat, wear less clothing, enjoy the beach, a walk in the park, open windows, warm air, or whatever else brings you relaxation.

Now, we are faced with the wintertime. Yes, depressing. The snow, ice, shoveling, the howling winds, chills, boots, heavy coats, and being locked-in our homes, oil bills, all can overwhelm us. 

Even the robin waits for that worm to come out of the once frozen ground!!

This is a fun season if you love the outdoors; sliding, skiing, ice fishing, going to the states with tons of snow. Bless you all. I’m the person in the cabin keeping the coffee hot. HATE, HATE winter. 

But, we have to hold on. Only a few more months of horrible cold and snow. Getting depressed or letting boredom enter, makes you want to throw it all away and go for that drink or meet the friends who pull you down with sobriety. 

If you can afford it, take a few days off and go where it’s warm. Head South. Not many of us are that comfortable financially for that move. What brings you fun? Getting together with sober friends can help. Get a good book, take in a movie, enjoy spending your time with a special person. 

This season and depressing moments are a challenge. Why not look into who you can help? Go into senior places, the VA locations, or hospitals. See others who are worse off than you. Bringing someone joy for the day, can also bring you joy. Go to your place of prayer. Getting close to God is the highest you can go with peace. Know you are not alone.

Alberta Sequeira

Did you find this helpful? Contact me: [email protected]

Writing Tips

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Writing tips from Author Alberta Sequeira.  Issues we need to think of to get us started.

https://youtu.be/A5qtUGNh-7A

New Laws by SAMHSA on Substance Abuse

Al & Alberta

My husband Al and I are trying to “Modify” the Patient Privacy Act. Above this article are the new laws they are trying to pass for the substance abusers. It is mainly for the insurances, Medicare and treatment centers. Nowhere in the long article does it state that family has the right to get involved with the patient’s recovery program, unless the patient agrees. Families are the ones who can present what is happening or had happened in their past to have turned their loved ones into alcohol and drug abuse. 

This new law is not getting down to the actual problem with the patient. The Patient Privacy Act can actually become an enabler as the family innocently does with this worldwide problem. 

We believe that the substance abuse patient should have the “right to privacy,” but as the law stands now, it can actually be detrimental to their health and well-being. Our intent is not so much to change the Patient Privacy Act, as to modify it, especially where it not only pertains to alcohol abuse patients, but also in the case of drug abusers and mental health patients.

Families of patients are prevented from obtaining access to information that may help them to aid in the recovery of the patient when a physician determines that the patient may be in a life-threatening situation because of their addiction with their liver and other organs shutting down.

They are also allowing patients who are not in a healthy mental state to make decisions on what is best for them. If the programs makes them uncomfortable, they walk away from the help that is offered to them. Most patients hold the truth back from the professionals or tell them what they want to hear to get out of their programs.

Al and I believe that when a doctor has confirmed that a patient’s organs are shutting down because they do not want treatment or can’t get the willpower to stay away from the alcohol or drug use, that family should be called into a conference with the doctor or counselors and work together. After all, this is a family disease. Family members can give insight to the professionals with the truth in the background and events that are happening to their loved ones. 

We have 47 people who signed the petition below for us to send to the Substance Abuse Panel in Washington, including President Trump. Please, go to the link and sign your name so we can buildup the list from families who want this clause added so families are not left out to this new law trying to be passed, which will exclude family members. 

Thank You!
Al/Alberta Sequeira
Dartmouth, MA 02747
http://www.albertasequira.wordpress.com
[email protected]

https://petitions.moveon.org/sign/modify-the-patient-privacy?source=c.fwd&r_by=3371843

Did you find this helpful? Contact me: [email protected]

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