Journey's blog

Medjugorje Christmas Message: Jesus speaks and Our Lady Remains Silent

                     

Our Lady’s Message to the visionaries in Medjugorje

December 25, 2012

“Our Lady came with little Jesus in her arms and she did not give a message, but little Jesus began to speak and said: "I am your peace, live my commandments." With a sign of the cross, Our Lady and little Jesus blessed us together.”

 By Alberta Sequeira

Christmas is a time of excitement with each person waiting for that special gift; Kindles, cameras, videos games, engagement rings, a trip, clothes, suitcases, jewelry, cars and our list can go on forever.

I wonder how many wake up and just say, “Happy Birthday, Jesus?”  Do we thank Him for all he has given us throughout the year? Al and I lost our daughter, Lori, but I know God has blessed us with our family members. My father always told me, “Alberta, family is the most important thing in life. I guess we learn that after we lose a loved one, especially when the world watched the tragedy of innocent lives taken at the Sandy Hook Elementary School or a sick individual who killed two fire fighters who had responded to a call in Webster, New York. Our world is full of mentally disturbed people who go unnoticed or their family isn’t aware how they can cause harm to others.

There are thousands of families who have serious problems with their young sons or daughters. I read the message from Jesus on Christmas day to the visionaries, “I am your peace, live my commandments.”

Peace will come to families once we all open our eyes to what is missing in our children lives and our own; prayer and God! Individuals may have accomplished taking the word God out of documents, religious writings on school walls  , sayings prayers in schools, but He and His name won’t be erased from this world.  Why? Because it’s His World, not ours!

It doesn’t matter what our religion is but we have allowed our children to rule us. They give us excuses like, “I’m too tired from celebrating with friends to get up early to attend Mass, it’s boring, or I just don’ want to go,” and parents allow it. Heaven forbid we should make them do something they don’t want to do!  

I can’t count how many times, especially in the winter, when my parents made my brothers and sister and I go to church. I dreaded getting out of that warm bed. My parents are both gone but when I look back, I think of how special they made Sundays. Returning home from Mass, our house was full of the wonderful aroma of our mother’s Sunday dinners that she had cooking in the stove, while Dad turned on the lively Polka music (Mom was Polish) on the stereo. He would read his Sunday newspaper and we talked for hours over dinner when it was served. It was a must for all family members to be seated at the table. It was there that we leaned who did what all week and bonded as a family. Sundays always started with bringing Jesus into our hearts and many unseen graces after receiving Communion. It were those graces that helped us during the rest of the week to turn to God when we needed His guidance.     

We are cheating our children of one of the greatest gifts on Earth; faith. I’m not talking about just the Catholic belief. Your sons and daughters are missing the important closeness to God in their lives; a practicing faith to know He is always there for them when tragedy arrives or to know God is there when we need strength to make decisions from right and wrong. Without realizing it, you could be giving your children the blessing of knowing that they are never alone with a God they can turn to when they feel alone.

Without my parent's teaching of a loving and merciful God, I don’t think I would have made it through the loss of our daughter, Lori Cahill, in 2006 at thirty-nine years old from her addiction to alcohol abuse. My trust in God helps me remember that He has a reason for everything in our lives. We just don’t understand it while we are here on Earth.  

The last remark Jesus stated was, “Live my commandments.”  Do our kids even know what commandments God gave us? My belief is that so many of them and their actions with alcohol and drug abuse, violent crimes including murders, rapes, stealing, break-ins and more, could highly be related to no guilt or consequences from doing wrong. They have no one to account to for their wrong doings. They fear no one in authority anymore.

I use to wonder reading the bible why it continuously said, “Fear the Lord!”  I’d got so confused and thought Why would you fear a God Who is supposed to be all loving and merciful? It took years for me to understand that remark. Out of the blue, it hit me. If we all feared the Lord, we would think twice before harming others or doing criminal acts because we would have the knowledge that at the end of our lives, we would face God with the commandments we didn't keep. Children would realize that there is going to be punishment. Not having God in their hearts, or sadly the training or education on Him even existing, they don’t fear Him or know they are sinning.

There are other monthly messages from Our Lady to six visionaries in Medjugorje, which is a tiny, remote village in Bosnia. Since 1981, from the young ages of ten to sixteen, they have all been given daily messages from the Blessed Mother and they are still seeing Her. She is giving each of them ten secrets that will be revealed to the world by a priest who they have already chosen to deliver them when each receives all ten. There are two visionaries left to get one more secret. To keep up with this information on this world event that will open up to the world, go to http://ingodscompany2.blogspot.com. This is a wonderful Catholic site for anyone from any faith to learn why millions are flocking to Medjugorje; a village that I was blessed to have been called to in 1998.  A village I call “A Sample of Heaven.”

View Alberta Sequeira's websites at www.albertasequeira.com or www.albertasequeira.wordpress.com or email her at [email protected]

 

 

 

Doctors are Human

Doctors and their mistakes

When the medical team makes a serious mistake that can actually kill us

Today, I’m touching on the topic with doctors and their mistakes. Why? Because a week ago, it hit home! Isn’t it true? Anything that affects us personally makes us sit up and take notice when the medical team makes a serious mistake that can actually kill us.

Something as simple as detecting a gallbladder attack has to be a normal routine exam for doctors. Only my husband’s wasn’t discovered for over a year, if not longer. He had been constantly told by three doctors that his discomfort in his stomach and vomiting numerous times was from his hiatal hernia that had pushed half his stomach into his chest. Maalox and a special diet were to be followed. These special instructions never stopped his symptoms: throwing up, chills for over an hour followed by sweats, leaving his pajamas and bed sheets drenched. No fever seemed to show up. He had multiple hospital stays from aspiration pneumonia from so much vomiting.

Late the next afternoon, he suddenly got nauseated, vomited four times and had severe stomach pain. From his having had a heart attack two years ago, I rushed him to the Emergency Room. November 27th, my husband was to start a series of three tests to have the surgery to bring his stomach down to where it belonged. After an endoscopy and colonoscopy, he came home feeling good with no bad symptoms.

Late the next afternoon, he suddenly got nauseated, vomited four times and had severe stomach pain. From his having had a heart attack two years ago, I rushed him to the Emergency Room.

If it wasn’t for the doctor on call, we might have been at square one sending him home with the same results for over a year; acid reflex. My husband’s blood pressure was 253/115 and my fears rose when morphine didn’t touch his pain for over five hours and three pills of nitroglycerin under his tongue didn’t drop his blood pressure. 

The doctor ordered the same regular past tests he’s had over and over again: EKG’s, blood test, chest x-rays, etc.  With no results, she went one step further and ordered him to take a drink for a cats-scan. The results: a serious inflamed and infected gallbladder that had been over-looked for a year.

Someone might say to us, “Well, at least they found the problem.” But it goes deeper than that. Five days in the hospital with antibiotics in an IV and a day set for surgery. What a relief!  The infected organ would finally be out of his body never to cause him to suffer with this undetected illness.

Only it wasn’t that simple. I arrived at the hospital hoping to see a smile on my husband’s face after surgery showing he was ready to get on with life from a bad nightmare. 

Instead, I met the surgeon and found out that his gallbladder was so infected, swollen and inflamed they had to close him up with two drains. Eight weeks is the plan with these two drains before surgery can be attempted again. The surgeon also informed me that my husband had a mild second heart attack from the infection.

We are the only ones responsible for our bodies and healthcare. I understand doctors are human, but how long does one continue down the same path believing a patient has a certain problem, even if their treatment isn’t making them better? Why does one doctor believe the other after a year of no relief? Shouldn’t the first reaction be to get deeper test to find why this patient has been so sick?

I truly believe, if the ER doctor wasn’t determined to get an answer why my husband was so sick, he might have died from a heart attack or from the infection that had traveled through him for a year. I thank God she was on call that afternoon.

 I am writing this to make you aware that we are the only ones responsible for our bodies and healthcare. If an illness is not getting better with medicine, look elsewhere with another doctor or demand further tests. Loving our doctors personally will not save us.

Faith. What turns us away from it?

A reality that we have to face; death.

I think I maybe hitting on a subject people get uncomfortable talking about in our world today; faith, spirituality and belief in God. I myself had stepped away from the church for over fifteen years after I had a panic attack in church.

In thje 1970s I was struggling with trying to control my marriage with an alcoholic husband.In the 1970’s, I was struggling with trying to control my marriage with an alcoholic husband. At the time, I didn’t realize that I pushed my body and mind beyond what it could handle; living in abuse and a daily life of confusion.

From experiencing my first panic attack, I spent many months in fear being in an enclosed area or event that I couldn’t get up and leave. I even had a small breakdown one morning, and I walked in slow motion and could only talk above a whisper. Isn’t it sad what we put ourselves into because a person doesn’t want to change or get help, and we stay locked in doing nothing. I look back and see how much sicker I was than my husband.

In March of 2012, I wrote A Spiritual Renewal; A Journey to Medjugorje for many reasons. First it was to share my relationship with my father, Brigadier General, Albert L. Gramm. He was one of the commanding officers of the 26th Yankee Division in WWII, and he fought throughout Europe in some of the famous battles like Metz, Lorraine and The Battle of the Bulge.

He had promised the Blessed Mother during the war that if she got him home safely to his family; he would say the Rosary every day for the rest of his life.In 1990, my parents were living in South Dennis with my brother, Joe and his family. Dad was dying of cancer. I watched him struggle everyday trying to say the rosary. I didn’t know that he had promised The Blessed Mother during the war that if she got him home safely to his family; he would say the devotion the rest of his life.

He got weaker and couldn’t concentrate on his prayer and our family started said it for him. It was the first time that I learned the beautiful devotion and came to realize that it was the story of Jesus and Mary’s life.

Each day I watched my father come closer to leaving this world. His death brought me back to my faith and God. It was a reality that we have to face; death.

Miracles happened to me after he died, and it brought me to a tiny remote village in Bosnia called Medjugorje. It’s there that Our Lady has been appearing to six visionaries daily since 1981 giving them ten secrets. When they all receive them, the secrets will be revealed to the world by the priest they already chose. There are two visionaries waiting for one more secret. I believe my pilgrimage to Medjugorje made me see a “Sampler of Heaven.” I believe I was called by Our Lady and given the faith and strength to go down an unfamiliar path; a painful one from losing a husband and daughter to their addiction.

I became a four-time award winning author and an Awareness Coach who is now reaching out to other substance abusers. I talk at women’s organizations, church functions and to the public on “My Spiritual Change Within” from my trip.

A Spiritual Renewal is about family, love and miracles. It touches on how we wait too long to learn who a loved one is all about. I had let my father’s great military status go with him.

For believers, especially those who have strayed from their faith, this book could be the key needed to open a door to a journey back to God. In a world that is learning how not to believe, disillusioned by church scandals, distracted by TV, the Internet, and a busy lifestyle, A Spiritual Renewal; A Journey to Medjugorje could be just what is needed to get those from all spiritual viewpoints back on track.

A Spiritual Renewal is available in paperback or Kindle on Amazon.

Anniversary Remembrance

My daughter Lori, 1967-2006

Lori Cahill.
See it on my site.
My daughter, Lori was born July 29, 1967 and died on November 22, 2006.  She was my second daughter coming into the world four years after the birth of her sister, Debbie, on May 14, 1963.

Thanksgiving will fall on Lori's sixth anniversary when she died from alcohol addiction.  We all have that certain date that cuts into our hearts with a loved one not being with us to share our family events.  The one left behind goes on like we are all healed, when in reality, we are praying to keep our emotions to ourselves, not to affect the rest of the family by stirring up their emotions as well. 

I've had readers ask me if writing Please, God, Not Two; This Killer Called Alcoholism, which tells about Lori's struggle in Butler Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island and twice at Gosnold Rehab in Falmouth, Massachusetts, healed me from my lost. 

Nothing heals us from a child's death

Nothing heals us from a death, especially a child.  We just have to find out how to go on knowing they will never be in our lives again.  It's a gap that will never close.    

Lori had a personality once she started to walk and discovered the world and the people in it.  By two years old, she delighted in any comical gesture of hers to make people laugh. She continued this wonderful habit throughout her life. Our house filled with her friends since Lori seemed to be the leader of the pack.  I enjoyed each moment my daughter's girlfriends, and at times the boys in the gang, come over to our house.  I knew where they were and loved all the neighborhood kids.

Debbie seemed to always have things go right in her life.  She was the first-born and became an adult too fast living in an alcoholic family.  My daughters had their childhood robbed growing up and listening to parents fighting and waiting in fear when their father would come home late at night in a drunken state.

Lori’s life had been a struggle with two broken marriages, raising two children alone while she battled alcohol addiction in silence and having bulimia.  On the outside, Lori made everyone think that she had no problems, but she hid her pain deep down inside.  At the age of seventeen, Lori and Debbie at the age of twenty-one, lost their father when he was only forty-five years of age from cirrhosis of the liver.

Missing the signs of alcoholism

It wasn't until Lori's was thirty-seven years old that the family came to realize that she had been following the same path as her dad.It wasn't until Lori's was thirty-seven years old that the family came to realize that she had been following the same path as her dad.  She had deeper problems that kept her frightened all her life and made her lose confidence in herself. Instead of talking about her pain, she turned to alcohol abuse and prescription drugs to numb her hurt.

How does a parent miss the signs, especially after losing a husband nineteen years earlier?  Easily.  Lori never came and told any of us that she had been fighting with trying to understand our past history with alcohol abuse in our family.  Instead, she omitted the conversation about our lives and kept her confused mental state with past traumas. 

I am far from being innocent with Lori and Debbie's suffering.  I should have been protecting my daughters from living in that atmosphire instead of becoming a huge enabler.  I caused a high percent of Lori's pain from not breaking away from Richie until he had put his life together.  I should have sat them down and had us talk about their father's death.  I buried it myself.  The three of us continued on hurting and never spoke about it. 

After three alcoholic rehabilitation stays, Lori died at thirty-nine years of age.On November 22, 2006 after three alcoholic rehabilitation stays, Lori died at thirty-nine years of age at the Charlton Memorial Hospital in Fall River, Massachusetts.  She was laid to rest with her father at the St. Patrick Cemetery in Somerset.  They are buried in front of a huge, white statue of The Blessed Mother with Her arms reaching out.  The one Lori had told me gave her peace feeling like Our Lady was watching over her father.

The memoir is a very honest, painful and emotional stories of losing a child to a demon that became her killer.  It's a book of lessons with my mistakes ignoring signs or opportunities to help Lori.  I include my private talks that I give to alcoholics and addicts behind closed events.  Hopefully, it will open the eyes of others going down this same path.  The path our children today think is fun.

I became an Awareness Coach speaking to alcoholics, addicts, their families and the public on the effect of alcoholism on the whole family.  God has a way of putting an unknown direction in front of us.  We have to decide if we want to travel down it, and if we open our hearts to Him, the decision is easy.  Contact me for a quote to talk at your event at [email protected]

My books are much more than memoirs. I guarantee you that reading them will help you with a problem you are struggling with at the moment.  The sequel and the first Someone Stop This Merry-Go-Round; An Alcoholic Family in Crisis can be purchased on my website and autographed at www.albertasequeira.com or in Amazon.  They are available in paperback or Kindle.

Alcoholic Divorces

Excerpt from Someone Stop This Merry-Go-Round; An Alcoholic Family in Crisis

The attorneys continued to hurry in and out of the courtrooms. Many whispered in their clients’ ear while others stood with the client’s married partners. It was a battlefield. Who was going to get what? Who was going to be punished?

I watched and realized that the only winners would be the lawyers. They had nothing to lose. To them, we were all numbers on a check, whether they won or lost the case. It didn’t matter if someone could afford their services or not.

In minutes, our marriage was over.  Seventeen years of hanging onto a hopeless marriage that couldn’t be saved because of his drinking. We joined the ranks of families divorced due to alcohol abuse. There was no other reason as far as I knew.

I stood there feeling sorry for us both, and especially for our precious daughters. They loved us. I prayed that they wouldn’t be screwed-up emotionally because of our years of conflict. That was one of the most important reasons for my divorce. Was the damage already too deep?

Alberta: How many families around the world breakup because of addiction? Families that once loved each other.  No one walks out undamaged. The alcoholic will most likely realize years to come that they lost the most precious people in their lives. The non-drinker is left trying to keep the children in one piece mentally. They were the innocent ones who loved both parents and had no control of their lives that were spent in confusion and fear.

What is it going to take for the addicted to get out of denial and want help to over-come this killer called Alcoholism? Our children get older and follow the same path. Schools and colleges are filled with kids who think their habit is exciting. Everyone is going to parties and getting smashed. It's a cycle that never stops.

If only we had control to throw out alcohol completely from being sold.  Our world would be different with people working to contribute to the country and families growing together in spiritual ways, instead of being filled with uncontrollable crimes, violence, suicides and deaths.

I guess it's all about the money. The same with drug dealers. I guess countries around the globe have allowed this to go on for so long they don't know where to start to stop this death rate from addiction. Counselor and doctors continuously see addicts return way too often with no results.  

Someone Stop This Merry-Go-Round is available in paperback or Kindle.

Don't Sit Back with Addiction

An Excerpt from Someone Stop This Merry-Go-Round; An Alcoholic Family in Crisis 

Chapter Twenty-Nine

Getting On Tranquilizers 

Richie’s drinking began to change his moods and personality. He started coming home wanting to fight and would follow me through the house saying things hoping to upset me. I knew he was looking for an argument when he did this. I wanted to scream at him, but because of my fear of scaring the girls, I kept quiet.

Every day my anger and bitterness was held back so we could live the best we could as a family. I felt that my husband and daughters were doing their own thing, and I was separated from them. We were still going along as if nothing was happening, when in actuality, our family was falling apart. I started to hate myself for feeling sorry for my husband and having no backbone to make demands. What was I going to do and where would I go if we split? I had no job and two young daughters.

My body became a breeding ground of hate, resentment, lies, tears, delusion and the paralyzing feeling of suffocation. The kids held on to any moment that Richie gave them. There would be weeks with him coming home on time, and we’d be fine, but I couldn’t relax. I was always guessing—in what condition?

Alberta Speaks:

**Why do we accept living this way? Who are we actually helping enabling an addicted person? Family members actually bring them deeper into their addiction. The non-drinking parent opens their children's world to confusion, fear and abuse. Innocently, we help develop them into addicts because they start to follow the same action and habit as the alcoholic parent, because they lived so long in the sick atmosphire, that they turn to drugs to cope with their pain from the past. They learned to bottle up their emotions and bury them in the deepest part of their souls.

Young children have no control over their parent's drinking and abuse, so it makes them live in horrible, emotional and phyical pain. It's the parent's responsiblity to protect your children and get the alcoholic abuser out of the house. An action I did four times, only to take him back. Don't repeat my mistakes. Forcing the addicted into getting help, even with feet kicking, is love. If you don't, you could be burying them in the future.

There is no need today, like it was for me in the 60's, not having the opportunity to reach out to professionals for help.  Get the addicted into an alcoholic rehab for detox and sign them in for further counseling. As a family, "push" for counseling as a unit. We are all sick from this disease.

Remember, if the addicted person is too emotionally scared, they could have fear opening up to professionals.  They fear talking about their past. That's why family is so important. You have the answers the loved one is looking for. Counselors will never figure out what started the patient on their substance abuse, if they won't talk to them. They waste months with the patient entering a recovery programs trying to pull it out of them.

I truly believe, if my daughter, Lori, had allowed me into her counseling, she would have had a higher rate of survival. My poor daughter was so sick with her addiction and bulimic,that her mind wasn't working in a healthy way to get help. She reached the point of looking at family as her enemy. When I think of how she had struggled alone without us, it just breaks my heart. We need to change things. The Patient Privacy Act has to stop holding families from working with the patient, who is too mentally sick to make healthy decisions. It has to stop! Too many are dying. 

FIGHT for you loved one.  Look at it coldly that they are going to die if you don't get involved with their recovery programs, because most do; either by over-drinking, drugs or suicides. It's a family disease, so act like it is. Demand to be involved.

 Someone Stop This Merry-Go-Round; An Alcoholic Family in Crisis, and the sequel of Lori in Please, God, Not Two; This Killer Called Alcoholism, are books of lessons, not just memoirs. I show how things should be changed, and include in the sequel, my actual talks to alcoholics in private locations.  They are available in paperback and e-books.

I'm available for talks on "The Effect of Alcoholism on the Whole Family." Email me for a quote [email protected].

The damage from enabling

An Excerpt from Chapter Twenty-Two of
Someone Stop This Merry-Go-Round; An Alcoholic Family in Crisis
.

Trying to Hold Us Together

(a reaction to Richie's drinking the night before)

The next morning Richie got up and acted as if nothing had happened. Instead of sitting down and talking calmly about the previous night, we ignored it. He took his coffee and headed down the stairs to his shop. By afternoon he was on his way delivering the television sets that were repaired. I sat, emotionally drained, with no energy to do anything.

Later that evening, he came straight home after his deliveries. I didn’t bring up the fight, because it would have led into another night of stress. I tried to hide my anger in front of the kids, but my insides were racing.

He was home for supper, and we sat in silence, except when we talked to the girls. The silent tension was just as bad as an argument. The strain between us was so thick you could have cut it with a knife. I couldn’t find anything nice to talk about because I was still fuming. I became an expert at holding my hurt and resentment in to keep peace within the house. My first concern was to not let Debbie and Lori feel the hostility between us. I wasn’t facing the reality that they were aware something wasn’t right with Mommy and Daddy because we were always upset.

Alberta- This seems to be an every day event for alcoholic famlies. Why do we keep enabling only bringing the alcoholic deeper into their addiction?  Why don't we just demand getting out of denial and protecting our children from all the confusion and fear?

How People Look at Alcoholics

 This is the Introduction to my memoir Someone Stop This Merry-Go-Round; An Alcholic Family in Crisis.

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. Rarely does it enter our minds that a woman could be the alcoholic in these situations.

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 break down 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 to be helped.

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, misplaced 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.  The book can be bought on Amazon in paperback or Kindle.

Holding onto the Bottle!

By Alberta Sequeira

Change.  How many of us hate to disrupt our routines? This is the same for substance abusers.  My daughter, Lori, told me that the best times of her  life was when she had been drinking.

I truly believe to her and others doing the same, that is was fun at the time, but Lori died from that action and habit.  If it's not heredity, than look at just that; your actions and habit.

You don't do this alone.  You cling to the people you call friends doing the same drinking and taking drugs as you. Why not? This way you feel you are not doing anything wrong. After all, "My friends are doing the same," you say.

There comes a time you have to honestly step back and look at what you are doing; slowly killing yourself. Your organs, liver, kidneys, heart and others can't keep up with your abuse to your body.  It's like running a car with no oil thinking it will continue down that road forever, and it won't.

The hardest part getting sober is breaking away from your so called friends. They aren't friends. They are drinking buddies. Do you honestly think they care if you die?

I remember my ex-husband, Richie, staying out night after night after work to drink with his buddies.  When he died at forty-five years of age, no one who spent those moments with him showed up for his funeral.  They still sit at the bars.

You make your destiny.  You are responsible for your actions. This is your battle. No matter how much family or your sibbling love you, we can only support you.

So the next time you get a call to go to that wild party or meet someone in that dark alley to get drugs, think twice. It takes more of a person to admit they need help than to keep playing on the tracks until the train comes full force at you.

Addiction by guest blogger Carly

I have been away soaking up the wonderful, warm sun of California for two weeks. I was relaxed and enjoyed life with no rushing with deadlines or stress.  How we all need that gift.  I guess we have to make the time for it and stop talking about taking that special trip.  Life is too short to miss opportunities for ourselves.  

On my return and checking emails, I had a guest blogger who wanted to share her insight with addiction. I posted it on my blog www.albertasequeira.wordpress.com and wanted to share this article with all of you.  I hope you enjoy the helpful hints with neglecting our own health while trying to support a substance abuser.

Here is the article written by my blog guest Carly Fierro.

Addiction Has Hit Your Family … Are You Prepared to Help?

The signs often hide in plain sight. Your loved one is moody. He’s lost interest in his favorite activities. He’s ignoring commitments to work and family. He looks sick or has gained or lost weight. Maybe things are missing from the house. Then suddenly, it becomes glaringly clear – your loved one is an addict.

During recovery, the addict has the toughest hurdles to climb, but families of addicts have to face their own unique set of challenges, most notably what to do to support their loved ones through the process of recovery. If someone you love is battling addiction, the following may make the upcoming journey a little easier.

Educate Yourselves

Recovery from addiction probably won’t be what you expect. Like many other life-changing experiences, only people who have gone through it know what it’s actually about. As a result, learning about the process from those who know about it firsthand will help light your path.

Read articles and blogs from counselors, family members and recovering addicts. Do research on the causes and effects of addiction on addicts and their families. Contact health professionals in your area and ask for their advice and insights. The more you know, the more prepared your family will be for the journey that lies ahead.

Provide Support and Assistance

The primary goal of an addict in recovery is battling the addiction, which leaves little time or energy to focus on other things like creating a safe and sober environment to live in afterwards. Your family can lift this burden by making preparations so the person in recovery can start anew.

Begin by ridding your home of alcohol and other habit-forming substances. Be conscious of behaviors that may have triggered past abuse and take steps to stop them. Also, be there to assist with your loved one’s additional needs. For example, if he works at a nearby fulfillment company, offer to drive him to work or look after his children while he’s there.

Take Care of Yourselves

You and your family will need to be there to take care of the recovering addict’s needs, but don’t forget to take care of your own as well. The process will be physically and emotionally draining for everyone, but resources are available that can help you cope.

Take care of yourself physically by exercising and eating a healthy diet. Many treatment programs offer counseling and support groups for friends and family; make the most of these groups, as other members are going through the same process. Finally, continue as much of your normal routine as possible to maintain greater stability.

Addiction affects not only the addict, but everyone around him, so be prepared for what’s coming. By educating yourselves, you and your family can go through the process with greater resilience, stability, and support.

Byline:  Carly Fierro is an aspiring writer who currently works for a fulfillment company. In her spare time she loves writing about anything and everything. She loves that blogging allows her to share her writing with people all over the world.

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