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?
From the Author, Alberta Sequeira
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.
From the Inside Flap
This book was written by individuals who were or are actively in a recovery program and wanted to share their habit and actions with their struggle 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 addictions 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; they 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 are an added research as to how people are affected, and how they suffer from long-term drinking habits, and from living in an active alcoholic family.
What is and isn’t Working for the Alcoholic and Addict may become a learning process for family members to develop the awareness of what the substance abusers are asking for with their support system and recovery programs in order to overcome their addictions. The written statements are a start for all of us to understand the physically and mentally pain alcoholics and addicts are battling. Let us unite together as a family and society to combat this affliction.
From the Back Cover
Do you ever wonder why some alcoholics and drug addicts recover and put their lives together while others die from this horrible worldwide problem? What gives them the physical and mental strength to fight this battle and come out winning? These questions, and the author’s tragedy to losing her husband and daughter from their alcohol abuse encouraged this writing.
You will learn from thirty-four contributors that childhood emotional wounds mold us into what we become in adulthood.
What do they say, “One Day at a Time?” What about “One Hour at a Time, “One Moment at a Time?” I call them baby steps. It’s like crossing over a bridge with pieces of wood missing and going slowly and fearfully, but what a reward making it to the other end. Life can be the same way.
It’s so easy to stay in the pit of no hope when we allow fear to take over, even when you know it could lead to your death. The other side is waiting for you to travel over to reach the spot.
The unknown is the scary part. Life is about growing and taking chances. It’s about taking our mistakes and turning them into something wonderful. It’s taking a raining, dark, depressing day, and coming to life when the sun and warmth overtakes it.
Giving up drinking friends, the comfortable social times, the highs, even the hangovers, watching your day come and go with nothing worthwhile achieved but staying stuck, can win over your decision not to change because you’re in a familiar place. You’re already there. You know from your past experiences what the outcome will be, even if it’s bad.
But changing, going over to the other unfamiliar side of life, the struggle to get there, asking for forgiveness, proving yourself, asking for help, confessing your mistakes, opening up your soul to your past hurts and fears to a stranger, is like taking your heart out. Sharing your past out loud makes you anxious and panicky. That’s the healing process. Get the garbage out. That’s a step to recovery.
Think of your way of life as being the disease that needs an operation to fix it. When you can’t stand the discomfort any longer, you seek professional help from a surgeon. You’re happy you had the surgery, but now you face and dread the pain from the removal of the disease. It’s a long road to recovery. Maybe, you need rehab to bounce back, months of healing. No one looks forward to going towards the suffering, so you stay with the disease to only get sicker until the disease can kill you.
Think of the results, if you say, “Yes.” You can look back and say, “It was a nightmare, torture, but I did it.” You can now return back to being healthy. You’re on a new path. Making a change is better than staying stuck. It takes more of a person to ask for help than one who refuses to change.
No one can do it for you. Stop waiting for them to come along and solve your addiction or having that miracle pill to take instead of you doing the work. The thing you don’t see is that you have the ability to do it. Maybe you need someone to tell you or to read it in a book.
I’m here to say, “You can do it.” Believe in yourself and God. Turn to your Higher Power. Give it all up to Him. You’ll never be alone. Don’t worry if you don’t feel the change or see it. We are weak humans who want our prayers answered immediately and how we want the result. Change comes when God feels you are ready and what direction you should take. The transformation will happen when you least expect it. Maybe you will be on the path of recovery and not realize it until you are in the middle of the results.
Most important: Don’t give up on yourself.
You are always in my prayers.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Please, pass to others!
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.
Did you find this helpful? Contact me: [email protected]