I was supposed to be sitting on a tropical island soaking up all the sun with my retirement, but God had other plans for me. From the loss of my first husband, Richard Lopes, and my second tragedy of losing one of our daughters, Lori Cahill, both from North Dighton, Massachusetts from their alcohol addiction, in 2007 I became a four-time award winning author, and a Motivational Speaker on Alcohol and Drug Abuse.
I am now a producer, director and co-host to the NBTV-95 Cable TV Station out of New Bedford, Massachusetts. I joined three other authors and became a co-founder to Authors Without Borders (www.awb6.com) and we interview and showcase other people in the publishing world; authors, publishers, artist, poetics, and more. They become associated members to our group with perks, like being on our cable TV show. If any authors from our area want to be on our cable show, visit our site. I started a second website for our group at WordPress, www.authorswithoutborders.wordpress.com.
My love for writing and teaching others has had me create and facilitate courses for Osher Life Learning Institute at University of Mass/Boston and Dartmouth, and other locations in Massachusetts with my two three-hour courses to help writers get introduced to the world of publishing with the good and bad points to be aware of at the time. For those who can’t attend, I published Bring Your Manuscript to Publication and How to Self-Publish Your Own Book with Create Space in paperback and Kindle on Amazon. (http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=alberta+sequeira).
My talks have taken me behind closed doors to halfway homes, substance abuse locations, court-ordered programs, and public locations to speak to family members. I have appeared on many radio and blog shows and write for the Cape Cod Times blog on the topic of alcohol abuse and several local newspapers.
My first memoir is A Spiritual Renewal: A Journey To Medjugorje, which is about love, faith and miracles. This book is a heart-felt story of my life growing up with my father, Brigadier General, Albert L. Gramm, who had been one of the commanding officers of the 26th Yankee Division during WWII fighting in some of the famous battles like Metz, Lorraine and The Battle of the Bulge. Watching the devotion of my father with The Blessed Mother through the rosary while lying in bed dying and three miracles that touched my heart after his death had taken me on a ten day pilgrimage to Medjugorje, a tiny, remote village in Bosnia, where I witnessed visionaries having apparitions with The Blessed Mother.
My second memoir Someone Stop This Merry-Go-Round; An Alcoholic Family in Crisis, is about my young marriage living with an alcoholic husband and our two daughters, Debbie and Lori. The story takes you behind closed doors and how alcoholic families live in silence with the confusion, fear and sometimes abuse. It’s a roller coaster with Richie’s struggle trying to combat his alcoholic addiction to only die in 1985 at forty-five years of age from substance abuse. This story is a book of lessons showing how enabling only brings the alcoholic deeper into their addiction.
The sequel Please, God, Not Two; This Killer Called Alcoholism is the continuation of our lives after Richie’s death, and follows Lori going down the same path as her father, and died in 2006 at thirty-nine years old after being admitted to three alcohol rehabs to overcome her own addiction. This book contains some of my speaking engagements to alcoholic abusers privately at their locations.
All my books are in paperback and Kindle at http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=alberta+sequeira.
On January 28, 2014, I published my first Narrative Non-Fiction book What is and isn’t Working for the Alcoholics and Addicts; In Their Own Words, which I consider to be the conclusion to my other two books on addiction. This is a book of testimonies from thirty-four recovering alcoholics and drug users from all walks of life from the United States and Canada with their testimonies on what hasn’t and isn’t working in their recovery programs. They are reaching out to doctors, counselors, family members and society on different ways to help the substance abuser. This is a book for all family members learning what the addict looks for from all of us to desire the help from professionals.
I hope you enjoy my blog and return. I try to update new articles and writings to help everyone, the addicted or their family, to see how we all suffer in some way with alcohol and drug abuse.
First: take the time to actually look at how you are behaving. Remember the things you found fun before drinking and taking drugs? How have you changed since then.
Second: be honest if you want the changes you say you do. You have to desire recovery. If not, what changes do you want? Don’t give in to hopelessness. Have faith in yourself and God that you can reach your goal taking tiny steps.
Third: make a list of your good and bad points with how you act. If you go blank, think of how you react to people around you, especially your family members. Do you want to get a job and become independent again? Do you have a faith in God to have something to hold on to with getting strength with what faces you? Do you keep going back to the friends that don’t want to change and you find it easier to fall back in comfort with the world you came from even if it can lead to a road of death?
Fourth: Study what it is that you need and not what you want. Embrace the gifts that come to you daily. Did you meet a stranger who wanted to become a friend who has good qualities and a healthy outlook on life? Were you scare to take that chance of moving on and leaving your drug friends behind? Are your old addict friends making fun of you causing you to lose hope?
Fifth: What were your standards before using? Did you have any goals you wanted to complete? Do you see your drinking or drug use as something holding you back from moving ahead?
Sixth: What motivates you? Do you see a pattern you are living? Think back to being a child and what excited you. Did you feel the warmth of family and family time? Some of you may not have had good memories. Leave them behind and make your own future with healthy people and events.
Seventh: Make the first step of moving through your fears. Each step and each day will get easier. Get those drugs and alcohol out of your system so you can think clearly.
Eighth: For one day concentrate on the positive things about you and the path you want to travel. Think of a life letting go of the friends who helped you get to the world of addiction. Think of a day without stress, fear, confusion and hating yourself. What made you turn to using? Can you let go of the past and move on? Are you going to let someone who hurt you hold you back from a happy and healthy life? Did you ever think that maybe they were more sick than you?
Ninth: What strength do you have and admire? What decisions can you make to help you get back to wanting what you gave up? Seek a balance with your strengths and weaknesses. What are you willing to give up to get clean?
Tenth: Write a mission statement with a short and long-term goal. What do you want to accomplish?
You have choices. Which ones do you want to live? You are an alcoholic by choice. If it is hereditary, get professional help to recover. Don’t become another victim. Get honest with yourself, stop blaming others for your situation. Learn and understand from doctors and counselors what addiction does to you so you can separate your weaknesses from the disease. Think of having a illness that needs treatment.
Most of all, open your arms and your heart to remove the obstacles and welcome the new you again. If not, you will either grow or die.
Randi Fine is a radio show host, author, and Life Issues Counselor living in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. By sharing her wealth of experiences, insights, and lessons, she aspires to offer hope, compassion, and understanding to those who searching for answers. Website: www.randifine.com
Alcoholism is a family disease, a deadly one that cannot be fought by the substance abuser alone. That said, it is always an uphill battle. Those close to the alcoholic suffer tremendously. Logic does not work when dealing with addicts, nor does pleading or crying. We cannot force them to get help. We can only love and support them, give them every reason to want sobriety for themselves, and then pray that they will choose survival.
Today’s special guest, Alberta Sequeira has lived this nightmare and fought this battle twice; first with her husband, and then with her daughter. Tragically, both of these battles were lost. Her husband and daughter both succumbed to their diseases. In the hopes that other families suffering similar addictions will recognize the problem, come out of hiding, and seek help without fear or embarrassment, Alberta has shared her story. She has written two hearfelt memoirs; Someone Stop This Merry-Go-Round: An Alcoholic Family in Crisis, and Please, God, Not Two: This Killer Called Alcoholism.
Alberta Sequeira is a writer, four-time award winning author, motivational speaker, and director/producer/co-host of a Massachusetts Cable TV show. She also teaches workshops for writers. Today she will tell her story, sharing hope and inspiration to all.
To learn more about Alberta Sequeira and her books, please visit http://www.albertasequeira.org
Presenter: Neal Howard from Health Professional Radio from the UK
Guest: Alberta Sequeira
Guest Bio: Alberta Sequeira is a four-time award winning author, motivational speaker, a co-founder to Authors Without Borders. book “What is and isn’t Working for the Alcoholic and Addict”. She is the author of “Please God, Not Two; This Killer Called Alcoholism” a sequel to her book, “Someone Stop This Merry-Go-Round; An Alcoholic Family in Crisis”. She is a Continuing Educational instructor with workshops for writers, and a director, producer and co-host of the NBTV-95 Cable TV Show.
Segment Overview: Alberta Sequeira discusses surviving the road to sobriety and freedom from drug addiction. Also discussed are ways that a person can find help and support once they realize that help is needed. She talks about how and why people fail in their attempts at recovery.
Interview with Linda Zuern/Bourne Community Television-Programs-Massachusetts
23 March, 2015 Jasmine O’Donoghue
Parmalat Australia exceeds targets with voice-directed warehouse solution
Fonterra ranked #16 in top 1000 companies
Target Easter chocolate products recalled
Powdered alcohol made legal in the US
Natural and organic expo heads to Sydney
The Victorian Government said it will move to ban “Palcohol” after the manufacturer has reportedly shown interest in the Australian market.
Palcohol has been approved for sale in the United States, with the manufacturer planning to begin selling the powdered alcohol “this summer”.
One standard drink is made by adding a packet of the powder to three-quarters of a cup of water and the maker has flagged “food applications” such as “adult ice-cream” as a potential use for the product.
Palcohol will be sold in the US in two hard-spirit versions; Vodka and Puerto Rican rum and three cocktail versions; Cosmopolitan, Powderita (like a margarita) and Lemon Drop.
Minister for Liquor Regulation Jane Garrett said she will write to her interstate and federal counterparts on Monday about stopping the powder from flooding the market, ABC News reports.
“This product is dangerous,” Garrett said.
“It will be easy to get into venues, easy to carry around in backpacks; it’s obviously a bit of a novelty.
“Regulating the amount that’s used is really difficult.
“How this thing is measured, if it’s poured into a punch bowl, what does it do?
“There’s concerns that people might be snorting it.”
But the maker of the product, Mark Phillips, has a different idea.
Phillips argues that snorting the product would be painful and that a packet and it will not be easy to conceal as a packet of Palcohol is 4″ x 6″.
In a statement on the Palcohol website, he went on to say banning Palcohol would be “irresponsible” as “’the government will spend precious financial resources trying to enforce the ban and it probably won’t work.”
Phillips also said a ban would heighten demand and create a black market.
Phillips decided to create the product to suit activities which don’t lend themselves to lugging heavy bottles of alcohol, such as hiking, biking, vamping and kayaking.
“After hours of an activity, sometimes [Phillips] wanted to relax and enjoy a refreshing adult beverage… since powder is light and compact, it wouldn’t be a burden to carry,” the Palcohol website states.
The Victorian president of the Australian Medical Association, Dr Tony Bartone, said he supported moves to ban the powder.
“It just lends itself to an unwanted possibility of abuse and excess that sends the wrong message of excess in a culture that is seeking to promote alcohol in moderation,” Bartone said.
He said any labels or warnings on the product would not stop people abusing the product.
“It’s about ensuring we have a reliable, predictable amount of alcohol in what we consume,” he said.
“It’s the message that we’re sending. This would be able to go through to places where you would normally not allow alcohol to be.
“The possibility of taking it to school…and hiding it in containers. It just lends itself to abuse and misuse.
“There is a plethora of alcohol products available on the shelves, we don’t need additional products such as this.”
Garrett said she had the power to ban the product in Victoria, but wanted a national approach.
“We have a lot of alcohol products available in this country that are regulated and made by local manufacturers,” she said.
“This is a really unwanted element … and we will be doing everything we can to deal with it.
“The ways in which this product can be misused is limited only to the imagination.”
She said governments had an obligation to make sure “dangerous products” were not available to young people.
This is a wonderful website for addicts and their families to join and share with others suffering with alcohol or drug addiction. I will try to post some writing from the site.
Posted on March 23, 2015 at 12:50 PM
Is there such a thing as a role of parents when one of their children is addicted to drugs?
Normally the role of a parent is to love their children and do the best they can or know how to do by them. Parents are not cops, MD’s or shrinks. And even those parents who are, lose their kids to drugs. Somehow by circumstance, parents who kids are addicted to drugs are called to do more, to go where other parents haven’t had to go.
If parents are called to do more when one of their kids is addicted to drugs, that role is to endure a nightmare as the parents are tied to chairs, bound and gaged, forced to watch as their son or daughter ingest poison – and won’t – or can’t stop until you wish you were dead yourself—all while being compelled to love that child because that’s what parents do.
Self-blame? At least you’d have a culprit and answer.
But who’s going to prove it?
Parents can join groups for the Cause Against Drugs in Our Society, hold meetings and rally for more anti-drug school programs. Parents can sign petitions and march on Washington compelling Congress to release more money for brain and addiction disease and scientific research into mental illness. Parents can hold endless fundraisers and raise awareness of what drugs can do, ad infinitum, although the media has helped in that area giving publicity to drug overdose deaths of prominent people for society to realize it’s an epidemic.
Decades ago in the 60s artistic souls took drugs to enhance intellectual and creative abilities. They called it “mind expansion.”
By the 70s there was a flight of newly married couples from the inner cities and the urban poverty to the innocent-looking suburbs where trees grew tall and green and everyone had a pretty house and manicured lawn. After all, it seemed only “those folks” left behind, did drugs.
Now the suburbs have since turned into a dangerous place to live. Drugs hit the middle class hard. Celebrities were in a different reality but now it was the kid next door who used to be in Little League and played soccer and took dance lessons and joined the girl scouts. Now, like a cancer, drugs are everywhere. From the mountains to the prairies to the oceans…yes, in our backyards.
You see that those teens and young adults who get hopelessly hooked usually have a co-morbidity—and accompanying mental illness like depression or ADD, etc.
You see society changing into an “anything goes” permissive mentality, encouraging a lack of self-restraint. Not long ago, 30-somethings were married with kids and claiming their rightful place on the straight-and-narrow in society– not overdosing on drugs alone on a Saturday night.
You wonder, what the hell went wrong? Is society now too permissive? Are there too many choices? So you wonder if theres more to this life than meets the eye. You want answers.
You hear medical researchers tell you that the part of the brain that tells us we need air, water and food, is tricked by the drugs. Try holding your breath forever. You get it. A scientific explanation that helps understand the brain mechanics of addiction. And so, you are placated for a little while.
You think perhaps there is some lofty revelation, some New Age key, bad genetics on one of both sides of your child’s family trees, some karmic something-or-other explanation, for the reason your kid died of drugs. You wonder what the hell was all that rehab for?
But whatever you come up with and despite all the reasoning, the reason your particular kid took to drugs and didn’t stop until he or she died, will always remain a mystery. Despite all the rationales and your best efforts – short of hanging yourself from the chandelier or throwing yourself in front of a moving train — the fact that your kid got addicted will always remain an enigma. Your role as parent is to love, listen to, and be patient with your addicted child. You will always angst over all you did and lament that it wasn’t enough but at least you will have loved that child.
Gloria Schramm is an employment specialist and writer who lost her beloved son, Erik, ten years ago at age 25.
By Sharon A. Lavy
Alberta Sequeira’s memoir brought back memories of my own mother’s death and then the death of my father two years later. We knew mother had a terminal illness but when my sister called and said Mom had 3 days to live I wanted to go into denial.
My own family handled the death of our parents a bit differently in some ways and very similar in others. But it was a time of spiritual renewal and the healing of old wounds. Some we hadn’t even known were there.
I enjoyed being introduced to a world I’ve never known. Ms Sequeira’s visit to Medjugorje reminded me so much of the trips husband and I have taken to the holy city of Jerusalem. It is a true blessing to be able to visit one of the holy places where Jesus walked and talked and taught.
Reading A Spiritual Renewal was like reading a long personal letter from an old and cherished friend. I was proud of her as she persevered through illness and discouragement to receive the blessing of taking the trip to Medjugorje. A trip she needed to take in honor of her father’s life and for her own spiritual healing. She experienced the treasures that can only be found at that place.