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Drinking a Problem Staying Home?

May 15, 2019

Alberta Sequeira
Talk to me or schedule a talk at your location:

Get Out of denial

May 7, 2019


How many of you look at beer as a non-alcoholic drink? You’re not an alcoholic if you drink beer and stay away from hard liquor. False! Open your eyes. Beer is liquor that can help you become an alcoholic.

How many think, if you can drink and get up for work the day after heavy binge drinking, that you’re not an alcoholic? You can hold down your job. You meet your bills.

My husband, Richard Lopes of North Dighton, Massachusetts had his own television repair shop down our cellar. His business was successful. People knew him in town and his family was well respected.

84419-6bfc91_429c3fa52bbf43c7b01c5ffd7e57036emv2 Richard Lopes

Richie’s family had a history of alcoholics. Something I learned after our marriage.

Before opening his own business, he had worked for a television company in Somerset, Massachusetts. A bar was next door was named the Elbow Room. A perfect setting for an alcoholic or one to be made. Slowly and repeatedly, he and his boss went for a drink after work. This was a daily routine Monday through Friday.

I could push the button to a recording machine hearing, “I’ll be late for supper. We have to discuss some problems we had today. Don’t wait for me. I’ll eat when I get home.” Many nights did my daughter and I eat alone.

I spent my time looking up at the clock around 5 pm. I knot started in my stomach with no arrival for supper. What condition and time would he be coming home? We had two beautiful daughters, Debbie and Lori. They were four years apart and this started when Debbie was around six years old. Lori had been two.

When Saturday and Sunday arrived, with liquor in the house, he never drank. In time, Saturday became a weekday with work. He never drank or over-drank visiting family. He was always stone sober. Monday would roll around and again, the drinking started. The hours coming home got later and later.

Because of this so-called “control​”, Richie believed he had no problem. Allowing this to go on with making no demands, only made our household become toxic. His light, happy drinking mood switched to blackouts. I was abused and our daughters saw things that children should not witness. Shame on me. I put him before our children. I became a huge enabler.

Richie died in 1985 at forty-five years of age at the VA Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island. I didn’t make him an alcoholic but I added to the problem with putting blinders on each day. It brought​ him deeper into his addiction.

I wrote about the reality of our lives, with nothing held back, in Someone Stop This Merry-Go-Round; An Alcoholic Family in Crisis. Learn from my mistakes and do something about bad drinking behavior as soon as it starts. When is it a problem? When it causes problems.

The book can be bought at The sequel with our daughter, Lori Cahill, and her use of alcohol and drugs brought her death at thirty-nine years of age​ is in Please, God, Not Two; This Killer Called Alcoholism. It is at the same link.

Richie and Lori are buried​ together at the St. Patrick Cemetery in Somerset, Massachusetts​. Don’t wait for that to happen to your loved one.

Someone Stop This Merry-Go-Round
Please, God, Not Two


May 7, 2019

man praying on hill

Why do we have to wait for an intervention to try to reach our loved one fighting addiction? I wish I had thought of this before I lost my husband and daughter.

This may sound like a crazy action but think about it. When you talk to them they don’t want to hear what you are saying. They don’t want your advice. They block you out. First of all, don’t try to make any connection when they in a fog from using.

If you send them a loving letter, they will read it. Maybe they won’t like what you’re saying, but they won’t be blocking you out. It gives you time to “think” about what you want to say.

Never knock them with their behavior or their personality. Don’t throw blame at them. They need to hear you love them and that you are scared to death on losing them. Don’t say you love them, show it.

One night, I received a call that my daughter had been staying at a friend’s home, and they wanted her out. She was not paying rent. At that time, it had been months that we had no idea where she was or in what condition.


We went to bring her home. It was a comfort mentally knowing she was with us. I sat on the couch and she put her head against my chest. I ran my fingers through her matted hair. I wrapped my arms around her. It gave Lori such solace her remark to me was, “You don’t know how good it feels with your arms around me.”

I have never forgotten those words. You see, Lori died eight months later at thirty-nine and I never held her in my arms again. As parents, we miss the way to handle the alcoholics. What do they want, need, or desire?

I wanted the answers. Thirty-nine alcoholics, drug, ​and prescription users contributed their stories to me from the USA and Canada. They were asked: “Are there other family members who have an ​addiction, what age did you start, why did you, what do you need to help you desire the want for professional help? What do you think works and doesn’t in our recovery programs? Many more questions.

These answers from all show​ the family, counselor, doctors, and society​ what they need. This is a book for all, not just the addiction. Here is a book you can read and then leave it on a table for your loved one to read at their want. The contributors talk to them. You don’t have to.

The book is What is and isn’t Working for the Alcoholic and Addict; In Their Own Words. Your childhood life is what defines you as an adult. It can be purchased at

Alberta Sequeira

Nine Steps for Family to Help the Addicted

May 5, 2019


Taken from

#1 Get Educated About The Disease Of Addiction

While it may be difficult to wrap your mind around, an addicted person suffers from a disease called addiction. It is important that you understand this before you talk to the person you care about.

Here’s what the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has to say about the disease of addiction: “Addiction is a chronic disease characterized by drug seeking and use that is compulsive, or difficult to control, despite harmful consequences. The initial decision to take drugs is voluntary for most people, but repeated drug use can lead to brain changes that challenge an addicted person’s self-control and interfere with their ability to resist intense urges to take drugs.”

Although the person you love may be exhibiting bad behavior, they are not a bad person – they are a sick person who has an illness. Understanding this will make it easier to approach the situation. Do some extended research about the disease of addiction so you can be armed with information.

#2 Always Approach An Addicted Person With Compassion

Although it may be difficult to overcome your anger and resentment towards the person who is using drugs or alcohol, it is important to remember that you are dealing with a sick person. When someone is in active addiction, they are not themselves. They are under the influence of powerful mood and mind-altering substances that cause them to do things they wouldn’t normally do.

Although the person you care about may have stolen from you, wrecked your property, being disrespectful towards you or caused you to ​harm in some way, you simply must approach the situation with loving kindness​ and compassion. This is the only way you have any hope to reach the person and be heard.

While it may be your inclination to lash out and be angry, this won’t get you anywhere. In fact, someone who is addicted will respond by being defensive and dig their heels in deeper. Addicted people do not respond well to confrontation – especially when it feels like they are being attacked. This only gives them more reason to continue in their addictive cycle.

#3 Talk To The Addicted Person About The Situation

If you think someone you care about has a problem with substance abuse, you should talk to them one-on-one first. Explain that you are concerned they may be a drug addict or alcoholic. Ask them to take a quiz to help them determine if they have a problem.

If they come to the realization that they have a substance abuse problem and they are willing to admit it, ask them if they think they need to go for in-patient rehabilitation. If the person is not ready to consider inpatient treatment, ask them if they would be willing to go to an outpatient program. Have information ready about nearby inpatient and outpatient programs that you can present to the person.

If the person is unwilling to consider treatment, ask them if they would attend a 12-Step meeting at Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous. Tell them you are willing to go with them.

If you express concern and the person reacts with denial, anger, or hostility; tell them that you are concerned for their life and that you will be taking additional steps to see that they get the help they need.

#4 Join Forces With The People Closest To The Addicted Person

It is not uncommon for someone with an addiction problem to respond with denial or outright anger when they are confronted about their substance abuse. Denial is a powerful aspect of addiction. It tells a person with that they don’t have a problem and that they can get their situation under control.

Addiction affects the entire family unit. If the addicted person you care about is a family member, it is helpful for the family to get together. If they are a friend or coworker, talk to the family and express your concern and tell them you are available for support.

As a group, family and friends can make plans about how they are going to work together as a team to combat the problem at hand. This may include an intervention.

#5 Staging An Intervention Is An Effective And Powerful Way To Break Through Denial

One of the most effective ways to help an addicted person is to stage an intervention. With an intervention, family and friends join together and confront the person who has a drug or alcohol problem in a loving environment.

Typically, everyone who is present reads letters they have written to explain why they are concerned. This gives everyone the opportunity to shed light on how the addiction has affected them personally. This is also a chance for everyone to present a unified front to force the person out of denial.

The intervention should have an end goal – to motivate the person to get help for their substance abuse problem. You might suggest that they go to an in-patient or an out-patient treatment program even if they have already said they would be unwilling to go.

#6 Set Healthy Boundaries For Yourself

During the intervention, everyone present should be prepared to set some healthy boundaries. People who love someone who is addicted are notorious for becoming enmeshed with the addict or alcoholic they care about. Enmeshment is what happens when boundary lines become blurred and it is difficult to tell where someone starts and ends.

When you stage the intervention, you should be willing to explain to the addicted person that you are no longer willing to do certain things if they do not get help for their addiction. This may include no longer helping them financially, taking their late-night crisis calls, or participating in their life altogether. Many people who care about an addict or alcoholic have to make the decision that unless the addicted person gets help, they simply cannot carry on a relationship with them anymore.

Explain to the addict or alcoholic that you are willing to help them in their recovery, but you are no longer willing to play in active role in their downward spiral.

#7 Stop Enabling The Addicted Person

When you care about someone who is addicted, you will find yourself saying yes to all sorts of ridiculous requests. You have to learn how to say no. As long as someone with an addiction problem has someone in their life that continues to bail them out of situations they have created for themselves, they will never recover.

If you are doing things that allow the addicted person to continue in their quest to drink more booze or take more drugs, you are enabling that person’s behavior. Family members or friends of an addicted person have the most sincere desire to help, but end up becoming chief enablers.

Lending money, listening to the person moan about the situations they keep creating for themselves, buying them drugs or giving them alcohol, giving them rides to buy drugs or alcohol, bailing them out of jail and assisting with legal problems related to the addiction are all examples of enabling behavior. A solid, loving “no” is the best gift you can give someone in the grip of addiction or alcoholism.

#8 Get Support For Yourself

Addiction is a destructive force that rips through the lives of everyone it comes into contact with. If you have been in a relationship with an addictive person for any length of time, chances are you are exhausted, angry, confused, and downright frustrated.

One of the ways you can help an addicted person (and yourself) is to get help for yourself by joining a support group that helps family members of addicts or alcoholics. Al-Anon is an excellent resource for people who love someone who has a substance abuse problem. At Al-Anon, you can learn to become happy and whole whether the person you care about is drinking or drugging or not.

Find an Al-Anon meeting near you.

#9 Remember, You Didn’t Cause It, You Can’t Cure It, And You Can’t Control It

It is important to keep in mind that no matter what you or your family members do to help someone with a substance abuse problem, your help may go unappreciated. Addiction is a cunning enemy of life and it can take someone with a drug or alcohol problem years to finally sober up. Some people never do. Sadly, many people die from the disease of addiction.

We don’t say this to frighten you. We simply want you to have an accurate assessment of the situation at hand. If you do everything in your power to help someone with an addiction and they refuse your help, do not take this personally. It doesn’t mean the person doesn’t love or care about you. It simply means they are unable to surrender their addiction at the present moment and accept help.

If Someone Refuses Help, You Have a Decision To Make

If you have done everything you can do to help someone with an addiction problem and they absolutely refuse your support, you have to make a decision. Are you going to continue to participate in the insanity of addiction or are you going to set yourself free?

It is unhealthy for you to stay entangled in a relationship with an active addict or alcoholic. If you choose freedom, you are not turning your back on the person you care about. You are simply making a decision to take care of yourself.​

Reaching the Addicted

May 14, 2018


This is my interview with Sheriff Thomas Hodgson from The Bristol County Correctional office at 400 Faunce Corner, North Dartmouth, Massachusetts. The first half hour is about my life with the last half hour talking to the women inmates at the jail.

I can be reached at:
My website for the addicted with choices is:
For my writers and followers to become authors:

Purchase my books at

Need a Speaker?

December 10, 2017



”The Effect of Alcoholism on the Whole Family”

* The devastating toll of alcoholism on the family
* The self-destruction of the addict
* For those looking for strength from their own alcoholic-driven problems
* The enabling
* Blackouts/physical and emotional abuse
* Denial
* Protecting the children
* Breakdowns
* Feelings of hopelessness
* Communication in the marriage
* Professional help
* Separation or divorce
* Ignoring the signs of teenage drinking
* Hidden emotional problems with the children
* Taking time to listen and communicate with your teen
* Giving complete support
* Being involved in their counseling, doctor’s appointments and recovery program

“My Spiritual Changes Within”

* Focus on relationships with our loved ones
* Strengthening your belief in your faith
* Tours to Medjugorje/spiritual renewals
* Alberta’s spiritual experience in Medjugorje
* The secrets Our Lady is giving the visionaries
* Description of the apparitions
* The importance of Confession
* Miracles all around us
* Awareness of God in our lives
* Alberta encourages us to examine our life
* Recognize the value of thankfulness
* Saying goodbye to our loved ones
* Renew the joy in life

”Where am I Heading?”
(School Program)

* The introduction to alcohol and drugs
* Signs of alcohol abuse
* Following the crowd
* Binge drinking
* Hereditary or a disease
* Habit, action, location, ​and friends
* Facing your family and school problems
* Recovery programs
* Breaking from the drinking and drug friends
* Getting on with life
* The reality of Cirrhosis of the Liver

**Alberta is willing to talk on any topic you may want for your event. She would love to discuss what would be the best fit. Please feel free to send questions to

Visit her website at

References from the Bristol Correction Office at Faunce Corner Road in North Dartmouth, MA:
1. Rui M. Lima, MA, MSW, LICSW, Director of Substance Abuse & Social Servies Programs & Treatment: Telephone: 508-995-6400 ext. 2821
2. Matthew Robitaille, Director of Classification and Programs​; Telephone: 508-995-6400 ext. 2504

Email me for a quote:

My books on alcohol abuse can be purchased at

Visit my Blog for Writers

October 6, 2017

New AWB Membership Picture

Authors Without Borders: Left to right, Joyce Keller Walsh, Alberta Sequeira, ​Willie Pleasants, and Pat Perry.

NB Book Festival

I started a blog for our group Authors Without Borders, which four of us are co-founders. We have members and all information about us is at Love to hear from you. Our main site is Learn who we are. Email us with any questions at

We’re in the process of thinking about podcasts. We have our own NBTV-95 Cable TV show out of New Bedford, MA where we interview authors and anyone in the publishing world.

Alberta Sequeira

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