Host for the evening, Alberta Sequeira, spoke from the family side of alcoholism and drug abuse in families and the effect on all of us. She even took the time to talk directly to the addicts to give them hope.
I became a Writer, Author, Motivational Speaker, Awareness Coach on Alcohol Abuse and an Educational Instructor all from tragedy. It started with the loss of my father, Brigadier General Albert L. Gramm. In 1990 he died of cancer, and I realized that I didn't take the time to get to know this great man with his military status. After his death, miracles happened to me that brought me to Medjugorje in Bosnia on a ten day pilgrimage. It's there that I found my faith and received the peace of my father's death after I witnessed four out of six visionaries that had apparitions with the Blessed Mother. My father wanted to travel to this tiny, remote village but was too sick. I came home and wrote A Healing Heart: A Spiritual Renewal which is now published as A Spiritual Renewal: A Journey to Medjugorje.
After my first writing, I wanted to open up about my life that I had kept behind closed door with my family silently suffering from my husband Richard Lopes' alcohol addiction. I watched a kind, loving man turn into someone I did not know and saw him lose everything. I wrote with honestly about how enabling only brings the substance abuser deeper into their addiction in Someone Stop This Merry-Go-Round: An Alcoholic Family in Crisis. I hide nothing in the book, especially how innocently I pulled our two daughters, Debbie and Lori, into a life they didn't need. I waited too long to walk out and left damage on my children emotionally. Reading this book you will learn how childhood emotional wounds mode us into what we become in adulthood. Richard died in 1985 at forty-five years of age at the VA Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island.
In 2004, our family discovered that Lori at thirty-seven years old was following the same path as her father with alcohol abuse. Lori died on November 22, 2006 at thirty-nine years of age. I took all my pain and wrote the sequel Please, God, Not Two: This Killer Called Alcoholism. I take you through all the steps of Lori's struggle through three alcoholic rehab stays and her denial that there was not any problem with her drinking.
In February 2013, I started to wonder why some alcoholic and drug addicts recover and put their lives together while others die form this horrible worldwide problem? What gives them the physical and mental strength to fight this battle and come out winning? These questions and the death of Richard and Lori encouraged the book What is and isn't Working for the Alcoholic and Addict: In Their Own Words. I wanted the answers. Who could give me the direct answers more than an addict themselves. The book was published on September 25, 2013.
The book covers the stories from thirty-four alcoholics and addicts on how they recovered living in the USA and Canada from all walks of life. It is an educational book for other substance abusers, family members, doctors, counselors and society to learn what the alcoholic and addict is actually looking for with support from all of us. What did and doesn't work for them.
In 2007, I did my first speaking engagement at the Emerson House in Falmouth, Massachusetts and have not stopped. I offer private talks behind closed doors to patients at halfway homes, court-ordered programs, alcoholic rehab, families of the substance abusers, businesses, schools, women's organizations or any public function. You can contact me at email@example.com for a quote or fill out the question form on the left side bar click here.