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[INTERVIEW] “Every minute is a challenge to live and be with an alcoholic”

It’s not always easy to see when someone’s drinking has crossed the line from moderate or social use to problem drinking. If alcohol is consumed to cope with difficulties or to avoid feeling bad, it’s a potentially dangerous territory.

ItsGoa had a tête-à-tête with one of Goa’s prominent writers, Maria Viency Cardozo to talk more about her new book, which covers the effects of alcohol on families, titled ‘Diamonds Under My Feet’.

ItsGoa: What made you come up with the title ‘Diamonds Under My Feet’?

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Maria: ‘Diamonds Under My Feet’ was an expression made by one of the interviewees towards the Alcoholics Anonymous program, that helped bring back her life to normalcy. 

ItsGoa: What can we expect from the book?

Maria: Expectations can be a lot depending on the reader. The message I tried to portray is a message of Hope. I also tried to get people aware about the problem of alcoholism, about an alcoholic and the effects on his/ her family. The book also gives you tips on how to handle the problem of Alcoholism and how Alcoholic Anonymous (a program for alcoholic families) helps people to overcome situations caused due to alcoholism. A lot can be learnt from this book. 

ItsGoa: What inspired you to write the book ‘Diamonds Under My Feet’?

Maria: I got my inspiration from women, be it the mother, wife or sister of an alcoholic. These kind of women have seen the worst trauma and their lives have been thrown off guard, but courage and fortitude have brought their lives back to normal. In connection to this, the Alcoholics Anonymous program has been the root of my inspiration to write this book. 

ItsGoa: What are the challenges that you faced while writing the book?

Maria: Well, the challenges faced on my side were negligible when you compare it with the challenge the interviewee faces. I say this because every minute is a challenge to live and be with an alcoholic.

ItsGoa: Were the people open enough to tell you the problems they faced due to alcoholism?

Maria: Yes, they were very supportive. A few of them found it difficult to go back into the past and recall those horrible memories. But for the benefit of the readers and the book they opened up about their hurtful and painful emotions.

ItsGoa: How can the Government help in tackling the problem of alcoholism?

Maria: Awareness and curtailing bar licenses could be the major steps that the government could take in order to  help tackle this problem. The issue is now turning into a social one as majority of the people suffering from this ‘disease’ of alcoholism are from a very productive age group. Therefore much work and genuine efforts need to be taken to tackle the problem.

ItsGoa: What do you have in mind for your next book?

Maria: A social issue again.

ItsGoa: What are the tips you would like to pass on to the writers or bloggers of today’s generation?

Maria: A continuous concern for social issues needs to be highlighted. A lot needs to be done. Young writers should keep themselves open to understanding societal problems and bring them to the fore.

From this chat with Maria, we are reminded about how Alcohol not only ruins the life of the person consuming it, but also of the lives of his or her loved ones. Lives are ruined by deaths, violence and the list goes on about what alcohol can do.

To learn more about the problems people face due to alcohol and to show your support to Maria Cardozo, visit Ravindra Bhavan Margao on the 28th of May, 2016 at 4:45pm  for the launch of her wonderful book!

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