Alex Sierra was a creative, intelligent young man. He loved life and wanted desperately to be free of the debilitating disease called addiction. He wanted to quit. He promised his family he would quit. He had dreams of quitting so that his addiction didn’t define who he was as a person and yet in the end, cocaine won out.
“When Alex passed I found this manuscript that he had started to write some years before when he was inside a rehabilitation center” said his mother, Clarita Sierra. “He had showed it to me but, to be truthful, at that moment I did not pay much attention to those words; words and stories that I felt he did not mean. We had written each other so many letters in which he promised so many things and they were in the end, just broken promises. At that moment in Alex’s addiction, I was not able to see this treasure that later after his passing I found again.”
Given time, Clarita saw the gift Alex’s story could bring to other families living with addition. “Struggling for Life: My Story” is the non-fiction account of Alex’s descent into addiction from his words, interjected with the point of voice of his mother, father and others who had tried to help along the way.
Clarita believes that Alex wanted to share his story so that others could learn from his mistakes. In his diary, Clarita found Alex’s need to share his experience with others, to raise awareness about this horrible disease, so that others would not make the same mistakes he did, mistakes that took him to a life of despair, sadness and loneliness.
“Struggling for Life” is a legacy that Alex leaves behind, a cautionary tale that will help, not only those suffering from addiction as he did, but also a message for those family members who love and support and try to save those who are caught in the vicious cycle of addiction.
“Addiction took part of our lives,” said Clarita. “It changed us. It taught us to appreciate all moments of life, the good and the bad. It made us better people—more compassionate, more thankful, more tolerant, and more humble. It taught us to never take anything for granted, to celebrate and live every day to the fullest like Alex did. It taught us to forgive, to live in the present. It taught us fortitude and unconditional love. It gave us the opportunity to learn about ourselves. And most importantly, it taught us to see Alex’s essence beyond his illness.”
In a recent interview with the author, Clarita offers this advice for readers currently living with addiction or loving someone who is addicted:
“Addicts need to know that they are not alone, that although the addict´s behavior sometimes is frustrating and horrible we should never leave them alone, we should never lose hope. All addicts want help even if they don´t say it, inside they are scared. Addiction equals disconnection so if we leave them alone the most probable thing is that they are going to use more and little by little disappear. We should hug them more and we should always make them feel loved even though sometimes they are unlovable.”
“Clarita is so brave,” said Lisa Umina, founder and president of Halo Publishing International. “She has taken an intensely private and tragic part of her life and found the courage to share it with others who might be experiencing a similar situation. She shares a message of love, hope and inspiration for those struggling with addiction and the family and friends who love them.”
Readers are connecting with the raw honesty of the book. One reviewer on Amazon wrote, in part:
“I believe that one of the important themes of this book is that with the help from professionals and family, teens can overcome drug addiction. It is not something that has to consume them for the rest of their lives. We all have a choice to make our lives addiction-free. But we have to want to achieve this. I loved this book! I think it is a book that is important for our times, given the ubiquity of drugs in the lives of our teens. Thank you, Alex, you have touched my heart very deeply as a reader.”
About Clarita Sierra
Clarita Sierra is a Psychologist who graduated from the University of Texas, specializing in transpersonal psychology and Family Medical Therapy. She works as a TMF with cancer patients. She loves to cook and spent part of her children’s childhood teaching cooking classes. She lives in Mexico City with her husband, very close to her children and granddaughters.
Clarita Sierra is also the most recent recipient of the Ladies We Love award in Mexico. This is an Award given By Quién Magazine to “31 ladies that we admire and we honor for their work, their actions and their attitude towards life that show us that these ladies are the women of our Mexico. (Quien)”
About Alex Sierra
Alex Sierra studied Business Administration at the Universidad Anáhuac and worked in Vidalta Parque Residencial. He was a lover of life, loving, sensitive, generous, impulsive. Believing himself invincible little by little, he entered into an unknown world thinking that he could leave it at any time and fix his life.