On 22 April 2018, we will be running the London Marathon to raise money for Mind.
Meet Cara: I am 33 years old and live in Manchester with my partner, Huw, and our son, Osian. My most recent race was the Manchester 10k which I ran to raise money for the victims of the Manchester arena bomb attack. I love discovering green spaces in Manchester through my love of running, and trying out new Parkruns on my travels to different parts of the country. I have been running for about 7 years (on and off!) but this will be by far my biggest physical challenge to date.
Meet Lornie: I am 30 years old & I live in Streatham with my husband, Russ. By day I work for a much-loved British retailer as a commercial lawyer & in my spare time I love to travel, watch Netflix & hang out with friends. I have run three half marathons: Henley in 2011, London Royal Parks in 2014 & Chester (with Cara) in 2015. I have unsuccessfully entered the ballot for the London Marathon a number of times so am excited to finally have a place for 2018.
Our story and why we are running for MIND
On 1 April 2017, our Dad, Colin, died from an alcohol related incident. Colin had been an alcoholic for many years and the impact it has had on us as children, and then later in life as adults, has affected us in many different ways.
As Mind explains on their website:
‘Addiction is often linked to mental health problems. If you have an addiction problem it may have started as a way to cope with feelings that you felt unable to deal with in any other way.’
Our father was a typical alcoholic in many ways and yet we never knew where to turn for help with his illness. We needed clear advice on how to deal with the day to day problems that arose, both practical and emotional, but we were offered contradictory information from the professionals we encountered. We were left confused and disappointed, as we slowly watched things go from bad to worse.
As we adopted the word alcoholic as part of our private conversations about dad, we felt ashamed to use it publicly and worried about what friends and family would think. Although dad was unable to help himself, we continued to try to support him until the end. However we were often met by mountain-like obstacles and found ourselves struggling with his illness often on a daily basis.
We would like to raise money for Mind to support alcoholics who need help with their illness, as well as those who have lived with a family member who suffers or has suffered with alcoholism or addiction.
But more importantly we would also like to provide information to those people who don’t know where to turn as we often didn’t. Watching a family member slowly destroy themselves through drink (or drugs) is a frustrating and devastating journey, but if you know where to look there is clear and constructive support out there. And we hope to be able to signpost that support through this blog in the coming months.