The Guilt Of Growing Up With An Alcoholic


By Cara McVean Edwards

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When I saw a counsellor after dad died he explained to me that children of alcoholics suffer as much as the alcoholic themselves

On a training run recently I was on my way home from work through Trafford and I saw a man on the other side of the road lying half on and half off the pavement. Cars drove past, possibly very sensibly, but my guilt got the better of me. I stopped and asked if he was okay, which of course he wasn’t. He was very drunk. Aged mid-sixties, maybe younger, he had a red bulbous nose, dry skin all over his face and he smelt incredibly bad. Another couple of runners stopped to help. As we got him up and started to cross the road to the drop-in centre his trousers fell down and I had to help him pull them up. The other running couple were shocked and disgusted, I was not.

It was – ironically – the first time I had run in my Mind vest, the charity I am running the London Marathon for in memory of my father who was an alcoholic. I looked down at the blue shiny fabric as I ran out of there, away from that bad situation and that unfortunate character – and I felt guilty as hell. Could I – should I – have done more? Questions that I will take with me through the rest of my life. Guilt is a burden I will always carry. It’s like an old friendship that has turned sour, it’s hard to…click here to continue reading