I'm a mother, wife, ultra-endurance athlete, and someone who has been affected by addiction most of my life both directly and indirectly. Multiple members of my family have been affected by this disease, and I have lost one of them to it - my dad. I, myself, have had to navigate the stormy waters through the reality of being an addict more than once.
Addiction knows no socioeconomic boundaries. It occurs to people of all classes, in all jobs, and is often a long-burdened secret until it strips away a person's soul and takes everything they have with it. Addicts who desire to recover are faced with great adversary. The stigma placed upon them often repels them from turning to family or friends for help or from seeking treatment for fear of the label that will be permanently placed upon them.
Many times addicts don't even know where to start looking for treatment when they really do want to get better. The world turns them away or locks them away in a cell where recovery is the least likely to happen.
We need to open doors of hope for people suffering with addiction, because there IS hope! Nobody should be forced to deal with this alone and that includes the family and friends of those suffering.
This year, I will run two 24-hour races, attempting to run as many miles as possible, to help raise money for The Herren Project. Each and every mile will be representative of the struggles but yet the hope that we can give to those who are also suffering from addiction in one way or another and to spread the message that we must remove the stigma of addiction and instead wake up to the reality of it. In essence, the message is to help - not hurt!
The Herren Project's goals are to:
Educate youth and at risk populations on the importance of a healthy lifestyle and provide techniques to handle pressure within their lives, their community or their family situation.
Positively impact the lives of those suffering with addiction by providing effective treatment navigation.
Provide scholarships to programs, clinics and camps to increase self-confidence, motivation and develop a firm foundation on which to build success.