Did I ever think he might be better off dead?

one of the last photos of Charles before he died
This is one of the last photos of Charles before he died

I know Charles thought this. He wrote it. And my wondering it is not the same as wishing it. I never wished it. But I did have this as a fleeting thought after a particularly difficult crisis. Was my intuition trying to warn me what was to come?

When you have struggled with a child’s mental health issues combined with drug abuse problems for many years –and you’ve watched that struggle, at some point, you wonder if they are going to make it. All those crisis calls and the constant worry sucked the life out of me.

The lack of support and search for resources was utterly and completely exhausting especially since he was less than compliant. You advocate and advocate in a system that is so broken and in a society that just doesn’t want to hear anything “unpleasant.” And you see your own child get frustrated, give up and self medicate.

Then you wonder would it be better for them if you would love and let go. Really let go. But then you think that surely if you let go, they’ll pick up the slack, they’ll start to move forward and take flight. And you’ll be there to cheer them on.

And if they don’t? Would they be better if they were free of their pain?  I do want to get to the point that I appreciate that he is at peace and not struggling. But I’m not there yet.

I think it hit me at some point that we were life support to someone who was not willing to fight because unrelenting despair and the addiction that went with it had zapped all his strength. I wanted to get him to a place where he could muster strength again. But it was not to be.

If I were to offer any advice, pay attention to those early feelings that something is not right. Don’t avoid a psychological assessment because you are afraid of the outcome.

Published by

AnneMoss Rogers

AnneMoss Rogers is a mental health and suicide education expert, mental health speaker, suicide prevention trainer and consultant. She is author of the Book, Diary of a Broken Mind and co-author of Emotionally Naked: A Teacher's Guide to Preventing Suicide and Recognizing Students at Risk with Kim O'Brien PhD, LICSW. She raised two boys, Richard and Charles, and lost her younger son, Charles to addiction and suicide on June 5, 2015. She is a motivational speaker who empowers by educating and provides life saving strategies and emotionally healthy coping skills. As talented and funny as Charles was, letting other people know they matter was his greatest gift. And now that's the legacy she carries forward in her son's memory. Mental Health Speakers Website.

2 thoughts on “Did I ever think he might be better off dead?”

  1. You post have touched me so. My son is 28 and went off the grid this summer. He lives in Georgia and we are in Florida. I had sent cups police called school for wellness checks and called the school psych hotline. I just had feeling something wasn’t right and flew up and found a distraught clearly depressed and overwhelmed man. I tried to help him we went to psyche services but he walked out when he had to get on computer and fill out questions. He has refused help and often goes off the grid. He is an introvert I just have a gut feeling but how do you help an adult that doesn’t want help. He had been in college 11 years. His AdHD has prolonged this cause he quit taking meds in 10th grade. Has he nears graduation hopefully Dec 2016 I hear anxiety and fear in his voice. The other day he said I am really going to miss this place and I can hear sadness in his voice. I know he needs help. I am just worried. My heart goes out to you and I am sorry for your loss. I believe your son lives on through you and your post because it is touching others.

  2. Anne Moss is right…don’t be afraid of the process, but be very afraid of the outcome if you don’t seek help. Taking my severely depressed son to the psych ER and having him admitted was the hardest thing that I have ever had to do. However, he is still here and still fighting and that makes it the best thing that I have ever done.

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