In those last few weeks, I was reading Charles’ twitter to make sure he was still alive. He didn’t tweet anything after June 3. While we didn’t hear about his suicide until June 5, I think he died on June 4 because I did talk to him that afternoon and had a hard time understanding him.
I thought those tweets indicated he was headed to “rock bottom,” from his addiction, meaning he’d get tired of being out there and reach out for help. I know now those tweets were really “invitations” to ask him if he was thinking of suicide. It’s so obvious now. But in my emotional state I could not tell the difference between the despair of suicidal thoughts and headed to ‘rock bottom.’
The last tweet I have here is not actually his last and while these are in order, there were many jokes and retweets in between.
Then they get darker. He was screaming to the world.
He was addicted to heroin and had become difficult to be around even for his friends. He was hardly reliable. And he was obviously struggling with suicidal thoughts. I don’t think I saw all of these.
Charles in detox He has relapsed by this tweet
He is really crying for help
I never saw this one until after he died.
Hard to believe I thought this was the rock bottom everyone says they bounce back from. These posts are “invitations” for people to ask how he’s doing. Instead, we simply don’t know what to think or how to process what we hear. When what we really need to ask is “Are you thinking of suicide?” and then listen.
It’s not our job to fix. We are not qualified. It’s our job to keep them safe if we can and get them to the next level of care. A lot harder if they are no where near where you are.