Those final tweets

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

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.

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Suicide is not an act of selfishness

 

9 thoughts on “Those final tweets”

  1. He’s screaming for someone to reach out yet his anger may have held some from reaching out. Anne ! In the world of addiction only ‘rock bottom’ is talked about. NOT SUICIDE . So we’re trained almost brainwashed it seems to always be looking for / waiting for/ hoping for rock bottom. THEN ( supposedly ) they’ll be ready to get help. I know the agony of the last days , of th being missing, FRANTIC not knowing if they’re died . I know first hand. And when I reflect back thru all of it…. The last days up to the detective are the most agonizing . I’m so sorry,so sorry for your pain. But we just didn’t know…..

    1. I know you are right. We don’t have the insight back at that moment that we do now. I didn’t see the pattern in all those tweets for almost two years. Thank you so much for posting that comment Diane

  2. I got similar texts the fall Whitten passed. He had broken up with his boyfriend. He was lonesome in NYC. I would tell him that it was the depression talking.
    If Charles went to Cosby then that means you are nearby. Whitten went to Midlo. Somehow that comforts me.

    1. Charles went to Millwood then Cosby. About halfway through his Junior year we took him out to go to wilderness and then a therapeutic boarding school and finally he graduated from Wasatch Academy

  3. These break my heart, and at the same time I am thankful to learn from them. Charles’ death was tragic but he continues to impact so many for good. ❤

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