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That day, I just wanted it all to stop

I felt totally out of it the day Charles called on June 4, the day before he killed himself.

The heroin addiction was still new and I was confused with the despair in his voice. I didn’t know how to identify what it was. I felt overwhelmed because not only could I not fix this, I had no idea what to do.

Should I take him somewhere? Where? What’s the matter with him? Why I am hearing what I’m hearing? What is he saying? Does he want help? Am I being manipulated again?

When I didn’t know what to do, I shut down. My brain froze. And I wanted it to all go away.  I wanted it to stop and let me think.

i felt completely and utterly helpless. My child needed something and I didn’t know what that thing was. Feeling helpless and powerless was a feeling I had become accustomed to in my child’s disease process. But this felt different.

My brain was screaming at me that I needed to act, but when that feeling of extreme desperation and helplessness kicked in, I had no access to my thinking brain. It flew away and I had no strategies to re-engage it. No resources to turn to to get another perspective. When it did end because he ended, I was racked with guilt. Did I cause this? Wish him away because he was a “problem child?”

It has taken years to understand that moment. Years of struggle to work through it time and time again.  I wanted someone to tell me what to do. The crazy thing is, I wanted him to tell me what to do.

Published by

Anne Moss Rogers

I am an emotionally naked TEDx speaker, and author of the Book, Diary of a Broken Mind and co-author with Kim O'Brien PhD, LICSW of Emotionally Naked: A Teacher's Guide to Preventing Suicide and Recognizing Students at Risk. I raised two boys, Richard and Charles, and lost my younger son, Charles to substance use disorder and suicide on June 5, 2015. I help people foster a culture of connection to prevent suicide, reduce substance misuse and find life after loss. My motivational, training and workshop topics include suicide prevention, addiction, mental illness, coping strategies/resilience, and grief. As talented and funny as Charles was, letting other people know they matter was his greatest gift. And now the legacy I try and carry forward in my son's memory. Professional Speaker Website. Trained in ASIST and trainer for the evidence-based 4-hour training for everyone called safeTALK.

7 thoughts on “That day, I just wanted it all to stop”

  1. Your own version of a brain attack. I love how you make these experiences understandable and accessible. Thank you, as always, for sharing. ❤️

  2. Our family always kiss each other good night- it’s what we do. The night Curt ended his life, I didn’t kiss him good night, because I felt he didn’t want me near him. I regret that every day, but I can’t go back in time. Hindsight is 20/20.
    Only God knows what’s in our mind, and hearts.✨

  3. I am so vratefu2for you Anne. You have opened up a shelter not only for all of us grieving parents but also for those suffering from addiction and mental/emotional illness. You have the courage and compassion to speak for us all. Big hug, God bless you.

  4. You should not be hard on yourself, though I know we, as Mothers, do this readily. The heroin addiction was foreign to you, so how could you speak and understand the language if you were in a foreign land? When I began to realize the depth of my son’s addiction, I judged myself harshly for not picking up on the signals sooner but I was very naive about drugs. Though we still have our son, I experienced all of the emotions you described. I felt as though I were sinking in quicksand in the middle of thick fog. You survived this so you could give US the strength to keep advocating for our “wounded birds.” I am grateful for you!

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