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Meeting humility face to face

Back in 2010 when things with my youngest son, Charles, started to go off the rails, I had to come face to face with my parental pride.

I had to readjust, accept, and alter my expectations. I had to face people who blamed our family’s problems on my unworthiness as a parent. I had to figure out how to come to terms with being the target of a lot of gossip and learn to dismiss it and focus on that which was more important.

Before then, I wonder how often I may have blamed parents for a child’s drug problem or blamed my own son’s issues on others. Surely, it wasn’t us. It had to be the friends.

Maybe I was braggy, ignored parents struggling with the disability of a child, dismissing it as “not my problem.”  Did I consider how hard all of this would have been if I were a single parent? Maybe I didn’t really think about any of us, ask about it, or otherwise pay attention. Perhaps I was content to be in my safe, naive little bubble.

I honestly don’t remember.

I do, however, remember my decent into humility and how it changed me.  I became less opinionated, listened more and became more open-minded. I admitted to powerlessness in controlling anyone other than myself.

Nothing has been more humbling than suffering through the mental illness and addiction of my youngest child and then losing him to suicide. This is one of the gifts of surviving extreme adversity.

Published by

Anne Moss Rogers

I am an emotionally naked mental health 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 addiction 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 mental health keynotes, training and workshop topics include suicide prevention, addiction, mental illness, anxiety, 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. Mental Health Speakers Website. Trained in ASIST and trainer for the evidence-based 4-hour training for everyone called safeTALK.

4 thoughts on “Meeting humility face to face”

  1. Forgive me for using this phrase, but ” Hindsight is 20/20.” Unless you had already experienced it, how would you have known? You should never blame yourself for being naive. I personally had zero experience with drug use, so I missed a lot of the signs when my son was using. And despite some family history of depression and addiction, I sill failed to connect the dots. When another mother criticized and judged me, I truly wondered if it WAS my fault and what COULD I have done to prevent it. I’d love to tell her now, “Congratulations! You reared perfect children! Why didn’t you package that secret and sell it to the rest of us?” In a place where you have lost hope, the only thing to do is to develop patience. While this isn’t what you would have chosen, your terrible loss is helping others. Thank you again.

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