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Why did I ignore the one thing that was working for me?

When Charles admitted he had an addiction to an opiate, my attendance at support group had lapsed.

Because the house was going on the market in the spring, every minute was needed to get the house in shape to sell.  Chaos had moved back into our lives and my instincts were telling me we’d need the money from the home sale to help Charles although we didn’t yet know about the addiction.  So far, we’d spent over $250k on wilderness, therapeutic boarding school and regular boarding school.

Once he said, “Mom, I think I need help, I’m addicted to opiates,” it thrusted us into another disjointed system of care of which we knew nothing. Finding him help siphoned all my free time and included hours of phone calls back and forth to insurance companies and vetting resources for a nineteen year old. There was not a lot of time once he was in detox to make an educated decision.

Looking back, I’ve asked myself why I didn’t engage my group at a time when they’d be the most helpful. They’d all been through this and knew the ins and outs, ups and downs.

There’s a reason they tell you to put on your oxygen mask first on a plane. Because you can’t help someone else if you don’t help yourself first.

So when disaster struck, I crawled back into isolation, ignored my own self care, and neglected the one resource that had been the most helpful–my support group.

Charles wasn’t the only one who relapsed.  I did, too.

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.

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