It’s not personal

When my son started using drugs and even when I couldn’t get him to stop, it was not personal. I took it personally. It felt personal. He saw me take it personally.

At first, I was addicted to fixing my son until I finally sought help for my own addiction to making it all right. Quite possibly what I was doing made things worse. Charles was ashamed of his drug use and my reaction merely fueled that shame which drove more drug use. After all, his substance misuse was his coping strategy for depression and thoughts of suicide.

Punitive measures added to his shame. Yelling did, too. You can’t make someone with zero self-esteem feel worse. They are already there which is why punishment doesn’t work and withdrawal of love is deadly.

The stealing, the anger, the venomous words all seemed personal. It wasn’t. And it wasn’t until I accepted that I was able to concentrate on my own recovery.

Published by

AnneMoss Rogers

AnneMoss Rogers is a mental health and suicide education expert, mental health speaker, suicide prevention trainer and consultant. She is author of the Book, Diary of a Broken Mind and co-author of Emotionally Naked: A Teacher's Guide to Preventing Suicide and Recognizing Students at Risk with Kim O'Brien PhD, LICSW. She raised two boys, Richard and Charles, and lost her younger son, Charles to addiction and suicide on June 5, 2015. She is a motivational speaker who empowers by educating and provides life saving strategies and emotionally healthy coping skills. As talented and funny as Charles was, letting other people know they matter was his greatest gift. And now that's the legacy she carries forward in her son's memory. Mental Health Speakers Website.

8 thoughts on “It’s not personal”

  1. Depression and a low self esteem is horrible and the great part about drugs and alcohol is that you can make the feeling go away for a while, but the next day it pops it’s ugly head back up. I myself, probably should have died of alcohol poisoning as in one night I was able to polish off a half gallon of whiskey. I was in this pattern during college. I will tell the story for you as it would be an excellent post about my first major depression of my life. This was hidden by mainly alcohol, but some marijuana mixed in. Many nights I don’t remember. The pain of the depression and event that triggered this returned with a hangover. It took a long time to overcome. The shame of what I was doing was there despite being in college, but the need to cover up the pain was so much more each and every day. I understand the lyrics perfectly and understand your concerns as a mother. It wasn’t your fault and I’m glad you were able to get your own help too. God bless!

  2. Anne thank you for sharing Charles Beautuful Words and for your words of wisdom. If only we knew then what we know now 😳xxx

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