It’s not personal

“Hit the bong and drift off
Oh I love the lift off,
wish I could put all the drugs behind
But I’m not ready for that at this time
Cause I can’t imagine life without the high
Even tho I could sit in a bathtub
for all the times I‘ve made my mother cry

She help me in her tummy for 9 months
And I repaid her with lies and lighting blunts
And I spit on her gift of life by trying to die once.”
—Lyrics: Out of Reach, by Charles Aubrey Rogers

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

Anne Moss Rogers

I am an emotionally naked TEDx speaker, and author of the Book, Diary of a Broken Mind. I raised two boys, Richard and Charles, and lost my youngest son, Charles to substance use disorder and suicide 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, 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.

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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