I wanted it all to end. And then it did.

I was so distraught when Charles was out somewhere in the city after relapsing from heroin addiction. He still had not admitted to being addicted to that drug although he did admit to an addiction to an opiate. Sort of.

He didn’t want us to know all the ugly details and HIPAA prevented anyone from sharing information with us. So we had to rely on what he was telling us which was usually fabricated or only partly true.

How could I make a decision on wobbly information?

My brain was decision impaired. I wanted all of it to stop–go to Peru, stay in a cave until all of this nonsense had blown over and gotten resolved. As I was sure it would one day. We’d worked too hard to lose now.

My timing was off. I admit that. It was not the time to take a break and regroup. My brain was begging me to, my heart was saying, “We need to take a closer look at this. Now’s not the time for recess, but a time for action.” My emotional state was too far gone and it was useless. How had I pulled myself out of the water after a broken neck? Escaped attempted rape and murder at knifepoint? Survived a brain tumor only for my fight or flight to give up on me now?

Like Charles’ brain let him down by telling him he was worthless, mine let me down because it wouldn’t engage when I needed it, and no amount of mindful breathing was bringing it back online.

And it did end. Not the way I wanted and the horror the news of his suicide was like a hatchet coming down on my hopes and dreams. My foundation was snatched out from under me as I tried to hold onto it and bring it back for a do-over.

I wanted to declare that a mistake had been made. I didn’t want him to end. I wanted the addiction to end.

It took a lot of time for me to resolve this and forgive myself. It took a long time before I understood what happened. I did over time. It doesn’t mean I never have a bite of regret. I do. But I remind myself it was a situation in which I didn’t have control.

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.

4 thoughts on “I wanted it all to end. And then it did.”

  1. I know the feeling – my mom always used to say. “You better watch out what you wish for, you just might get it….” That ran through my mind constantly after Whitten died.
    This leads me to my recent thoughts that are bothering me again lately. Every time someone says “pray for me, we have been blessed, God is good, our prayers have been answered…” Well, you know where I go with that. But I cannot ever ask my rhetorical questions… It’s hard.

    1. That one pisses me off, too. Like they were more pious or somehow did something right and therefore blessed with an idyllic life with functioning and living adult children. It’s that old thing about God bestowing good tidings on people he likes or something. Like wishing for a pony. I can’t believe adults don’t see that. I just have to feel sorry for people like that because they skate on the surface of life.

  2. AnneMoss,
    My older sis Cyndi just lost her 22-year old son, Will, to an accidental overdose last week. He got a bad batch of OxyCotin laced with Fentanyl. He had been in rehab and was out and just starting to turn his life around, but Covid meant his job had to let him go. He was in a bad place. No money. Unheard “cries“ for help. Depression anxiety and despair. Had I only known! My other sisters and I would have raced to his rescue. Now we are all left with despair and regret. And my sister is devastated. She lost the only person she cared about. Thanks for all you’re doing to save lives. I wish we could have saved Will.

    1. Oh Michele I’m so sorry your family has to feel this kind of grief. It is so devastating. A death by overdose leaves so many feeling inadequate, guilty. But we have to understand that the word “God” or “Super Hero” isn’t on our resume. We don’t have that much control over another human being. We wish we did. I’m so so sorry. I do have grief journey in a jar if you wanted to make and send to your sister. It’s at the bottom of this page: https://annemoss.com/resources-2/free-ebooks/

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