I am the mother of two boys and the owner of emotionally naked, a site that reached a quarter million people in its first 18 months. I am a writer and professional public speaker on the topics of suicide, addiction, mental illness, and grief and currently working on getting a book published. I lost my youngest son, Charles, 20, to suicide June 5, 2015.
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.
You’re probably thinking, “Why would I want to make a dour, gloomy, depressing subject like suicide a household word?”
Talking about suicide does not give someone the idea.
The idea is already in their heads.
By repeating it, taking it out of the dark and putting it in the spotlight, we give people permission to reach out, we remove the secrecy and stigma and make the idea look like a less logical solution.
Just as important as talking about it, is the listening part
Here’s how I understand the why of his suicide. His brain telling him he wanted to go, had to go. It would be better somewhere else. It was too painful here.
It is through these songs, as painful as they are to read, that I understand his depression. I wish he would’ve given life here another shot.
Problems just pilin’ all around me
Wish I could just wilin’ in Hawaiian islands
Taking shots of crown
Let the alcohol drown
Take a look around
All this bullshit surround got me down
Wish I could just run free fun free, … Read more... “Not exactly a suicide note”
Charles loved sweets. Loved snacks. Loved little convenience stores. He would stand at that aisle and take forever to make a choice.
His earliest addiction was sugar. I can remember finding a bunch of packages of candy under his bed when he was around 8-10 years old and then sitting on the bed crying. I knew it had to be a precursor to addiction. Then I thought I could do something about it which I couldn’t.
Although he was the funniest human being I ever met, he doesn’t have many funny or lively songs.
I feel like I’ve gotten weird and I know some of you might think that my experiences are desperation by a grieving mom. Maybe they are. But I don’t really know how to explain some of them especially this one.
So here goes.
I’m walking the dog on Wednesday around noon this week, and it’s like 80 degrees F and suddenly out of the blue I feel this very cold, concentrated breeze for lack of a better description. Probably more like a blast. And then it’s gone.
Since Charles’ death June 5, 2015, I am a different person. With a different life. And a different purpose.
I have always been passionate. But I am propelled forward now in a different way than ever before.
For years we suffered with Charles through his struggles with depression, anxiety, ADHD, addiction and the sleep disorder. And I wondered what my purpose was. I always had faith there was one, I simply didn’t know what it was.
I wondered if it was to get this young man to adulthood as a stable adult who could take care of himself.