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Soul exhaustion as a result of my son’s substance misuse and mental health

tired heart

Soul-sucking exhaustion. You know the kind of tired. So tired, you feel it in your bones. Facing the day seems insurmountable and all-consuming.  When you’re in this state of mind, being around others drains all your energy and you may even withdraw.  

I hit this point when our family was participating in intensive outpatient treatment for Charles’s substance misuse. He had broken into a store, out of his mind after mixing sleep medicine and alcohol, and everything came crashing down. Nothing was going right. I was at such a low point, every task took so much energy and … Read more...

Did Charles’s sleep disorder lead to his depression?

sleep deprivation and depression
Image source: Sleeping Fix

Charles’s sleep issues started when he was a baby. He rarely napped and if he did it was a 15-minute catnap in the car. If I took him out of the seat, he’d wake up and be done with that sleeping stuff. By a year old, I was struggling for personal time because Charles was a demanding child insisting on sleepovers and playdates 24/7. He’d keep them up all night and as a result us, too.

When one kid left, he expected another to come right after and he was relentless with those spend-the-night requests. … Read more...

Charles would be 27 today, April 26, 2022

My son Charles was an artist — an actor, comedian, rap artist, and an amazing writer. In short, he was a creative genius and he would have been 27 years old today. He suffered from depression and addiction and died by suicide seven years ago. And yes we have birthday parties for our son in heaven.

Charles loved birthday parties. When he was little he’d start planning months in advance for his. It drove us crazy. But now I miss what drove me mad even though I did think it was so precious. He didn’t love parties because of the … Read more...

Charles died six years ago

Charles Aubrey Rogers, April 26, 1995-June 5-2015

The ache in my chest is so acute, I gasp for air. I tell myself that the intensity won’t last long. I can do this. How many times have I done this before?

Those bursts of grief are shorter now, the intensity still sharp but less something.

I no longer hold myself hostage for the what-ifs or blame myself for parenting errors. I left that in its wake years ago. What good would it do? Moments of guilt do happen still but it’s a short sting and then I remember that I have … Read more...

Happy 26th birthday to my son in heaven

Charles would be 26 on April 26, 2021. It is easier now, almost six years later, than the birthdays were at first.

Looking back

At a time when the only thing normal in my life was the setting on my dryer, the landscape disintegrated to ashes and nothing mattered. Everything was trivial compared to my monumental loss. No problem could meet the enormity of the hole this one left me with and humility found the opportunity to move in and permanently take residence. How could I have missed a hurt so big it would drive my son to end his … Read more...

The story of Charles’s little toddler cast

I’m thinking about having a memory quilt made which required a visit to the box of my son’s last belongings. Two boxes actually. It’s still hard to believe a whole 20-year life is reduced to two boxes.

My plan is to look through all the clothing to determine which shirts and pants might make good quilt pieces. I smother my face in his little blankie, his scent long gone but the softness of him still wrapped in its essence.

Visits to the boxes can be like knives to the heart, or it can feel like a link to my youngest … Read more...

I didn’t really know my son

demons up against me drugs

It wasn’t until after my son Charles died by suicide that I knew about my son’s agony. How could I have missed pain so monumental? I thought I knew my child reasonably well. His music lyrics revealed I knew little. And his struggles with suicidal thoughts went back years.

This was part of my struggle. All that I missed. The questions I never asked. The pain he kept to himself while he wore the mask of a clown to conceal it. I thought he loved life too much to leave it. But I also know he didn’t want to leave … Read more...

Audio version of Diary of a Broken Mind

Voice by Lisa Williams. It took a while but the audio version of the book is out. And of course, paperback and kindle as well. Audible audiobook is on Amazon.

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You’ve helped me give away 63 books

It all started with Ryan. He is a young man, a student, studying in the funeral director’s track and had lost his dad. While I have donated books, it’s usually in person at events and I can’t afford to lose money on it. Buying my own books and then shipping them gets costly. But it got me to thinking.

How many who were not able to afford it right now, want it? I figured no one would be interested in gifting someone else a book or getting one. I don’t know why. And I feel awful for underestimating your generosity … Read more...

Grief is making me angry and irritated

Charles is in the middle wearing a white shirt.

I am not accustomed to angry, irritable grief. It’s visited a few times but lately, that’s the emotion that has taken up residence. I’m not a pure joy to be around. Imagine that. Covid-19 has been, if not solely responsible, at least partly so. Because I am sick of it. I know everyone else is, too. But right now I don’t care how anyone else feels about it. I just want my two minutes to complain.

It feels as if I am a bumper car running into obstacles in a limited … Read more...

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