How are you?

Im hangin in there.
Im doin alright.
Im takin it one day at a time.

Thats the good girl answer I give in the grocery store.

Heres the truth.

I find myself lost more often than not.
I “come to” gazing out the window, staring into a photo, standing in the living room with absolutely no recollection of how long I’ve been “out” or what got me there.
I am tongue tied and struggle to speak the right words– and I do not mean “adequate or articulate”– i mean literally, the wrong word comes from my mouth, several times a day.
I cannot make simple choices; which coat to wear, which utensil to eat with, what time I can meet, which gas station to use.
Im confused, frequently. Agitated, lost in deep thought, and weepy. I recycle thoughts from the morning of October 25 trying to find the loophole that will dissolve all of this.
I sleep with Isaac’s favorite childhood stuffed animal that he still at 18 kept in his room. I cant sleep without it in my arms and for the first few weeks I just wanted to carry it with me all day.
I sit and think alot. I lie down and think alot.
I feel alot of internal pressure to be more productive. But i cannot imagine being accountable to anyone on a regular basis. I keep the house clean and josh and the animals fed– that is my goal each day.
I write or paint somedays. I go to therapy every week. I visit with friends and family on weekends.
I take walks with the dog. I scream into the cold sky. I barely notice the world around me and yet i know that it has resumed the activities of daily living, while I live in a fog.
I am able and more than willing to laugh, engage, talk about your grandma or your husband or your root canal. I have less of a filter than I used to. I worry about dying more; you, me, my dog, my parents.

But i also remind myself as often as the bad thoughts come that I cannot change the outcome of the story of Isaac and i remind myself often that i already know what my life looks like when i play the blame (myself) game.
And try to choose better now that i know better.
I think, with what is almost like excitement, about what might be next, someday, for me, when this pain is more manageable.
I take alot of deep breaths that help reduce my anxiety and calm myself down.
I remember that I was very blessed with an extraordinary boy for 18 years and now i believe with all of my heart and soul that he is off doing beautiful things worthy of his warrior heart.
I spend more time outside which i love more than anything else but didnt always make enough time for, before.
I think about gratitude more than i used to.
I am more open and more patient with my husband. I feel more present with my niece and nephew.

It all changes as quickly as a memory. Somedays, some hours, some breaths are better than others. Thanks for asking! How are you?

Published by: christinaryanstoltz

I write to touch the supple center of unguarded ache~ To release myself from the pressure of not knowing how to move forward from the unfathomable loss of my beloved son, my beautiful boy Isaac, to suicide, of not knowing how to release my grip on of the past, both the worshipping of it as well as the beating myself up for it, and letting go of the need to know what I could’ve done or what on earth I will do now. I write to heal.


4 thoughts on “How are you?”

  1. Thank you for sharing…you, Christina ♡ it breaks my heart and strangely, mends it at the same time…you inspire and remind me to be alive. I love you


  2. My sister’s oldest daughter committed suicide. I’ve talked a lot with her about it. I wish I had something profound to say more than that I think you are handling every aspect with amazing grace, beauty and honesty. I guess the one thing I can say is she says it DOES get better with time. You are doing the right thing by getting it all out. With the passing of days, as you put it out there, you will ‘give it away.’


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