All the time.

To be honest.
You probably haven’t seen much of me.
Maybe you haven’t noticed.

Maybe my absence is glaring.

Maybe you wonder why.

Maybe you understand why.
Maybe you want to see me.

Maybe you’re scared to.
Maybe it’s my fault.

Maybe it’s yours.
Maybe it matters.

Maybe it doesn’t.
Sometimes I think I’ve lost my shine. Sometimes, I’m sure I’ve lost my mind. Sometimes I think I’ve become cynical. Boring. Defensive. Suspicious. A caged animal. Sometimes I feel rage. Angst. Fear. The inability to love. Inadequate. Awkward. Insecure.
Sometimes I imagine throwing in the towel. Walking away from my home. Never looking back.
It isn’t pretty.
Other times I consider jumping in. Participating. Showing up. Howling at the moon with you. Dancing. Tossing my head back in laughter. Rocking your baby to sleep. Helping you make your bed or dinner. Swimming beside you. Staying up all night catching up. Loving again.
Sometimes I feel vulnerable. And fragile. And broken. Sometimes the pain feels like I’m on my deathbed. Oftentimes I am convinced that I am responsible for Isaacs choice to die. Oftentimes I am overcome in an instant with a yearning for him so deep that I cannot catch my breath. A memory will swell up inside me and I find myself surrendering to it in joyfulness and then I am swallowed up, snatched up by a gremlin of self doubt or agony, caught in an abysmal downward spiral of shame and blame and regret and remorse and whatthefuckness.
Sometimes I play out that morning over and over and over and over, sometimes I envision the actual end and sometimes I fantasize a rescue.
Sometimes I hear the screams of myself that morning, inside of my mind, and nothing else can get through. Sometimes this happens in the middle of a massage or serving a customer in the tasting room. Sometimes a song comes on and I fall to my knees. Sometimes I just cry. Sometimes I feel catatonic. Inept. Unable to speak or feel.
Sometimes I panic at the thought this could happen in front of you and that neither of us will be able to handle it. Sometimes I fear my pain is a burden others should not have to bear. Sometimes I think I should leave my husband so that he can lead the full life he is destined to. That I should release him because he is too kind and loves me too much to be the bad guy.
Sometimes I think tomorrow will be better and my hope is steadfast.
Sometimes I pray for a bad night to hurry up and end, that the morning sun will cleanse me of my self loathing.
Sometimes I feel absolute joy and peace in my body and soul only to realize that this only occurs when I am utterly alone, and never in the company of others.
Sometimes I cut vegetables, listen to the stereo, sing along, feel happy. Only to remember. And then feel the darkness wash over me and need to go lie down.
Sometimes I think I should not be in service to the public. That I am unstable. That I am a bad influence.
Sometimes I feel the fire in my belly and want to rise and live and shine and love. But I don’t know how to hold that vision long enough to embody it, long enough for it to take hold and let my spirit float like a feather on a breeze in the sun.
Sometimes I think I will not be able to stop hiding. That I will die from an unlived life.
Sometimes I think I’m too dramatic.
Sometimes it feels like I am in the spotlight.
Sometimes I think I over share, but only from a safe distance, behind a screen.
Sometimes I beg for mercy. Sometimes I think I have no right to beg.
Sometimes I recognize old familiar patterns of stinkin thinkin from my days of depression and realize grief from Isaac’s suicide has exacerbated everything.
And other times, I get real quiet and close my eyes and breathe in deeply and feel my heart beating so strong and thank it for never once failing me. I look up to the sky and thank God for my life. I thank Isaac for the time we had together. I thank my husband for believing in me. I thank my friends and family for loving me. I thank my community for holding space for me and encouraging me and supporting me. I thank my body for enduring so much. I thank the trees for role modeling how to stand tall or crooked, but always reaching for the light, and giving back so much. I thank creatives for inspiring me. I thank love for choosing me. And I step out into the world with an open heart and willing mind and I.Keep.Going.
If you see me, please don’t look away. If you see me, please don’t think I need you to fix me. If you see me, please know, not that I am struggling, not that I am anxious, not that I am weird but that I am trying just to be all that I am and embrace all that we are.
We are alive.
Please help me remember when I forget. And I will keep trying to do the same, for you, for myself.
Shine on!

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 “All the time.”

  1. Guilty. I don’t know what to say. I want to make it better. And I can’t and I feel bad. Thank you for this post. May I share?


  2. “Buildings and bridges are made to bend in the wind; to withstand the world that’s what it takes.” Thinking of you and looking right at you and so glad you keep writing.


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