When I find myself not writing, I need to ask myself, what is it that I don’t want to write about? 

Because it’s not like me not to be writing. So if I’m not, and I haven’t been, I need to stop telling myself I just don’t feel like it and I have nothing to say.

Oh no. I have something to say. I just don’t want to sift through it and say it.

How badly do I not want to sift through it and say it? So badly that I’ve exhausted myself trying to hold it off. It’s like there’s barbarians at the gate and I’m pressed against a huge door trying desperately not to let them in.

I’m beat from the effort. Beat to the point where I’m nauseous and constantly swallowing the urge to be physically sick. Beat to the point of crawling into bed at three-thirty in the afternoon and begging God to please, please let me sleep. Let me escape. Let me wake up feeling better.

Most of the time I don’t sleep. I simply lay there, wiped out, beating myself up for having written nothing – again – that day.

Two days ago though, that changed. God granted me a nap. And when I awakened I knew immediately what I’d been running from and when it sunk in? I thought, Oh hell no. I don’t want to write about that! If I think I’m exhausted now, just wait until I undertake that little task!

The morning of my much needed, illuminating, yet disconcerting nap, I discovered a post my eldest had put on Facebook. It said something to the effect of, “No one ever asks me if I want to do anything. Not even my mother.”

Not even my mother.

Those words took my breath away when I read them, when I awakened to the realization that my son’s loneliness was the “thing” I was running from, and when I typed them here just now.

My son’s ceaseless, heartbreaking loneliness wrecks me daily. Washes over me like a wave of grief while I’m working, running errands, reading a book.

I spend as much time with him as I can, and my husband does, too. But it’s so hard and it makes me so angry. For him – Why does it have to be this way? At him – I can’t be your play date every day, dammit!

And the guilt. Oh the guilt. A wasted emotion, I know. But still.

The good news is that now that I know what I was running from, I’ve stopped running and fighting off the barbarians at the gate. They’re gone and it’s just me, knowing what needs to be written and hoping I can do it justice.