I know I haven’t written for several months. But I’m back and I’m writing. I’m crawling out of my rut.
Back several months ago this year, on a gray day in March I received a call from my college-age son that he was sick with diarrhea. I thought it was the same stomach bug that his roommates had gotten. However, it turned out to be more sinister than that.
Over the course of several weeks, which then turned into months, the doctors discovered he had developed a very aggressive form of ulcerative colitis. He was in the hospital for 7 weeks. At his worst he weighed 47 kg (104 lbs) and he’s 180cm(~5’11”) tall.
It was most noticeable when he laid on his side and you could see how his hip bone jutted out at a sharp angle. Or when he stood up and his running shorts hung over his hips like an oversized potato sack held up by the drawstring. He looked like a walking skeleton. I preferred to see him lying down with the blanket covering him. That way I wouldn’t be accosted by the fear I was slowly losing him. Here he was sick and needed all the affirmation he could get and I struggled to hold back the tears. Every time I saw his skinny frame or laid my hands on his bony shoulder a fear gripped me that he would die. A neighbor trying to encourage me said, “Whatever you do don’t cry in front of him. Be strong when you’re with him and then cry when you’re alone.”
So that thought overtook me, “Don’t cry in front of him.”
I’d go sit with him and try to talk about this and that, but he’d move and I’d see the bony angles of his hip. And this terrible fear would overtake me that I’d lose him. The tears would come no matter how hard I prayed to not cry or no matter if I simply focused on the words don’t cry. The tears rolled down my cheek. I didn’t say anything I wasn’t sobbing, the tears just rolled down.
I have never ever been able to control my tears. I’ve often envied people who can’t cry. I cry whenever I am moved by something. I can’t help it.
And that’s how it went on my part, I had this terrible fear gnawing inside me with the big question, will he make it?
I am a woman of faith and I prayed and people were praying. But it wasn’t until he started gaining weight and the diarrhea lessened that the fear subsided.
I fell into a rut of not writing. It was like I was in this ditch with sides way over my head and I couldn’t reach the sides to pull myself out. I was stuck there.
But not today, I’m writing. I’m taking one step forward. It helps that my son is better. He has gone back to University and he weighs 62 kg (137 lbs). He’s getting medical treatment where he lives. The best thing is that he has set goals for himself. It’s wonderful to see him again as an independent young man with plans in front of him.
I’m not going to lie to you, I can write today because my son has gotten better. I think to get out of a rut, there has to be some kind of resolution. You have to know what has gotten you there and then do something about that. I’m not going the route of what if my son didn’t get better. I don’t know what I’d do. I DO know that staying long term in a rut is NOT good. The NUMBER ONE thing you can do to get out of a rut is to ask yourself why am I in this rut? and THEN ask what can I do to change that?
Today I got out of the rut and wrote. Tomorrow I’ll do the same. And the day after. That’s my plan.
Here’s a list of the 7 steps I took to get out of my rut. Maybe they can help you if you’re feeling stuck. Take a look.