• Understanding Autism from the Inside

    “Academics came easily to me. The rest of life—not so much.”
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How do you make yourself a priority–a real question.

How do we find direction?

I suffer most from my own lack of direction. Spinning my wheels, running in circles, trying to figure out what to do next when everything is coming at me at one time. Everything needing attention, everything shouting over one another….look at me, I’m next, don’t forget about us over here piled in this corner! It’s a lack of direction, but also a struggle to prioritize, or to take all the little steps needed to get to a goal. Executive functioning issues rearing its ugly head.

The task have become the background noise that I am unable to filter, and they take over making it impossible for me to hear individual voices—or in this case individual tasks. It is all coming at me at once!

This morning, I realized something. I’ve lost my direction, and slipped away from some of my special interests in the name of doing what needs to be done, and keeping busy. Keeping busy turns into procrastination (especially for the writer) especially when there is ALWAYS something left to do, to keep busy with, or something that seems to take more precedence. Of course there are things that are more important than ourselves; things that are more pressing then our interests. BUT, and I think this is a huge BUT (even bigger than mine) without those focuses, those interests, and those things that make me happy—I am not effective at anything.

Busy, yes. Productive, not. At. All. OR perhaps it is just how I am measuring productivity. For me, it is getting to the things that I WANT TO DO AND ACCOMPLISH, which is very different from the things that I need to do and/or accomplish. Perhaps this is where the issues begin, not putting self in a place of priority. Saying that the “I wants” are just not as important as the “I musts.”

How do we learn to put ourselves in a position of priority—especially as a wife, and mother? I know many of us struggle with this (men too!!), so how do you do it? And why is it so hard?

Jeannie Davide-Rivera

Jeannie is an award-winning author, the Answers.com Autism Category Expert, contributes to Autism Parenting Magazine, and the Thinking Person's Guide to Autism. She lives in New York with her husband and four sons, on the autism spectrum.