• Understanding Autism from the Inside

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The Torment of Time

Eternal_clockThere is an ever ticking clock banging inside of my skull, sitting behind me with its horrendous clicking, reminding me that I am running out of time. I struggle against the flow of time as if there was anything I could do to stop it in its tracks. Each feels like a rush of not having enough time, wasting time, and worrying about where the time has gone and watching the sunset on yet another day. So much does time affect me, worrying about it, trying to obtain more of it, and stressing about wasting it, that sometimes I feel near mad. I have had friends go online to sites like https://buymyweedonline.com/stash-club/ to see how they can get a more medicinal way of helping themselves with their stress.

As yet another year comes to a close, I am again sitting here wondering where it has all gone. It’s been a year since our family moved from South Carolina, to New York-a year of early intervention and speech services for my youngest boy, whom to date, at 28 months, is non-verbal.

A year of working with and training a service dog for the Tot, and a frustrating year of writing, or rather not getting enough writing and publishing done! I feel like I live in a mess of unfinished work, always longing to accomplish more.

This morning my husband reminded me of this year’s accomplishments-I’ve finished the first draft of book one, of a fictional series I am writing Blood of Angels-an urban fantasy series. However, the book I have in hand now is not what I began writing at the beginning of the year. In fact, it began as an entry in the main character’s grandmother’s journal, and took on a life of its own. It turned into an urban fantasy/paranormal historical romance hybrid of some sort. Good Grief, even the voices in my head are running away with my timetable and doing their own thing! But-first draft complete-yes, accomplishment. But but but but…there is so much more I want/ wanted to do!

I wish I could say that I had something insightful to offer-how to stop stressing over missed hours, or wasted minutes, but I do not. It’s something I struggle with daily, hourly, and minute to minute even now as I watch the clock in the corner of the computer screen to see how much time I am “wasting” typing my little frustrated rant, and wondering if I am crazy and alone in my plight.

Does anyone else have difficulty even enjoying accomplishments because they feel like they SHOULD be get more done? Does anyone else feel like they are constantly harassed, and stressed by the friggin clock? Is anyone else racing against time-constantly?





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.


  1. I have no answers but thanks for writing about it because I’ve been feeling exactly the same!!

  2. You do what you can. You have family, and that must always be a priority. My obsessiospns and interest right now are style and writing, but since I am obligated to help my family out by working full time (throw in the mandatory overtime on top of that) I have to take priorities into consideration. I am even in school, but certain assignments had to be placed on the back burner, because you gotta do that sometimes. If it was not for my family who knows where I would be. You need forgive yourself, I would love to get more done but rest is needed or a burnout comes on the way. I understand.

    • I know you are right! It is sooo hard though, and I would make myself absolutely crazy putting assignments off to the point it gives me panic attacks and I can’t do it. Definitely something I need to work around because it is stressful to stay the least to always feel rushed, behind, and not quite living up to your potential. You know what I mean?

  3. yeah. I know.

    but really? if we settled with “good enough” – we wouldn’t accomplish much. think about people you know who drive you crazy because they don’t persevere, or they give up on things, or they don’t even start, or even procrastinators.. lol

    I don’t think our autistic forefathers would have accomplished much without that feeling of constantly needing to keep trying to rack up accomplishments 😛 no light bulbs. lol

    we did take a dave ramsey class years back. it didn’t solve our problems because I couldn’t figure out how to work the system. but I do have a good monthly list of bills due, in order of due, with their due dates and amounts, and I try hard to follow that, writing down at the bottom the dates we get paid and what bills we need to pay that week and what the total is. that kinda helps.

  4. yes. all the time. im constantly “seeking accomplishment” – all my to do lists are not getting done, some things because of money, some things because of limited availability of husband. 😛

    nothing I do is ever good enough because theres always something else on the to do list. links I wanted to read and have saved (thanks facebook “save” feature… *eyeroll). books I want to read. pets need vet appts. dog needs the groomer. skirting on house needs painting. debt needs paying off. this item or that item needs to be bought because we’re almost out or something. on and on and on and on and on and on….

    • OMG, yes!! The “To Do” Lists, are never ever ever done, and for that matter the amount of lists and things I have to put on them are never done either! Dogs, kids, appointments, paperwork, emails, phone calls, bills–holy hell, when is the last time THAT got paid??? It seems so overwhelming all of the time, and I wonder if it is only me or if others struggle too? (and I do know they do but from the outside everyone seems more together, ya know?)

      It drives me bonkers, and I wonder if you hit on the problem right here “nothing I do is ever good enough…” Perhaps this is where all this anxiety and need for accomplishment comes from? I feel it, everyday, every minute, and cannot quell it no matter how hard I try! Then there are so many things that I call “maintenance” items, that I just cannot seem to keep on top of–painting the house, yep forget it! Oil changes, tire rotations, smoke alarm batteries, keeping files (for taxes, medical paperwork, etc.)…doctor’s appointments, yearly physicals (and girly stuff in that realm) ARGH! How do people keep up with all this stuff??? How, how, how?

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