• Understanding Autism from the Inside

    “Academics came easily to me. The rest of life—not so much.”
  • This post may contain affiliate links and we may earn compensation when you click on the links at no additional cost to you.

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.


  1. Agreed.
    I find my ADHD books help me more than the autism ones. Executive function is a big problem. Apparently Autism has it too. At least i am better able to know that i can do something for the EF and that sometimes it all goes wrong no mater how careful i think i have been.
    Be compassionate to yourself is my first rule.

  2. yeah totally true. i have no idea what to do about it. 🙁 im a list maker and everything and nothing seems to ever actually get accomplished, and as the list grows as theres always something… it just feels worse and worse.. 😛 like ill never get it all.

    • That dreaded to do list. I still use on called TASKS but it is only 1 page and I have subgroups so i can see how individual stuff goes. It is a work in progress as is me. (how do i keep the grammar right? LOL)
      It’s not a bad idea to have a done that list to see progress or leave them with a cross out for a week or so. I have no sense of time and i forget that i am making progress if i don’t

      • Oh yes, that time issue! No sense of “real” time is probably more accurate as I always feel like I am racing against time, like I am running out of time! All day long I watch the clock, glancing at the time and mentally calculating how much time i have left to get this or that done! The days go by with my stomach in that constant rushing knot.

      • And yes, I too, fail to see the progress unless there is something tangible for me to look at! It is very hard-no near impossible–for me to see where I’ve come from in relation to where I am going. All I tend to see is that I am not flipping there yet!

    • Exactly. I am so feeling like this lately!

      • yup. here we are again.
        baby is fussy lately, cutting a tooth (molar) AND in a “wonder week”.
        i love all those experts that say to make a schedule/routine.
        id love that, but for me personally, i get let down by all the changes to the routine because of either disobedients/ignorance from the kids in question, or something else happens (illness, have to go to town, whatever…)
        id rather just not plan than have it constantly messed with so i guess i give up. 😛

Comments are closed

  • Autism Family Travels at Passportsandpushpins.com