Asperger's,Autism Spectrum Disorder

Why Do It Now? Part 2

After writing the last post I’ve been thinking a lot about this; about why it’s so difficult for me to keep doing something. It’s like I just can’t wake myself up.

Some may say that I’m simply giving up, but it’s not giving up at all. Sure, I stop doing something and I guess you could call it giving up, but it’s just not the same thing. Let me tell you why.

The important thing to remember is that I never really stopped doing something for good. It’s more like a pause. I just don’t do it for long periods of time or when I do it, it’s excruciating. When I do something, or perhaps it’s become when I do anything at all, I feel like I’m wasting my time. I can hear that little voice in the back of my head screaming at me; you are pathetic, and you will never be able to do anything right. You should have started before, but you didn’t. You should have studied more, but you didn’t.

The voice in my head doesn’t like me much, it seems.

I don’t care as much as I used to. I am getting quite good at ignoring the voice in my head, except in this case. I can’t help but think it’s right and I’m stupid for not accepting the facts. I also know that it can’t possibly be how things really are, but it doesn’t help me feel any different.

It’s very strange being so ambivalent about something – actually I’m surprised it’s even possible to have two such opposite beliefs at the same time.


Why do it now?

Does it matter?

Maybe. Maybe not.

My answer to why do it now is… because you want to and because you didn’t do it earlier.

It’s okay. You might have lost some time. You might not be as young as you once were. I know I’m not.

I lost a lot of time. I feel I wasted time. But is time ever really wasted? Maybe all the time I wasted before is exactly the reason I need to do it now. Maybe there are some things I’m happy I didn’t do.

In fact, I know there is. Some things I’m really quite grateful I didn’t do. I’m far better off now than if I had spent my time on something that holds no value for me today. At least I spent my time learning more about myself and I must have done something, so my time can’t have been wasted entirely.

The things I still love today, the things I regret not doing – like continuing to learn to play the piano – those are the things I truly know matter.

Those things, at least the ones that I don’t feel too old to do now, I can still do them. I can sit down and try out if my fingers can still stretch far enough to play properly and if not, then I can practice until they can. If I don’t start playing piano again until I’m 60 or 70, it’s not too late. I can still play a bit, practice and enjoy the sound as my fingers slow dance across the keys.

That’s it. The reason we should do it now is because we want to and didn’t do it earlier. That’s the important bit. I spent years longing to play again, yet I didn’t. I know my desire to play more deeply than I would have before, I should be grateful in a way.

I guess it’s time to wake up.

Waking up can be so very uncomfortable, though.

But still… It’s time to… do something. Anything. As long as it’s not harmful to others in any way, of course.

I can feel tempted to just turn to the dark side and make everything the way I want it – to try to force it to bend to my will, but honestly, I don’t think it’ll make me happy. I’ve tried it before, and it didn’t really work.

I forced myself to do things, to practice and study because it was expected of me – or because I thought it was expected of me. I got better at whatever I wanted to do, but I didn’t feel good. It didn’t feel like I accomplished anything. I passed my exams or did whatever I was supposed to do, but once I didn’t force it, it became even more difficult to return to it.

It was like that with me practicing the piano. I forced myself to practice daily and my skill quickly improved. I felt stressed and worried, however, because I knew if I ever broke the rule I would not know how to return.

True enough.

I had one day with appointments that could not be avoided all day and by the time I came home, I was too tired to play. So, I didn’t.

No big deal, I thought to myself. I’ll practice tomorrow.

It was the beginning, however, and soon I wasn’t playing at all but constantly eyeing the piano with some strange mixture of a desire to play, regret and frustration. In the end I had to stop seeing the piano at all and I started to pretend it wasn’t there. My own prevailing sadness and disappointment with myself and my inability to continue something I wanted to do beat my hope and wish to continue.

I don’t know how to break this pattern, except to do what I want occasionally, when I want to do it, and try not to blame myself if I don’t get it done. I want to create new associations, new ideas and hopes in connected with many activities that I struggle with, not just playing piano.

If you have any ideas, then I would be very happy to hear them. If you feel the same as me about something, I would love to hear about it. Tell me your story, if you will, I would be honoured to hear it.

Until next time, dear readers, I shall attempt to break this pattern and start enjoying more than worrying about wasted opportunities of the past.


Life with Autism Spectrum Disorder is not always easy, but it doesn't have to be impossible. Since I was diagnosed myself, I have been trying to raise autism awareness and share my own experiences and thoughts about life as well as my search for a happy and fulfilling life.

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