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- Autism & Asperger's Syndrome
Sleeping Habits with Autism
Becoming an Expert Socializer
It is hard for me to sleep sometimes. Autism makes my brain fixate or obsess over all kinds of things. It can be very overwhelming to try and sleep at night. I also take a lot of powerful medications for the schizophrenia that I have which mess with my sleeping schedule.
I find myself constantly over analyzing the day’s events by thinking about social things that happened to me throughout the day. I think long and hard about these things because I want to be able to analyze them to find out what I did wrong and what I did right.
My main goal for life is to become the best socializer that I can be and that is something that is going to take a tremendous amount of hard work on my part. I cannot stop obsessing over social skills. Social skills are something that interest me. I am always fascinated by the way in which neurotypicals socialize but I am also fascinated by the way that people with autism like myself socialize.
It is an interesting world that we live in. I feel that we all need to work together more at understanding each other. There are so many things I would love to change about how the world works. I really want to be able to change the world, but I know that is a daunting task to take on for one person, but I think I can do it.
My brain goes fast. I am very good at understanding things that are black and white, but I do not do well with things that are grey. My brain will spend hours upon hours trying to decipher things that are in the grey area. My brain works like an on and off switch making it extremely challenging for me to connect with others because most people can think in the grey area much better than I am. It is also true that much of socialization is in the grey areas of life meaning that I must work hard to socialize because my brain doesn’t think in grey areas. It is very exhausting for me to socialize.
On top of having autism I also have depression and bi-polar which means I have a lot of ups and downs. There are times when I can’t sleep at all because I am on such a raging high and I feel like I must change the world but then there are the times that I come crashing down and lose all my energy and feel like I could sleep for days. To say that I sleep a steady eight hours per day would be far from the truth because there are times that I sleep 14 to 16 hours per day and then there are times where I go a day or two without sleeping at all.
I try so hard not to obsess over things, but I feel that it keeps me up at night and the harder I try not to obsess the harder it is for me to control those thoughts. There is so much going through my mind every day and night. Even as I write this article there are hundreds of things about autism going through my mind. I am trying to process my night at bingo. Sometimes I go to bingo and hang out with my bingo family and friends. But just being social at bingo is very challenging for me.
Being social at bingo can be very exhausting for me. Sometimes I just need to take a break and get away from it. It is not that I do not like to be social it is that I feel like I don’t understand how to be socially appropriate and, so I must spend a lot of time and energy on trying to understand how the world works.
I think harder than most people and I am also extra hard on myself because I have such high standards for my social behaviors. I feel like I need to work on social skills every day 24 hours per day and seven days per week so that I can become an expert socializer. I tend to want to work harder at socializing than my insurance company wants me to work so sometimes I get frustrated and must take a deep breath and step back so that I can calm myself and remind myself that everything will be okay.
Yes, I am tired. Sometimes so tired that I cannot sleep. But the challenging thing for me is the mood swings of the ups and downs. They are challenging because I will do well for a week or two and make good progress with everything in life and then suddenly, I feel like I come crashing down and undo everything that I have really been working hard for over the past few weeks.
You might say that autism is exhausting. I do not feel like my brain ever shuts off. It hurts me to think so hard. I just want to be able to live freely and enjoy life which is sometimes hardtop do. It is harder when I see darkness and am trapped in darkness. Once I can see the light and follow the light I find that my life gets a lot easier. So, I look for light and run from darkness.