Autistic Confessions – Some Days I’m Completely Overwhelmed & Want to Quit

I never thought things would get this big when I started my blog. Less than 2 years ago I wrote my first blog post. At the time I had no idea if anyone would ever read what I had to say.

Part of me hoped that nobody would because the things I wanted to talk about were my biggest secrets.

Still I had to write. Since discovering and accepting my Autism I had been reading, studying, obsessing, watching videos, and learning. There was a lot of information out there that was not consistent with my own experience or the experiences of the Autistic writers that I had found online.

Something began to stir.

Part of me was screaming out “you’ve got it wrong!” Too many of the wrong voices, doctors and parents, were speaking. More non-Autistic people were talking about living with Autism than Autistic people.

The Aspies who were speaking out amazed and inspired me.

The videos were my favorite, but I don’t always speak elegantly and write much better than I verbalize, so I knew this would not be my chosen medium.

I also had a strong desire to conduct my project in secret – so that nobody who knew me well would read what I had to say. My anxiety and OCD can get pretty bad and I knew I would worry too much if I had to face people after writing my blogs.

My biggest fear is fame and being found out. For me survival has always been blending into the background in anxious situations. Being recognized in public would make this impossible.

I’m a bit of a hermit and when I do go out, it is not to seek interactions with strangers. It’s not that I don’t like people either – I just get drained quickly by these types of things.

When I started the blog I never knew it would grow. I didn’t know people would email me. I had no idea I would EVER join Twitter because I really dislike social media.

Every time I log into Twitter I am battling my own anxiety again – afraid to say the wrong thing. People can be very touchy online.

Responding to all the tweets, emails, comments, and everyone’s questions takes up a large part of my day when I can log in. Blogging has become almost it’s own part-time job (without pay). Between working full time and keeping up with my readers there is hardly time to do much at the end of the day.

Still even on the days when I feel too tired and want to give up I feel obligated to log on. There are days when I am feeling completely overwhelmed by all of the emails, comments, and over one hundred Twitter notifications in front of me. So many tasks I want to cry. It is hard to even know where to start with all of them.

I read each and every one. Every email, every comment, every Tweet.  I used to respond to every one, but at this point I can no longer keep up.

Most days I love and look forward to the comments but that doesn’t make the large number of them any less intimidating. In honesty I know that on a dark or bad day, reading from my readers will give me greater joy than anything else. They are an amazing support network for me. I feel I owe them so much.

Some days it is completely overwhelming to me and I want to quit. I want my life back – but this is my life now.

When I want to stop I look at the readers, the people I am helping, and the people who still need my help. I can’t stop because there is still so much work to be done even when I am feeling completely overwhelmed.

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19 thoughts on “Autistic Confessions – Some Days I’m Completely Overwhelmed & Want to Quit”

  1. One simple suggestion for today, Anna. No one can conceivably respond to all that is coming to you now. Don’t try. Take one or two things and focus on them for that day and let the balance rest. We can’t ask more of you. You are articulate and have taken this on for us. Please take care of yourself.

    In this post today you said so much I could spend pages responding. But I’ll let it rest for now. Another day I’ll tell you about my Aspergers grandson.

    Warmest regards, Roger >

    Liked by 5 people

  2. take heart– even if you became as successful and well known as dr. phil (i think hes the schmuck of the world, but hes certainly well known) i think youd still be able to hide in public.

    yes, occasionally youd get recognized. people would have to notice you before they could recognize you. being in the background (like you do) means that most people wont even recognize you.

    you could win the nobel prize, and still never be hounded by paparazzi– and celebrities have this thing they do where they “turn off their celebrity” (turn off their face) when they dont want to be bothered, and blend in more– youre probably better at it than they are. celebs have to worry about paparazzi (you dont) and fans. and you can tell most of your fans that you need to be left alone in public. practically everyone will be sympathetic. so no worries about becoming famous.

    blog less, work on your book more. (start one if you havent already. just blog to it– you can always get an editor or co-author later.) less blogging = less feedback. i hope you realize im not telling you to stop– just blog half as much, or 2/3 as much. breathe more. dont outdo what comes naturally to you.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. 2 posts a week and put the rest in the book– take it or leave it!

        (as if it were as simple as haggling. nonetheless… but promise we arent trying to get rid of you. we all want to keep you, we just dont want it to be too difficult.)

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for what you do. As a parent of a ten year old autistic boy, you help me to understand my son’s life. Just remember your life and your happiness and health is important too. 🙂

    I feel the same. I regularly take Facebook breaks because I become overwhelmed by all the input, I get drawn into issues and it becomes a constant noise in my head that wears me down. Even my own internal voice as I post begins to wear on me. As I’m getting older (I’m 45), I’m starting to value peace of mind much more. Be well and much love.

    Liked by 6 people

  4. You are fantastic!
    Few debates about certain groups are so bad at taking in actual people from the debated group as in the autism-debate. (probably, the only group that can compete are prostitutes) So what you’re doing is so important and so valuable. The fact that you’re reaching so many is just a confirmation of that, and a bonus to the whole world.
    You’ve brought understanding to all of your readers. We feel as if we get it now, and while most of us actually don’t, we will absolutely understand that you can’t respond to every single comment and email, and we’ll be fine anyways. We’ll still love you if you take a day off.

    Don’t you dare respond to this comment! Take a break ❤

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Anna, I feel your need for privacy and I feel the same way. My daughter’s story of depression is not necessarily mine to tell, and yet I feel that a parent’s perspective is an important one. I am not sure how I would manage having a popular blog, and I feel I wouldn’t do it well. So I am eternally grateful for those, like you, who are willing to share their perspectives and experiences for me to learn from. Thank you for being willing, thank you for writing, thank you for teaching. ❤

    Liked by 4 people

  6. Go easy on yourself Anna, so you don’t burn out. Heroes are human too, and need to care for themselves. It’s not selfish to get away and nurture your own precious self. Your readers will understand, and it won’t diminish the important work you do. Stay anonymous and back off when you need.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. My suggestion would be for you to drop Twitter. You can’t be everything to everybody, and your blog is reaching a lot of people. So either drop it or make it clear that as much as you would like to, you can no longer respond to comments. That way, you can still tweet material you want to share, but won’t be placing excessive pressure on yourself. My blogs are my social networks, and they’re all I can handle.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. You are doing a great job. So many of your words are my words that I haven’t spoken or written yet. Since my discovery of autism last December, I have been putting to work my passion of writing into blogging. Sometimes I get discouraged. Am I writing to myself only? Of course Im not. Fortunaely someone comes along and tells me what my stories have meant to them. And so I keep blogging along. It can be overwhelming at times, Sometimes while I’m writing, or after I finished a blog, I feel like my brain is just drained. It takes a lot out of me sometimes. I understand your being overwhelmed. I feel it too. I keep at it though. I’d be lost without this gift.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Being disabled with fibromyalgia & taking care of my autistic grandson has taught me that you can only do so much. Self care is so so SO important! You really are doing great work with this blog but none of us who read it want you to suffer from it. Take the breaks you need. 💓❤💕💗💖💞

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Anna why wait? If the blog is overwhelming then why not make that book that you’ll write one day the book that you’re writing now instead. You’re clearly talented and I always enjoying reading your blogs.
    As for upsetting people sometimes, that’s what ideas and opinions have a habit of doing. It seems that having their minds expanded is uncomfortable for some.
    Keep doing what your doing as long as you enjoy doing it but if it becomes a chore then take a break. Take a breather and see how much you miss your relationship with blogging. Will you sit there tapping your feet staring at the phone willing blogging to call you or will you break first and call blogging and just say “Oh nothing, I just couldn’t remember if I spell checked my last post. That’s all. So anyway, blogging, since you’re on the phone…how are you…are you seeing anyone else…?”
    Ned

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Sometimes, whenever I take risks to get out in the world, I feel the effects afterwards. On Saturday night I drove from my home village to Enniskillen in County Fermanagh, an hour and a half’s drive, and I was sick throughout Sunday morning and afternoon. I had to sleep it off.

    The worst thing about it was I was giving a twenty-minute talk on a US phone conference and the sickness threw me off course. I felt like a fraud because I wasn’t articulate enough, but I received understanding feedback.

    I do overstretch myself at times. This coming Friday I am heading to London to spend the Saturday in Brighton to see a posse of ones I want to meet. My journey is via a cross-ferry coach from Belfast to Glasgow and then by train from Glasgow to London. Hopefully I’ll do well then.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Hi Anne,

    Just know we appreciate you and how you share your heart. One of my students started a blog because of you. It’s called Artistically Autistic. She is writing because both of her brothers and her desire to be a teacher. I hope you will hear from her soon.

    Thanks,

    Gary

    On Fri, Mar 17, 2017 at 2:19 AM, Anonymously Autistic wrote:

    > anonymouslyautistic posted: “I never thought things would get this big > when I started my blog. Less than 2 years ago I wrote my first blog post. > At the time I had no idea if anyone would ever read what I had to say. Part > of me hoped that nobody would because the things I wanted to t” >

    Liked by 1 person

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