Procrastination & Autism

Sometimes, I feel about as reliable as a rubber band. That makes no sense. The point is, I can be severely unreliable at times and I hate myself for it. Procrastination is considered by some to be a symptom of Autism. I totally agree with this. Autism is certainly not to blame. Hell, I’m to blame for not getting my shit done. But sometimes I can’t help it.

Recently, I’ve found that the more I have to do, the less gets done. I have a full workload, some of which I wonder about. Will it ever get done, or should I just forget about it? If I would just apply myself and catch up, I would have a shit ton of free time. I wish it were this easy.

I love helping with the horse rescue. It’s one of my favorite things in the world, right next to Eminem and pickles. I love cleaning shit out of stalls and paddocks because I can plug my headphones in my ears and know nothing outside of Eminem and my ponies. I love feeding the horses, cleaning the barn, whatever. But I can’t bring myself to ride my main man Nike. I tell people because I’m waiting for his toe to grow out because he pawed it off when he was sick, but who the fuck believes that? There’s nothing wrong with him. Of course he can ride. I don’t ride Nike like I should because I want to get to know him all over again. I want to learn him and feel him, but I haven’t found a time where we have the privacy of an empty riding arena to ourselves. I want to get to know Nike, not fall victim to the lame criticisms and know-it-all judgement of possible onlookers. I’m afraid of the conflict these situations erupt in my brain, when all I want to do is enjoy Nike.

I do other work for the horse rescue besides clean shit. I help with online and computer work. I write, plan, format. This work I rather enjoy. I’m great with the computer, I can listen to all the Eminem I want without the fear of being interrupted, and I can do it all pants-less if I wanted. So why in the fuck do I continue to put it off? I get angry with myself, just get it done, I try to convince myself. But it’s not that simple.

It took me a while to figure it out, but as it turns out, it’s similar to why I won’t ride Nike. I won’t do the computer work because I’m afraid. Not afraid of interruptions and on-the-spot criticism, but I’m afraid that if I do the computer work that has been expected of me, I might just be noticed by others. This is the stupidest fucking shit I’ve ever heard of. When I figured this out, I asked myself, Really? Fucking really? Is that some sort of lame excuse? No. Sadly. It’s not.

I’m afraid that if I redesign a web page, send out the newsletter, write an email, that it might be seen by people. Yeah? That’s the whole point! I’m still afraid. I did the same shit at a show the other day. I somehow landed the gig of replacement DJ. I have no idea how to be a DJ. So I let Pandora Internet Radio play background music. When it was time to play specific songs for the acts, I would wait, hiding behind the speaker, hoping no one would notice me. Upon reflection, no one would’ve noticed me if I had just started the music when the next act entered the arena. Instead, I waited until they started shouting to turn it on. That got this shitty DJ a few thrown glances. The very thing I was trying to avoid, I totally slipped and fell in.

Overall, I’ve learned a lot about myself. I still don’t quite understand the procrastination, but it is apparently considered a symptom of Autism, and that kind of makes me feel better about myself. I don’t take it as an excuse. Don’t get me wrong, I hate putting shit off to holy hell and back. I hate being that asshole that promises shit will get done and nothing gets done. I want so much to change it. I’ve tried threatening myself, planning detailed schedules, bribing myself, etc. But I’ve found that I even procrastinate making schedules and rewarding myself with these bribes. For instance, I’ll promise myself a reward of Dennys if I finish my work for the day. But I won’t go because I’m too afraid to go alone.

And get this shit: anxiety. Anxiety is the real crook here. If I wasn’t such a pussy about people:

  • Oh, there’s people at Walmart. Fuck that, I’ll go at 2 or 3am. 
  • Gotta get my oil changed. Eh, fuck that, there’s probably people there.
  • I HAVE TO PISS BUT THESE PEOPLE WON’T LEAVE. 

then I would probably have more accomplishments in my life. Today, my greatest accomplishment has been following most of my schedule rather than blowing it off like I usually do. My greatest failure today was blowing off part of my schedule like I usually do. I’m glad I’m doing the computer work that I need to be doing, but I’m pissed that I blew off riding Nike. AGAIN.

But, I guess like always, I’ll try again tomorrow. Maybe I should try blowing off my anxiety rather than my schedule. After all, my anxiety has been nothing but a cruel bastard. Only good things can come out of getting my shit done. Right?

Autism: Deciphering A Conversation

Communication has been one of my biggest issues in dealing with Autism. I can’t count how many times I’ve walked away from a conversation wondering what the fuck they’re talking about. What does that mean? What are you REALLY saying? For me, participation in a conversation isn’t so much give and take or understanding. It’s more like decoding and translating, deciphering. I first have to hear what the person is saying. I then need to decode and translate into something I can then understand. Then I need to respond. Certain situations have me paranoid about my response time so I find one of three things can happen: I’ll either give a prolonged “ummmmm”, repeat what the person said while decoding and translating, or give a stupid answer like “farts” or “I love pickles”. One of many things that annoys the shit out of me is when people don’t say what they mean. I remember once when someone tried to include me in on a prank. I was coaching a drill team when a 30 or 40-something year old man approaches to ask if he could be on the team. My first thought was, um, no? My second thought was to be a bit more pleasant about it. So I mentioned how his horse probably wouldn’t take too kindly to the amount of activity, the running, the flags, the music, etc. I could barely handle it. The fact that he wanted in on the team and that I didn’t immediately shoot him down sent my team into an uproar. They all protested simultaneously until I was ready to start smashing heads from the several protests and conversations happening at once. It wasn’t until the joker told me he wanted to prank the girls that I understood his real intentions. At first I was pissed because he should have told me it was a joke to begin with. But after retelling the story to a few people, I finally started to understand that he obviously wasn’t truly interested in joining the team. But still I think, well how the fuck was I supposed to know that? Sometimes, I get caught in a whirlwind of complaint and inquisition. These situations are among the worst, most stressful situations I can be thrown into: A boarder at my barn approached me, asking why we (our drill team) were hogging the arena, tearing the jumps down, and being so inconsiderate when people are riding in the arena. Why couldn’t we just go to the arena across the street? I was livid. I thought of a time, three or four years ago, where eight or nine of us would ride together in the arena, radio blaring, a few of us jumping, a few running, a few just walking around. How in the fuck did it go from that to this “how dare you use the arena when I’m using it” bullshit? But I think I handled it well. I just told her that we assumed she wasn’t coming back, which is why we took the jumps down, and we stayed out of her way, as we’re expected to when sharing the arena, and that she could do the same. I later told on her because that whole thing was bullshit, but I really didn’t know what to do. I just wanted her to go away before I lost my mind and went for her throat – kidding. But seriously, that was rude as balls. And sometimes, I don’t handle a situation too well: I was cleaning out stalls in the barn one time, and upon running out of wheelbarrows to use, I started piling on the mats. A boarder approached me to ask when I was going to finish because she didn’t want her horse to be standing in it. And yet she put the horse in the stall anyway. Where the horse proceeded to destroy my neat pile and set my schedule back a notch. I was angry because I can’t stand when my schedule to be fucked with in the slightest. I hate when people do stupid shit like that. So I congratulated her on her ability to see and asked her why she would put her horse in there when she saw shit on the mat. Later, I realized, upon reliving the tale, that I am a complete dick and need to chill out or get fucked. Another of the most horrible situations I get thrown into are communicating with familiar people, people I like, people I trust. Sometimes, when I have something to say, I can’t find the motherfucking words. My voice gets stuck in my throat and will only escape to utter the phrase “I can’t”. No one seems to understand that the problem is that I am petrified of displeasing or miscommunicating what I have to say, so I have difficulty saying it. In turn, I get furious for the challenge and either push through it and end up scarred and annoyed or give up and want nothing more than to run away, hating myself for my weakness. More than once, someone will tell me “It’s me. You can say anything.” or “Nothing you say is gonna be stupid”. That’s not the point. I recently took home a new puppy. Here’s how: As much I wanted it, I already passed because I knew I’d be murdered of I took home one more stray. But for the fuck of it, I got permission. Now what? I got the ok and I already passed on the opportunity. The fuck was I supposed to do? All day, I tortured myself, trying to get myself to say something before someone else took the dog. I was beginning to accept the fact that someone else would take the puppy home where it would be tortured for the next ten years and then skinned and used as furry underwear when the person who found the dog asked me what’s up. I froze. I knew this was the chance. But I couldn’t do it. But it was ok. She knew I was fucked up in the head. But I hate that shit. I hate not being able to say simple shit. So I told her I did something stupid. She asked what I did. This was it. Either request the dog or make up a stupid lie and eat a bullet later. I was getting ready to tell her I shit my pants when I ground out, “I can’t, it’s stupid”. It took some convincing, but I was finally coerced into speaking. I told her I was allowed to bring the puppy home. And I wanted it. And she said it was mine, don’t worry about it. As relieved as I was, I couldn’t help being annoyed that it was this fucking difficult to say “I want the dog.” For these reasons, I find it’s best to avoid human interaction. It’s probably not the best solution. But I’m finding it increasingly difficult to obtain professional help with my issues. Regardless, I’m perfectly happy writing my articles on the computer, Eminem playing in the background, or cleaning horse shit out of the stables with my headphones in while Eminem provides me something along the lines of orgasm in my ears, love in my guts. I love my Slim Shady.