Something that seems common to people with Asperger’s is a propensity to get really tired. Socialising, changes in routine, and working full time are the three major culprits. We’re not lazy. In fact sometimes this tiredness is really frustrating because we want to do more and achieve more.
If I had the energy to stay late at parties making small talk it would make my life a lot easier and I think I’d have more fun. I’ve lost track of the times I’ve had to leave early, feeling guilty for being the ‘party pooper’ and wondering what funny things I’ll miss.
Equally if I could work the long hours my other half does I’d have a lot more money to enjoy spending. Instead I work part time and I try to keep a close eye on my budget because of that. I’ve done full time before – often with overtime too – it’s exhausting. I felt like a zombie and I got depressed thinking about the volume of work I had to get through each day.
Avoiding that post-death feeling
Now that I’m aware of what tires me out and how that affects my health and emotional state I can work to conserve my energy. That’s why I don’t take on too many freelance projects, because I know the quality of my work (and my health) will suffer if I try to do too much. That’s also the reason I don’t stay too late at parties (and don’t go to many parties).
I used to push myself right to the limit, imagining that one day things would just ‘click’, and that with practice I’d achieve the energy levels shown by everyone else at the office/nightclub/house party.
Now I push for less and feel much better. Doing less makes it feel as if I do have more energy. I can enjoy my work and social life more.
Know your limits
I would advise everyone – Aspie or not – to understand your energy limits. Don’t push yourself to ‘be like everybody else’. Listen to what your body and mind is telling you. You can leave the party. You may also be able to work part time if that’s better for you. You don’t have to be and do everything.