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How to Think When You Feel Like Giving Up: Tips for People with Asperger’s

Have you ever felt so beaten up and worn down that you just wanted to quit life? If so, welcome to the club. My name is Sara. I’m 34 years old and was diagnosed with AS at age 26. 

I’ve been asked to share some ideas that I tend to focus on when I feel like giving up, so here goes:

Bravery doesn’t always roar. Sometimes it’s just a little voice in your head which reminds you that tomorrow is another day – a day in which you can try again. I focus on the good things I will lose if I STOP trying, rather than worrying about the potential mistakes associated with trying.

I believe that the universe has a plan for all of us.  We will see that plan when the timing is right – and not a minute sooner. The problem with some of us on the autism spectrum is that we have little patience to wait for that right timing, and so we give up. “It hasn’t happened by now, therefore, it will never happen,” you might think. Unfortunately, with that thought in your head, you have just guaranteed that the plan the universe has for you will never come to fruition.

If you never step forward again, you’re stuck right where you’re at. If you never go after it again, you’ll never have it.  So, be careful what you say to yourself, because you believe what you say about you more so than what other people say about you.

Life never turns out like we expected it to. This is a universal truth. So, stop thinking that things “should be” different for you right now. Your genetics, the environment you grew up in, your personal choices …all brought you to where you are today. You’re right where you’re supposed to be.

Stay in the present moment, rather than looking back in regret or looking forward in fear. Decide to focus on what you can create in this day. If you do, tomorrow will reveal itself exactly as it should, just as yesterday already has.

Life is about taking just one step at a time, telling yourself that you’re able, respecting your integrity, making mistakes, and learning from those mistakes so you can keep moving forward and grow.  If you’re making mistakes, then you’re actually DOING something and getting real world lessons.  Real learning comes from making mistakes.

Some of us with Asperger’s are perfectionistic. As such, we may become devastated when we make a mistake. We look at it as a failure. But, mistakes are simply small stepping stones that lead to success – the opposite of failure, indeed.

Don’t be afraid of mistakes. But, DO BE AFRAID of dreading tomorrow.  And DO BE AFRAID of allowing regret and resentment about something that happened yesterday to enter your mind. These thoughts will keep you frozen in your tracks, unwilling to try, unwilling to make a mistake, and therefore unable to learn the associated life lessons.

The more mistakes you make, the more lessons you receive. The more lessons you receive, the more wisdom you possess. The more wisdom you possess, the better decisions you make. And this makes for a more satisfying life all the way around.

Unless you have committed suicide, your track record for getting through tough days is 100% so far. How many times have you looked back at a hugely stressful event and said to yourself, “How did I get through all of that mess?” See! You know how much courage that took. You know how strong you really are!

Discomfort is inevitable – but suffering through the period of discomfort is optional. Giving up is a form of suffering. Viewing mistakes as failures is also a form of suffering. So, if you’ve thought about giving up on relationships, on God, and on life, you owe it to yourself to give YOU another chance.

If you keep pushing, the pieces will all come together eventually. Good things will emerge in your life, even if they don’t turn out exactly the way you thought they might.

==> Living With Aspergers: Help for Couples

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