Cassandro in knots: sleep, procrastination, life purpose etc

Hi all

I mentioned I might try to get something off my chest here. I'm a bit worried that I might go on too much or ramble, or get emotional, or probably worst of all, still not be understood. So I'll try to keep this first post a reasonable length. Although as I hope to explain, that may mean that I go on for ten pages.

Where to begin? And then where to go? Well, there's so much jumbled up, different ways of seeing things: focusorganisationsatisfactionselfdisciplineselfawarenesscuriosityheadacheplanningachievementmotivationintroversionrelectionattentiondepresionobsessionsleepmissingmeaningfatigueisolationlaziness

And that's just part of it. Maybe sleep, then. I'd said only a few months ago that my sleep was normal. But the last few weeks the pattern has been intending to get to bed 10-10.30 and read, often staying up past midnight, get to sleep immediately, wake up at 3am, can't get back to sleep again, feel very tired, mess around a bit trying to relax, microsleeps, try to snooze, get a few minutes, restless again, get absorbed in something online by the morning, then something else, still hoping to catch up on sleep and nodding off, put off what I was meaning to do because I'm not feeling energetic enough and I'm not really thinking about it as immersed in finding something out and digesting it, most of the day's suddenly gone, get frustrated, try to do one basic thing, intend to get to bed 10-10.30, repeat.

It seems that my brain doesn't really shut off, although I have tried meditation (running while just accepting sensations seems to work better). It always has to probe and assess and conclude and often comes up with sensible plans. But actually carrying out those plans can get put off for weeks or not happen at all. What's the point of a to-do list when I seem unable to force myself to get started? And sleep makes things worse. It's like the curiosity is there all the time, but any sensible motivation to do the washing or ring the bank or act on one of my ideas is much reduced. That's kind of expected when you're tired, but shouldn't the dratted mental processing give up as well? Can't I just watch a crap film? No, I just think about how crap it is (Sicario 2 not recommended: if you're interested wait for it on TV with subtitles).

So, is there anything I can do about the sleep? Could it be worse this time of year because of the early dawn? I'm not sure, I can't tell. Maybe I should get heavier drapes for my bedroom, but that's another thing I've been putting off, as has registering with a GP. Could it be depression causing early waking? Well, I don't currently feel anywhere near as depressed as I have, but then one of the main virtues of this diagnosis has been not feeling obliged to feel anything. It's autism meaning something affecting my ability to connect to people, but with main features being 'alexithymia' (not knowing what you're feeling) and poor 'executive function' (getting stuff done). It's not that I don't understand feelings, it's that unless very depressed I can override or ignore them and usually do. They're secondary to a rational understanding. This is why I have problems with 'How are you?', and maybe have problems just making friends by liking people, being fundamentally convinced I should really like everyone. It also makes it hard to make decisions. Given what someone else wants, or somehow getting committed to a task, I can work out how to do it (so it's not executive dysfunction in that respect, it's more 'autistic catatonia'). But faced with having to have a preference, I'm consumed by the future of the planet in millions of years. My usual tricks for decisions include: a quick pro-con, if I can think of two reasonable-sounding causes for action, I take a particular path; or I try to evaluate things ethically; or both; or I flip a coin. I also try to apply myself in whatever seems the right way at the moment - if an intervention is waiting to be made, I make it. Or not if something more important-seeming comes up. But that's not great for accomplishing a daily plan, or a life plan. Most people don't have such a thing as a life plan, I'm assured. Although wouldn't it be good to share dreams?

So one day this week I just didn't go into work. I was expecting myself to. It just didn't happen. I can't explain it, and people seem to know me so well they haven't disciplined me, or have their own ideas of the reason. Maybe I'm demotivated and need a new job. I may benefit from people around trying to motivate me, and am a bit adrift in life. They say the mind is a millstone, and when it has nothing to grind, it grinds itself. Well, I spend too long on the web on sites like this, and that provides constant grist, but what for? I know I need more meaningful real-world relationships and mutual collaborations. I think it's because of my alexithymia that firstly I can't explain my own actions, secondly I'm in the habit of believing I will find the motivation soon, so put things off. Sometimes I really try to force myself to not procrastinate and knuckle down, but somehow can't. It's a very frustrating block that I can see reasons to overcome, but just end up getting stressed over my internal conflict. Maybe alexithymia means I think I intend to do honourable or useful things, but really my motivation is just to sound off and eat pizza. But people assure me I'm not lazy - when I'm started on something I'll work 12 hours or more. I just can't predict what that will be. Is trying to force myself a bad thing, because if I fail I get into bad habits of failure? You'd think I might have learned all this being more than halfway through my life, a life that doesn't seem made by choice. A mind is a terrible thing to waste.

I think that will do for now.