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Jackie Schuld Art Therapy Blog

A Letter to Nighttime from an Autistic

Dear Night Time,

I’ve been trying to change my relationship with you my entire life. I’m always drained when you’re around. I don’t have the energy that the morning sunlight brings me.

Sometimes I feel like I’m just trying to make it through our time together until I can sleep… but I don’t want to sleep too early otherwise I’m back up with you at 3am.

I know our strained relationship is not entirely your fault though. I am drained by the end of the day. My days are full of lots of excitement. I’m doing creative things and meeting with lots of people. I’m dreaming and envisioning new futures.

Hand touching blue background with red moon. Collage by Jackie Schuld.
Collage by Jackie Schuld

Why can’t that just continue into our time together?

Or I could even settle for a happy transition to something else. But I often find it hard to enjoy our time together. What I really want to be doing is other stuff. Out hiking. Writing essays. Reading exciting books. Getting shit done. But I don’t feel like doing any of that with you.

I don’t really want to watch TV. That’s too boring on its own. Sometimes we manage to find a compromise by the four of us hanging out - you, me, TV, and art.

But some nights like tonight, I don’t even have the energy for that.

I just want to go to bed and wake up for the excitement and fresh energy of tomorrow.

I know that can’t feel good to you, but that’s just how it is.

I’ve really tried. You know I have. I’ve tried altering my diet. I’ve tried adding in exercise at all times of day. I’ve tried shifting my day activities. I’ve talked to my therapists about it. And yet, nothing really seems to shift my energy levels when we’re together.

Now that I know I’m autistic, it makes more sense. My brain has been taking in and processing so much information all day, it just can't handle a lot more when we’re together.

I don’t know what to do. I don't want this to be our relationship for the rest of our lives. Can you provide some solutions?

I’m listening if you have any suggestions.

With conflicted love, Jackie


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