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Jackie Schuld Art Therapy Blog

The Slayer of Autistic Creativity

It’s Saturday. I have no plans for today. I’m sitting on my couch with my favorite drink (a blended iced coffee) and some food. It’s quiet. I can see my dog sleeping on the porch. These are the perfect parameters for writing an essay.

And yet, I don’t feel like it.


I am tired.

Ah, exhaustion. My old friend - and the slayer of autistic creativity.

I am currently in the middle of closing my art therapy studio. Next week will be my last week with in-person clients as I transition to a fully online private practice. It’ll also be the beginning of me packing up all of my items and moving from Arizona to the east coast.

It’s a lot of change. It’s a lot of moving parts. It’s a lot of decision-making. It’s a lot of goodbyes.

Illustration of a grumpy expressioned animal in bed holding a stuffed cactus by artist Jackie Schuld.
Illustration by Jackie Schuld

It’s all just a lot. And I am exhausted.

So although today I can actually get a break from it all and do whatever I like... I feel like doing nothing. My brain is so spent that I don’t have the energy to clearly articulate my thoughts about autism. I have a long list of autism essays I would like to write.

I could force myself into it, but I know the writing would come out subpar.

Furthermore, I write for the joy of it. It is normally my favorite thing to do. Right now though, I just don’t have the mental capacity.

This is frustrating as an autistic with a special interest. I just want to spend time doing the thing I love.

It’s also hard to accept. I want the reality to be something other than what it is. However, I cannot change the inevitable energy demands that come with major life transitions, like transitioning a business or moving. It depletes my energy because these things require energy. My body is responding in a perfectly normal way to normal demands.

And yet I still wish it was something else. I wish it was something I could change. I wish it was something I could address and problem-solve.

Instead, the best course of action is to accept that this is my reality and honor what my brain needs - which is mental and physical rest.

Next week will be my last week with my in-person clients. It will mark the beginning of when I start breaking down my studio as well. This will require more mental and physical energy.

So not only am I recuperating from the energy loss of last week, but I also need to shore up for the upcoming energy demands.

And that means there temporarily may not be space for my creativity.


Thank you for reading. If you’d like to read more, sign up for my FUNletter or check out my book Grief is a Mess.


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