Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Difficulty of Self-Control

A month ago I asked Philip, “What is the essential feature of your autism?”  Philip replied by spelling on his board, “I CANNOT MAKE MY BODY OBEY MY BRAIN.”  This sentiment has been repeated over and over by autistic people, especially by those who are non-speaking but have found a way to communicate alternatively by spelling on a letterboard or typing.  Yesterday Ariane Zurcher, mother and author of Emma’s Hope Book, wrote a terrific post entitled “When the Body Does not Obey the Mind” (click here to read the entire post).  The post quotes several young people about their experiences living in a body that does not listen to its mind.

I read the post to Philip this afternoon.  I wanted him to know there are many others like him and that he is not alone.  Then I asked if he wanted to share his experiences.  “Y,” he pointed.

I am in a body that does not obey my brain.  I am open minded but my actions are each day searching the peace of mind.  Tons of each day I am so tired from making my body obey my brain.  I am always estimating to overcome an impulse.  Impulses come in many different forms.  I may see food and out of the blue it makes me wholly tuned into it.  I am really too slow in my thinking to stop myself from taking the food.  I feel bad after.  I think I really need to readdress understanding real need to control my body.  I am most in control when I take some words and try to get me to follow it.  I understand a lot of verses from the Bible.  They help me touch mountains of depression and tossed wind of seeking out help.  (“What do you mean by tossed wind?” I inquired).  It means help is like tossed wind because it is hard to grasp.  The adamant art of each day is addressing my self-control by praying to God.  Each day I am eager to accept myself more.  I’m each day seeking others to friend me to let me be myself and not let me accept loneliness.  One day I want to dare myself to be friends with normal kids.    

Each day I am totally stressed about teaching myself to stop impulses.  Impulse to tear teachers apart is the worst.  I get that impulse when I am tired.  Tiredness each day to eat neatly in the cafeteria.  I am tired from noise.  Tired from accepting hard teaching.  I need rest and a break when I get in a meltdown.  I am letting God help me more.  I pray to Him when I am getting tired.  He answers me with a teaching.  It is an understanding of a token verse.  

I had the impulse to tear at Dad because I was tired from trying to type on the iPad.  In a rage I do not know how to stop.  One thing to keep in mind each day is to leave me alone when my body is lashing out so I can pattern my solace to keep calm.  (“What do you mean by ‘pattern my solace’?” I asked).  Ask on bended knee for God’s help. 

I am tired from each day telling myself to stop stims.  It is too onerous to analyze right behavior.  It is hard to coordinate all the things I need to do.  I need to listen.  Then I need to plan my action.  I am tons of work to move appropriately.  I need help to stay on task.  Tired and stressed all the time.  Someone makes leaps to have to reach me.  To better help me one should keep topping me.  (“Can you clarify?”)  They should interest me doing new things.  They should accept no excuses from me, except if I am sensory overloaded.       


  1. Amazing, Lisa. Philip is so insightful. Thank you for sharing this with us. I remember his captivating smile from Miami. A very special person to be willing to express deeply personal thoughts and reflections for the benefit and understanding of others. And with an exceptional mom, too<3. Thank you.

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