Category Archives: aspergers

Having a Haircut From an Aspie Point of View

I hate having my hair cut…
I hate not knowing what they are doing back there, they could be up to anything, and I hate when they tell me to take my glasses off so they can get it right by the ears. I’m practically blind without them.
Im in very great need of control, its my hair, I know exactly how I want it and I have to sit there, sharing small talk and letting them do their job…
that they have an education in…
and do everyday….
ok…
they might know what they are doing…
Maybe…

Yes, this is me with long hair. Hello!

I have had long hair for years, partly because then I didn’t have to go through the haircutting ordeal, and also, it was cheeper. And I liked my long hair. I learned to cut the tips myself.
But it was time for a change. I think I had the same hairdo for 15 years, ad or subtract bangs.

This is what I gave the hairdresser to work with. But skipping the lavender, I love the lavender, but I’m not up for the upkeep.

With the help of my sister and her very talented hairdresser friend, I took the leap and cut it all off by the shoulders… and you know… it looked great… I loved it, and she understood exactly what I wanted, talked me through it, and calmed me down, though she had to take my glasses off at one point. 😉 I loved the feeling of it skimming my shoulders.

This is me after, note the happy grin, and look how nicely I’m sitting, still wearing my glasses. 🙂

Now I have to do it all again, thats the problem with short hair. The great hairdresser is an hours drive away, so I thought I would see if the local one here is ok. Im scared, but at least the first cut is done, and she sort of just has to follow the “mould”. I don’t want to say/write it, but how bad can it go?

haircut5

So, as an aspie, what can you do to make it easier?
Well I start by telling them that I have aspergers, not everyone knows what that entails, but at least you have given them an indication that you are not the average customer.
I like to show pictures of what I had in mind, and also say that I am very particular and therefore a bit scared.
And I definitely tell them that I can barely see without my glasses and that I would appreciate it if they tell me as soon as I can put them on again.

Actually it usually goes great and becomes beautiful!

Havingn a haircut


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Tackling the Front Door

So what can we do about this looming front door and bottleneck of a hallway. How can we make this a little easier? These are some things that have been or are helping me get out.

  1. Have a plan: in a comfortable location, make a plan beforehand on where you are going to go and when, what you will wear, make sure you pee, drink and have a lip balm. Then just go through the bottleneck and front door at speed (trying) not to think about it. plan
  2. Know what you are going to wear and have it accessible.
  3. zriphoneIf you have a smartphone, make the walk more fun with apps that measure your distance and time, like runkeeper, or make it into a game with  zombies run!. Play upbeat positive music or listen to an audiobook.
  4. Make the walk more fun in other ways, like with walking sticks for nordic walking, or measuring how fast you can do a certain distance and see if you improve over time.
  5. Walk a small distance to begin with. When that feels comfortable, increase it just a little, seriously, very little, like 20m. And when that is comfortable increase it a bit more and so on.
  6. Are there any animals anywhere in your surroundings? Make a point of going by their pasture or garden to look or say hello.
  7. Or there might be something else you especially enjoy that you can make a point to pass, for me it is water.
  8. Have nice walking clothes and good shoes, stay within your budget so you don’t feel pressured to use them or anxiety that you are not. Ten tips to
  9. Walk with a friend and have a nice conversation on the way, maybe you can schedule a weekly walk together.
  10. Get a dog. Ok this one might be a little drastic. I for one is allergic, and there is a bit more to owning a dog than just having a walking buddy. But maybe you have a neighbour with a dog that wouldn’t mind you “borrowing” the dog for a walk now and then. And there are also organisations where you can volunteer as a dog walker. dog

I know that some, or all of these can feel totally daunting some days, I know I couldn’t ask my neighbour to walk his dog for example, and its ok to feel that way. Maybe one or two things on the list is possible for you. Maybe a few more on a good day, or with company.

The important thing is to keep trying and not to give up on the things we want to do. map


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Getting out The Front Door..

Getting out that front door…can be one of the hardest things I do all day, and some days I don’t even manage.

I am scared of leaving the house, its my safe, though slightly lonely and boring, place. But don’t underestimate the power of the safe place. The further I am from the house the more unsafe I feel, the more anxiety I have.

I am ok with going with my husband in the car. The car acts as a mini safe house, and usually we take familiar routes or I’m in charge of the map, and I know exactly where we are, which makes me calmer. But long trips are hard.

Its easier going outside with company I trust, then I can also manage to go further because they distract/calm me enough for me to not spend all energy on thinking about bad stuff that could happen, (fainting in a bush and not being discovered) or being in a heightened state of awareness (how long till I can get home, how much time) all the time.

But going outside myself, it’s a struggle. That door, that hallway, it’s a bottleneck for all my anxiety. What I won’t do to postpone passing through it.

I must have a drink, pee, lip balm, do I have my phone, is it charged, are the bunnies secure, I have the wrong socks, do I need a hat, what temperature is it, which route should I take, forest or road, how long, what If I meet someone, are the neighbours home to see me…

hallway

Sometimes this takes so long that it starts raining, I get hungry, decide to make dinner instead or just plain give up.

When I am finally outside I usually feel much better, and when I get walking, in nice weather with my headphones playing positive upbeat music, I sometimes even forget to be anxious. From time to time.

If I walk the same familiar route, when I know exactly how long it is, and how long it should take, I like walking.
When I get to walk totally alone, where no one can see me, I like walking.
When I feel my muscles working and feel strong, I like walking.
When I get to feel I’m one with the landscape around me, I like walking.

But the anxiety comes back when I start to feel tired, or start to think of exactly how far I have to go to get back home, how much time, how many steps.

Forest

When I walk in the forest, the anxiety lightens. I have to concentrate more not to stumble on something, there are animals to see, plants and trees, and I usually walk by my very favourite lake.

summer

Taking a break on the little run down pier and feeling the water, putting my feet in when it’s not too cold, that helps. Its like the forest has a calm, serene aura that puts a dampener on feelings, especially negative ones. And the lake gives me positive energy, enough to get home. This works best alone.

But that door…


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6 Easy Tips to Becoming Vegan

Are you thinking about becoming a vegetarian or a vegan? Are you wondering what that would entail and if you could do it, or want to do it? Here are 6 of my best tips for making it easier to become vegan.

TV1.  Start by watching these documentaries, or one of them, to understand what impact the meat and dairy industry has on the environment, our bodies and how the animals are treated.

And “The best speech you will ever hear” by Gary Yourofsky.
I have linked the titles to their corresponding trailer on YouTube. You can find some of them on Netflix, or free on YouTube.

How do you feel about veganism now?

plantmilksUPp2. Ok, milk. I did a test when I began being vegan.
I love lattes, that’s how I drink my coffee, and I love it, and need at least one a day. So if I was not able to find a milk substitute that I liked, then I was sort of screwed.
I changed to one of the favourite plant milks I had tried, Oatly’s oat milk especially for coffee, called ikaffe = incoffee, for one whole week. Then I made myself a cow milk latte and an oat milk latte and tried both.
The result was that they both tasted funny, the oat one tasted, not surprisingly slightly of oat, and the cow milk one had a weird metallic meaty taste.
I had no problem switching to plant milk after that.
It’s worth a try, right.

vegetables-knife-paprika-traffic-light-vegetable-40191
3.
 My third tip is, skip the meat/dairy substitutes to begin with. They won’t taste like “hotdog” or “parmesan”, not while the real taste is fresh in you mind. Go for the vegetables, grains and fruits.
Then after a while, you can try the substitutes and see if you like them for their own taste and not what they are trying to taste like.

Holy-Nut-vegan-treats-450x5504. Your favourite treats. Try to find a vegan alternative to your favourite treats.
There are lots of great vegan chocolate out there.
Cookies, Oreos are vegan in some countries.
Vegan ice cream is usually just as good as other prepackaged ice cream.
Chips often have milk powder on them, but if you go for a “rustic” kind they are usually good, and Pringles have a “vegan” sign on their vegan chips. Yay Pringles!
Nuts and seeds are tasty and so are fruit, but never, ever let anyone tell you that fruit is candy! It’s not, its fruit! But try nice cream, its fruit and yummy!
If you can’t find anything good in you local grocery store, try searching on the internet. I have heard that iHearb is good, but I have never ordered from there myself.

Becoming Vegan

5. Find a community of fellow vegans, whether it’s on Facebook,  Instagram or any other place you feel comfortable, dare I say it, maybe not even a virtual one! A place to swap recipes and get motivated. Maybe someone has found the most gorgeous vegan ice-cream in you area, you would want to know about that right! And the same for knowing about that totally disgusting power bar popping up in the shops.

apples6. Ha, you thought I would stop at five! No, I have Aspergers I don’t like fives. 😀
Important tip number six is; be prepared, have a nut bar or a pice of fruit with you, because you might just find yourself hungry and in a place without vegan options.
Not to say It has to be hard eating out. You can use you vegan community to help you find great eating spots almost everywhere.

Oh, quick tips:

  • you are going to eat a lot of bananas
  • no, you are not going to die from protein deficiency
  • b12 is a good idea
  • learn to read on the back of Everything
  • Why not do some vegan cross stitch, download for free herekrosstitsh

I sincerely hope this helps you who want to go vegan and make the rest of you think about it. 🙂
Love to everyone, even the animals!


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Sweden meets Terror with Love

Should I write about this horrible thing that happened in Stockholm this Friday?
A city I lived in for eight years and know very well. I have walked that street many times, I have been just inside that shop-window that the truck crashed into. One of my favourite cafés is on Drotninggatan where the truck drove.drottninggatan-jpg

I read today that one of the casualties was 11 years old. She walked that street every day from school to the subway.
The authorities were extremely meticulous when identifying the dead and injured so her parents didn’t know if she was just missing or if it was worse, until Sunday.

The Swedish people met terror with love.polis-nalle-jpg

I am immensely proud of my fellow swedes! Since the subway and busses stopped running and the city was closed, lots of people had to walk home. The hashtag #openstockholm was created where people invited the affected to their homes if they were stranded or felt unsafe, and others helped drive people home.

The Royal Family and the Prime Minister showed their respect with flowers at the site.

This Saturday people were leaving flowers for the people involved, and also to the police to honour their work.
Police Car With flowers

And today, Sunday, there was a huge manifestation of love, where thousands of people came to support each other and feel united.DRkkdMg7RyL1f7AAkP_TcePRXVM

I wonder if I am one of those people who freezes in the face of danger or takes action. I will never know until it happens, hopefully I will never know.

Swedes Meet Terror With LoveHaving Aspergers is hard in a situation like this. I have trouble shielding myself from these sad horrible feelings, and it is leaving me exhausted. I can’t watch a news show about it, feel sad and then move on. It sits with me and fester. Its doing no one any good.
But in the shadow of this terrible event I feel only love towards my fellow human beings, and grief for those affected.

 

I guess I had to write about it.


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The Car as a Safe Place (New Car!)

Wednesday BNC (Before New Car):

We are getting a new car! I am so exited, I am so exited! “Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love ya, tomorrow, you’re only a day a waaaaaaay!” does it show?

Our current lovely car is a teeny tiny Toyota Aygo, that has been a great car for us and that I have felt very safe and at home in. We got it eight (wow is it really so long ago) years ago when we were living in Bredäng, a suburb of Stockholm.
It is a fantastic little city car. Not so much a forest car though.
It is blue and the thing is that it has absolutely no extras, it has negative extras, it is practically bare. Which is a good thing, because that means that a really nice, though small, car, had a comparatively low price, low weigh = good mileage, and is quite big on the inside (since there isn’t anything else in there).
Seriously it does not even have a glove box, it has a glove “shelf”. 🙂

aygo2

Don’t misunderstand me, I really love this car. It quickly became a safe place outside my home, and has made it possible for me to go places that I could not before. We could not have found our house and the one before without it, and we could not have lived a bit remote, like we want to.
It has made going shopping so easy, except for the getting the stuff we bought actually inside the car and home, but its surprising how good you get at gauging what can fit and “tetrising” things inside it. We have brought home a sizeable coffee table, a small desk, five rhododendron plants and know the exact length from the dashboard to the trunk door, for cutting pieces of wood at the lumber yard. Actually the things that has stopped us from getting things in there most often, is the size of the door openings.

This has been a great car, and it has not given us any trouble what so ever during these eight years, until a few weeks ago when the exhaust pipe got loose and rattly, which apparently is quite common and was easily fixed. We have called it little snail, the new car will be called Monster (Monstret), why will become evident very soon.

Thursday ANC (After New Car):

This morning we got up horribly early and got a ride from my parents to the car dealer, and after a lot of door openings, button pushing and paper signing we drove home in our brand new, literally its a 2017, red Skoda Yeti. Yeti = a Monster. 🙂

The new Skoda Yeti in red.

I love the aesthetics of this car, I like a high car and we were also thinking about a few other models with a similar profile. The Toyota Aygo is actually a quite high car too, despite its tinyness, and that was one thing that attracted me to it, also that we could actually afford it at the time. 😉

skoda-yeti-monte-carlo-available-with-12-tsi-and-110-hp-20-tdi_6

To change it up we went with red, and it is a lovely true red. Skoda calls it a mini SUV and it is comparatively huge and filled with extra things.
This one does not have a glove “shelf” it has a glove compartment that chills your drink! It has little storage places everywhere, as the picture below shows, all the orange are storage.  And it came with (excepting all the normal car stuff) a first aid kit, a reflective vest and an umbrella!

We have at least double the trunk space now and you can fold down or completely remove the back seats if you need to move something really huge. Also you can actually sit in the back seats, the ones in the Aygo were more for decoration. It has comfortable seats and it isolates the sounds of the road a bit better.

On huge difference though, we are leasing this car.
We know nothing about cars, and we really don’t want to know anything about cars, more than the parts that deal with driving the thing and simple maintenance. We don’t want to figure out what its worth later on when we need to sell it, or what that blinking red light wants us to do!
Now we don’t have to bother with any of that stuff, if there is anything wrong we just call a number, we know exactly what we have to pay and they do all the service and tire changing and red blinking light fixings.

yeti-mc-design-01

I feel really good about this car, it suits us here in the forest. We can rent a trailer and get firewood from my parents place. It can make it up the hills even when it is dirt roads or snowy in the winter. I think I will feel that “second home” feeling in this one too. Especially since we can bring more stuff and go on longer and more comfortable drives. I am hoping to take some small trips around beautiful Sweden this summer, which is a bit of a big deal for me as an aspie who needs her home base.


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