One of my life-hacks as an ADHDer

So, well, I stole this tip in part from a fellow ADHDer. It was a cover-story about a family of 4 where every single one of them suffered from ADHD. In the first few minutes, the mom mentioned casually that she always has the date of the last water-change of the aquarium on a sticker in the front, which usually prompts enquiries from visitors.

 

And voilá! Just like that, I had the solution for a problem of mine! I own an aquarium and, for those who don’t know, you’re supposed to change one percentage of the water (25-30%) every week or every other week, depending on how many living animals are producing nitrites in the aquarium. In my case, there are not a lot of fishes (it’s severely underpopulated) and I have plenty of plants, so I can stretch this for a longer time, but it’s not advisable. But I do. Because I forget. Because I remember when it’s a bad time to change water, and then I don’t remember when I have the time. Or I remember, but I figure out I changed it recently enough. But, but, but…

 

At one point, this problem became so bad that the plants actually…. crapped out on me -even if the fish were still pretty happy. The pants basically crapped out on my because algae took over – which is not pretty but doesn’t bother or harm the fish one single bit.

 

Well, I replenished the plants in the aquarium and for a couple of months, I have this stuck on my aquarium:

aquarium

It tells me when I cleaned it the last time, how often I’m supposed to change each filter component (there’s 3, they neither need to be nor can be changed simultaneously. How am I supposed to know when to change what out of the top of my head?!) and when I last changed each. As you can see, today I I cleaned it and changed the “Biocarb”. The Nitrax needs to be changed as well, but I’ll do that one with the next water change.

 

What you can’t see from the foto: this is written on a piece of paper and the paper was then covered in transparent film that goes over the edges and, in turn, fixates the paper on the aquarium (over the filter, so no blockage of nice bits, and yes, the filter is usually turned to the wall, but I have the aquarium as a sort of central room space divider). After every time I do a swap, I swab the last date with the makeup-pads and nail-polish remover I keep next to the aquarium and fill the new date in with a special marker. And voilá! Everything looks nice and is well kept.

 

What are some of your life-hacks as an ADHDer (or non-ADHDer, for that matter)?

ADHD and acceptance – food for thought

You would never tell a Parkinson’s patient “just get a grip on yourself!”. You would never tell a Schizophrenic “Just don’t listen to the voices.”. But us ADHDers so often hear “You just need to focus”

Or “you just need a plan”.

 

Or “that happens to me too, that’s no excuse”.

 

We (as in Society in a generalized way of speaking) accept an incredible amount of ailments and conditions of the mind. If a doctor or a news article explains that it has to do with a malformation of the brain (saaay, in the pre-frontal cortex) and/or with a chemical imbalance in the body (with saaay, dopamine), everyone is willing to accept that and even go to the extent of feeling sorry. In the very least, they try to respect and take some distance if they personally can’t deal with the person’s symptoms, but they don’t blame the person in question.

 

But with ADHD, well sure, we don’t hear voices. We are very clumsy, but we don’t persistently shake like people who are afflicted with parkinson’s. And yes: Parkinson’s and Schizophrenia are, for the patient and those surrounding them, WAY much worse than ADHD. But ADHD still is a condition. We still have to deal with it, whether others have it worse or not. But we drop things, we forget stuff, we procrastrinate, we fall into bouts of depression and anxiety.

 

So maybe we just need to be careful, get a planner, just do it and just have a bit more confidence and think positive. Hey, because everyone else can do it, right?

 

I once saw a big outdoor poster of an organization for helping families of those who have mentally challenged (do we still say it like that?) children. I remember staring at the woman standing with the child on that huge poster and intently staring at the child, wondering. Wonnnderiiing… because the child looked mentally challenged, but not quite. Quickly, my hyperactive brain came with an idea for a story: a single mom of a mentally challenged child struggles with lack of money and lack of help with her child. As a last resort for getting some money, she goes to a casting session for a poster of a foundation that helps families in need who have children with mental illness, trying to make money off of her child and its condition. When it’s her turn, they look at her kid and say “I’m sorry m’am. Your child just doesn’t look retarded enough for what we want.”

 

I sometimes think this is the trouble with ADHD.

An ADHD anecdote

So here’s an ADHD anecdote that happened to me a couple of days ago. Mind you, “normal” people will occasionally misplace things that will lead them to such intricate stories, they’ll have a good one to tell for the rest of their lives: usually repeating to me the same old story whenever I tell them the next weird one that happened to me. Yes, I get it, you once misplaced something and remind that to me whenever I tell you the story of one of the things I misplaced this week. You’re so ADHD. Hahaha.

 

But I digress! So, here it is: I’ve been having some trouble with my sciatic nerve and more often than not, it’s acompanied and eventually worsened by the stiffening and inflamation of muscles surrounding the nerve on the lower back. So a couple nights ago, I decided I was going to fall assleep with a warming flask on my back. So I put a pot of water on the stove (I own no kettles).

 

Now, normally, during the day, whenever I put something on the stove and leave the kitchen, I won’t allow myself to sit down so I won’t forget that I’ have something on the stove – somehow I can’t sit down when absent-minded, so this works fine. It’s a strategy I came up with before the diagnosis, when I nearly burned the kitchen down trying to boil a couple of eggs.

 

But it was night, PC was shut down, nothing I had to do standing up, so I set the alarm clock in the kitchen. I went into my room and proceeded to rub some anti-inflamatory ointment on my lower back. Then I washed my hands and got a bit distracted in the mirror. But not a lot. Just enough, that I realized it was night time, I was in desperate need of boiling water and had nothing to do but stare at it.

 

So I did. I went into the kitchen and impaciently stared at the water. It was far from boiling. There were only now tiny bubbles of air forming on the bottom. But with my typical impatience, I decided it might be hot enough, turned the stove off and poured the warm water into the flask. I made some mental excuses like “You always pour the water too hot, anyway!”

 

Satisfied, I went into the bedroom and proceeded to lie down on my stomach on my bed, place the warm flask on my lower back, and then tried to cover myself up til the head, while on my belly the whole time. A complicated task that more often than not makes me feel lonely, but I was awesome that day! I did it so well and so quick!

 

And then I opened my e-book and *BEEP-BEEP ….. BEEP-BEEP*. The alarm clock in the kitchen went off. I didn’t forget to turn the stove off, but I forgot to disengage the alarm when I took the water off the stove.

When your best isn’t good enough… reassess

(This is a hard post. My head keeps finding ways of not sharing it, so bear with me)

Some people like making new years resolutions – new year, new me.

 

Others, like myself, get fired at the beginning of the new year and are forced to start anew.

 

I wish I could blame my ADHD for my getting fired, I really do, but the truth is, though I have a hard time keeping a job, it’s usually me who quits. More often than not, I’m an extremely valued employee by all, most of all by my colleagues. Out of the 3 times I’ve been fired in my life, I can honestly say that I was only once at fault; it was only once that my ADHD caused me to act up and blow up in my boss’ face – and let me tell you, even without shouting and insulting, that boss of mine a couple of years ago had every harsh word coming to her.

 

One other time, I was caught in a wave of layoffs and selecting me was a political move (I was too close to the worker’s union).

 

This time, I unknowingly annoyed the boss’ mommy. I’ll spare you the details, I’l only say this much: it’s not normal that a grown-ass woman refuses to even look somene in the eye, after that someone got her ass ripped by the boss and is humbly saying “I do apologize for causing such a misunderstanding”. You at least look at that apologetic person in the eye, if not with your chin up high and your hand triumphantly on your hip.

 

But I received not so much as a glance while apologizing for a slight I did not even commit. There was only an incompreehnsible mumble from someone who herself had accused me of being unpolite. And after a month of depressively dragging myself to work everyday because I knew my being fired was eminent, it happened.

 

I was summoned to the boss’ office and fired the first week-day after New Year (mind you, I was working on the 1st of January), after I had finished my shift. I still had two weeks left to work according to my contract, though no one – boss included – would expect me to show up. Since I had the next two days off, I decided to sleep on it. I was considering on keeping up my end of the contract and go to work, show up two days later, chin up and enjoy the shock and horror on the face of the lady who was the reason for my being fired. But I do have a tendency to depression and anxiety and my feelings eventually got the best of me.

 

Constantly torn between the beginnings of an anger black-out and the verge of tears, I decided to do the best for my health and go to the doctor and apply for sick leave on grounds of temporary mental instability, no matter the financial consequences. I thought I’d be in such a state of shock that I’d be very coherent when talking to my doctor, but as soon as she asked what was up, I turned into a snotty, sobbing mess.

 

It’s easy to hit a low when you have ADHD – or any other form of mental impairment, I would assume – but it’s even easier when everything around you crumbles down despite your best efforts. Despite informing myself about my condition, things can still go to hell when they’re not supposed to – I won’t say I’m never snipety with people anymore, but I’ve been getting very VERY good at managing it, and I ended up alienating someone with whom I had never had a real problem anyway.

 

I wallowed in self pity for a few hours and after remembering myself and feeling a bit positive, I’m indulging in cooking, talking with friends and family and reading up even more about avoiding and solving work conflicts for people who have ADHD. But what is more importment, I’m reassessing what really is my best effort and why it’s not working.

 

So far, I’ve come up with the notion that my best effort might be brilliant but totally misplaced. I’ve had the feeling that I need a dramatic change in my life, and I’m going to put my best efforts into making that change now. I just hope it won’t come back to bite me in the ass!

Stand up to your bullies! – my dealings with irritability

I have a really big problem with people. Like massive! Like I’m all thumbs when it comes to people – that intricate, living piece of work. I also suffer from extreme irritability because of my ADHD – the one symptom that finally tipped my shrink off. But I try. It’s extremely tiresome. For a long time I shut up and kept it all in in fear I might explode – the occasions on which I could muster up the inner peace to talk it out with a “Workplace-bully” were very rare. I did this because I did explode once in a while – when I couldn’t keep it in. But my shrink, prescription drugs and lots of soul-searching, ADHD-literature reading and blog-chatting with fellow ADHDers has made me take amazing strides lately I wouldn’t have believed possible a few months ago. A huge one was today.

I’ve had a new job for 3 weeks now, which is always very tough for someone who is irritable – everyone trying to tell you what is what, many people assuming you might be some kind of retard when it comes to small stuff and then assuming you’ve been there your whole life when it comes to big stuff… the works. At my new workplace, although no one will get loud, there is a MASSIVE lack of respect for co-workers: quickly mixing something on your work bench and leaving an uncleaned mess, taking stuff and not returning, using all the butter up and not replacing it… There is one colleague, though – and I’ll call him Lenny – who is worst than all others.

Lenny is an old-fashioned man who is used to have it his way because he’s about 60 at a workplace where the average age is 25. He’s used to play the age card among kids and claim to be important because of the extra-time he makes – like no one else makes extra-time. Lenny likes to bring his old cartons to weigh stuff on our scale and wordlessly toss the cartons into [b]our[/b] pile of carton for recycling, without even flattening the boxes, instead of disposing of them himself. Lenny also insisted on telling me yesterday, when I was getting rid of our carton – our boxes neatly flattened and folded and his in original shape – that I’m supposed to flatten the cartons (insert ORly owl here). Lenny likes to come in our room and, while turned my back to pick up a shovel of sugar, wordlessly toss my container from the scale and put his own carton for weighing there. Lenny likes to come into our room and, when I turn my back to pick up something, spread his shit all over my work bench.

Lenny is an entitled asshole.

Today I had enough. When I left the room for a minute to pick something up and caught him mixing something my work bench, I called him on it: “No, Lenny. That’s my work bench and I need it, go work someplace else, plenty of tables around” (2 empty tables, to be exact, and several other surfaces suitable for what he was doing at the moment) and Lenny says “I’ll be done in a minute.”

I sighed. The nerve! “Lenny, I don’t need my bench in a minute I need it right now. I don’t care, I’m squeezing in, so scooch!” I picked up my trays and started carefully squeezing them between my setup and Lenny “Get away! I said I’ll be done in a minute!”. Jesus, seriously?

Since I didn’t want to fall in the ridicule of being brushed off of my workplace, I decided to start pulling jokes. I started playfully squeezing more and more and leaning into him – people who don’t like to be touched usually get the drill and move away, but although he only had one small item on his hands, he was still taking up all of my space and refusing to move or see the flaw in his behaviour. It was unnerving.

Since he had replied in a very snippy fashion, I moved away from him and walked around him to face him and told him “This is some nerve coming from you, Lenny! There are plenty of tables around here and you have to take my bench. This is not right! I don’t go to your workplace and get in your way!”. Ridiculously, as if anyone would believe it, he replied “Well, you can.” Well, I told him “No, that’s just not how it works. …….. Lenny, I’m gonna take your bowl away pretty soon.” and still that entitled asshole wouldn’t budge. So, instead of being agressive and snapping the bowl from under his hands – which I could, standing where I was – I resorted once again to playfulness, grabbed his bowl with both hands, and very gently as not to disrupt his work, I started slowly pulling his bowl “Lenny, enooooough, I need my bench…” big mistake. Oh, did he snap big time. He almost shouted at me to stop, not pester him, how rude of me, etc. I was flabbergasted. Really, I was. I didn’t even feel like smacking him, I was just so shocked at such an anti-social behaviour I had no words left in me.

But funny enough, he was either very upset or he really did finish his work and grumpily moved away from my work bench. I was, by then, feeling very jittery and shaky from the conflict, but I took a deep breath and started working. Lenny, however, would not let it go. He still had to use a machine in the other end of the room, and he mauled at me from there the whole time. Mostly stuff along the lines of me being rude, and the nerve on me to disrupt his work and that I needed to respect him. I replied from where I was “The same goes to you, mister!” that only agitated him more. I realized he wanted to have the last word and whenever he angrily mumbled I had to respect him, I said “right back at ya!” – I will not have someone this disrespectful get away with such comments about me – and he got even more rude and said “You just shut up! You be quiet right now! The nerve, trying to take my bowl away from me while I’m working…”. I said he was the one still talking and, after musing on giving in to my mean streak to provoke him unendlessly and deciding against it, I forced myself to let him have the last word.

But he wouldn’t stop. I realized he didn’t want the last word, he wanted the last 100 words. He kept on ranting and ranting to himself, and first I kept quiet, but eventually it became so tiresome I said “You’re the one still talking, I’ve been quiet for a while now.”. When I heard im again ranting about how disrespectful I was and he wouldn’t stand for it and he’d go to the boss if I didn’t show any manners, I suddenly snapped.

Truth be told, I would’ve LOVED to go to the boss. Because first of all, I can’t imagine the boss would take drastic measures and secondly, even if I got fired, I don’t want to work with disrespectful people who will get away with anything. But I did realize I had ruffled feathers up with no intention. I dropped what I was doing, and calmly walked to him.

That’s when I saw the man was red like a tomato. I could swear even his eyes and hair had turned red. He refused to look at me. Not in an arrogant way, but in a furious and beaten down way, like he couldn’t believe anyone had dared stand up to him. Because you see, no one does. He’s like a big child. People all around me will let people like him be disrespectful and will shrug it off with an “old dogs don’t learn new tricks”. They enable this. And I simply refuse to play along. Not when it’s this bad.

Although he kept telling me to shut up and go away, I said “Lenny, I think I unintendely offended you, it is not what I was going for. I simply wanted to get to my work and decided to make a joke out of it, I was obviously unsuccessful at that…” – “You’re damn right you were!” but still no eye contact. I kept looking at him straight in the face and went on “I realize that now. I didn’t mean to offend you and I’m sorry. I need you to know that I meant no disrespect and will try my best that it doesn’t happen again in the future. (where the hell was all this coming from?! I kept surprising myself) I do need, however, that you try not to interfere with my work”.

The rest is kind of history. He was obviously still very upset and kept ranting at how disrespectful I was and how he’ll always take my table if he feels like he needs it. But after I told him my mind, I went back to my work, still jittery and obviously distracted, but I did my best and he eventually had to leave the room. He was flustered, but quite on his toes for a while (“this filth here on the microwave wasn’t me, ok?! Just so you know! Before anyone tries to pin it on me!”).

There was, you might surprised, a 3rd person present in the room the whole time – another colleague who I’m still not very fond of and who made no attempt to mitigate the situation or help in any way. She just came to me after a while and said “Boy, I think you really struck a nerve with Lenny….” I said I noticed it too, but I’m very particular about my workplace and I simply cannot have it when someone not only takes my space, they refuse to apologize or even admit a fault on their side. She added “I’m just saying, don’t be surprised if he’s in a bad mood when he needs to come in here…” I told her “I picked up on that already. But  I already apologized and explained what’s up. From here on, I’ll just stay polite and things normally work themselves out. And if not, it’s certainly not MY problem.”

It was a great achievement for me, keeping my cool in a situation like this and still confronting someone. I just felt it was too bad I had to have a similar situation with my sister later on, but this post is long enough as it is.

ADDmitedly a rough couple of weeks – staying positive (longread)

Staying positive is hard. The hardest part for me is knowing that it’s not all up to me. A better part is knowing I’m getting help. I’ve been getting help from doctors even before I knew I have ADHD.

Just today I was lying in bed, remembering how awful it was just 2 years ago when it started. I got fired from my job as a statement from the new Operations Director because I was getting too chummy with the union’s committee at work. I had been living for two years in a country that felt like a big tub of water repelling little ol’ olive-oil drop that is me.

I remember how awful sleeping was, back then: I felt tired but I just lay in bed. You know how when you’re falling asleep, in your last moments of consciousness you feel your body getting heavier, sinking in and having that one last thought “This is it, I’m going … I’m delightfully sinking,weeeee…”; do you know that feeling as well as I do? Well, I didn’t have that feeling back then. I lay there, eyes closed, tired and yawning with my eyes closed. Yawning until my closed eyes stated getting teary from the exhaustion. Yawning. I didn’t fall asleep, I fell into unconsciousness. I know this because I know I was eventually not awake. I knew this because it was very violent when the alarm clock went off. When it went off, I woke up like something exploded. It was the only time when I knew what it was like feeling disoriented for a couple of seconds, panicking because I didn’t know where I was and what was going on.

The doctor helped. He got me to sleeping regularly in a short time. I moved away from Austria. I moved back to Germany where I felt welcome again. Like I can connect with people anywhere. It was hard making the change at first. Later, the meds helped. What helped the most, though, was not stopping. Because I didn’t stop, when I felt better, I found everything standing right where I left it – I didn’t have the overwhelming and positivity-cancelling feeling of having to pick up the slack.

Having a tendency for depression and anxiety – that was non-existent in my teens and explosive once I got to college – it’s long been one of my mottos: “keep doing stuff. Eventually, if you get to the point you’re happy, you have most of the work done already!” 

Back in April I got an old used bike from a co-worker. From trying to fix it alone to joining an internet Forum and meeting some nice helpful people, with all my ups and downs I ended up getting a 2nd hand bike on E-bay in end of July and, end of August, doing a Tour of about 45km (30 miles) with people I met on the forum. I felt like I was on my way to changing my life. I had also gotten a job offer I quite liked. From whining and complaining that I was lonely and bored during my phone calls with my best friend, I had something new to tell – ok, still feeling a bit lonely, but not bored. It felt like the things I’d been working hard on were finally paying off!

And then I went ahead, and right after the job interview, I crashed my bike. I crashed really hard. I finished my planned tour – crazy gal that I am – but at home, I realized that I needed a doctor. I still could muster enough courage to do a trial-day on my soon-to-be new workplace, but after that, the muscles started bitching and moaning that they were gonna clench up nice and tight to compensate for the fall. I got immobile. I tried my best to go for a walk one hour a day and try to go window shopping, not sit on my ass all day.

But I did sit longer than usual and combined with the new pill I had started a couple of months ago, my left leg cramped up first. Then it wouldn’t let go. Then the pain became unbearable and I couldn’t walk. I had had a DVT – a Deep Vein Thrombosis. I almost couldn’t believe it, because even though I’m obese, I’m not morbidly obese. I walk on a regular basis, I have very low cholesterol and it’s simply not a common thing at 33. It was the pill (that I started taking because of mind numbing pain when on my period) and the sitting. I’m going to be home a total of 6 weeks. I have to bandage and rebandage my left leg several times a day until my “tailor-made” compression stockings are done because I have to keep the leg compressed. The bandage makes it hard to walk normally.

I had to cancel my trip to my best friend: the plane ticket to go to her in France had been a gift from her, non-refundable and we had both looking forward to that trip for months now, mentioning it every week in our phone calls. Because of the DVT, my doc forbade it.

Hit another financial crisis: the little help I got from the state had to be renewed, and because I have a new job in two weeks, instead of saying I still get the money before I get the new job, they decided they can only decide it in December – after I have proven them that I still have a crappy job for two weeks and not so crappy job come mid-October. So after paying lots of medical bills (which are teeny tiny in Europe, but there was a lot of them and I don’t have much), I have no money to pay for my cell and my electricity, even after I asked family for money.

I have been a sobbing mess most days and though I have new ADHD meds, I think they’re working better, but I can’t even tell because well…. it’s an extraordinary situation right now. So it’s hard to stay positive. It’s hard because, although I kept moving, there is still some slack to pick up (the financial slack, that one wasn’t 100% my fault). It’s very hard because I realized, being single and having family and friends far away, that there is no one to help me on my day-to-day life. I’m not completely alone, but there just isn’t any kind of support in the type of mild sickness that almost knocks you off your feet but still leaves you some autonomy. And that sucks.

I had a bitter glimpse of what the future might be like for me despite my best efforts; a glimpse of how poor and inadequate even the best of my efforts are and it’s hard not to panick. It’s hard not to go bonkers. So I sometimes panick and sob. I think this is normal. I’m still thankful for some things.

I’m thankful for being the kind of person who can at least still truly enjoy some little things. In a while, I’m going to the supermarket on foot (can’t afford my bus ticket this week) to fetch a can of pineapples. Because I’m going to bake a one-person-version of a recipe from the french baking-book my best friend gave me for my birthday. And the sun is shining, so I’m gonna be listening to my music, strutting and smiling and happy for at least 5 minutes.

And 5 minutes in 24 hours isn’t much, but if it’s all I can get right now, I’ll gladly take it! Because that’s what staying positive is. It’s not ALWAYS being positive. It’s being able to acknowledge the good parts and marvel at them when they come unexpectedly; it’s being able not to poop all over it just because you feel like crawling in a corner and dying for the other 23 hours and 55 minutes of the day.

Well, gross exaggeration on the crawling and dying part, but you catch my drift? ;)

Longread – It’s not about the plus size

So, I still have the Plus Size Tag on my reader. There are blogs and posts that are simply worth it. There are blogs or at least entries that border on whiney and display an incredible amount of insecurity about their appearance – carefully pinning it on society at all times, because god forbid we take responsibility for anything.

I’ve read rants written by fat chicks who were acting really rude on a plane and pinned the bad reaction of other passengers on her being fat – and she describe her rude behaviour as being acceptable. It’s just that, when you’re rude, you can paint it the way you like, we’ll notice you were acting rude and entitled. It’s not about the plus size.

A painful rant I recently read was of a blogger who was shamed by a serious a-hole at a restaurant for something she didn’t even say (her friend did); she was screamed at and told to shut her trap and called a fatty several times. As much as it pained me too to read something like that, because I too have crossed paths with a-holes, the point in question was: the man was an a-hole. If it weren’t for her weight, it would have been something else: her dumb face, her wannabe high-class clothes, whatever. The problem was the guy. It’s not about the plus size.

When I was about 20 and quite heavy already, I was strolling along the garden when a gipsy woman came in my direction saying “Hey miss, let me read the palm of or hand! Come here, don’t run! I’ll tell you where you’ll find the man for you!”. I dodged and went my way, fuming. When I got home, I told this to my big sis and added “that presumptuous bitch! If I were thin, she would’ve tried to goad me with money!”. As I already knew back then, it’s not about the plus size.

There is a popular blog/vlog of a couple of plus-sized women trying on plus-sized clothes and showing how bad they fit and I could just SMACK those women on their behind for their flawed, childish logic. Plenty of skinny women with larger hips, narrower hips, broad shoulders, asparagus-like shoulderlessness, etc. Because people come in all shapes and sizes and that includes the skinny women, they need to look for something that fits too. It’s not about the plus size!

Prêt-à-porter is a fancy word, not so fancy in the original french because then it simply means “ready to wear”. In order to make production accessible, they a mould for each size, and each size will have roughly the same proportions. Some women it will fit better, some it won’t fit as good. Because, just imagine, we all have different proportions and as we all know, as much as half an inch can make the whole difference. No matter the size. It’s not about the plus size.

Some plus sized bloggers bitch and moan about how some companies will make supposedly large sizes but cut them really tight, like they want us to feel bad about ourselves and I have to wonder how anyone can be that self-absorbed and not realize skinny women go through the same. A girl I worked with, a  1,75m = 5’9” slender girl once rolled her eyes and said she had T-shirts ranging from an S to an XL, and even one XXL! Sure, there really should be a standard measurement every company should by law be forced to apply, I totally agree, but: It’s not about the plus size.

My sis came on a shopping trip to Berlin and she wanted to buy a denim jacket by a very famous american company. My sis is 1,62m = 5’4” and so skinny, her BMI is on the lower border of the acceptable. She was looking for an L!! I insisted the M would be enough, as the S would already be acceptable for someone her size but she stubbornly looked for L and when she didn’t find it, she resigned to try an M which, much to my shock, was really too tight for her. Where in the world is that woman a Large person? Not even in China! It’s not about the plus size!

I’m also flabbergasted about the amount of girls complaining that they can’t go shopping together with their friends. Clothes shopping was never a social event for me. Maybe it has to do with the fact that growing up, my clothes were a mix of the cheap rags my mom bought for me (without me being able to choose) at the street market for the lowest price possible and when she occasionally after much begging and crying put 25$ in my big sister’s hands and allowed us to go to the mall where I made a point of going to the cheapest trendy store (Zara) and buy as much as I could with it (which wasn’t much anyway. A pair of jeans and 2-3 T-shirts). But my friends at school who had allowances and were allowed to go out with friends didn’t make a social event of it either. I guess those were different days, but although I like fashion, I can’t imagine a more vapid occupation than clothes shopping in group the whole day.

People complaining about only being able to buy Plus Size by catalog…. Eh… I dunno, I kind of get, but then I don’t. I like trying stuff at home, knowing the mirror I’m trying it in front of. I like being able to try right away if this top goes with THOSE jeans and shoes just like I imagined it and I guess I have the up-side of living in Germany, where most online catalogs will provide you with a stamp for a cost-free return of clothes that don’t fit.

I have to wonder about the confidence problems of people when it comes to their shape and size because I have to wonder what kind of person bases their self-worth on their looks. What kind of person finds this acceptable and what kind of person will claim to be a self-reliable, thinking human being and still not take responsibility and go around pointing fingers. But I’ve met enough skinny and vain people in my life too, so that too can’t possibly be just about the plus size.

I’m overjoyed when I see blogs of Plus Sized bloggers who do mention the plus size but don’t make it about the plus size, they make it about the fashion. The way it’s meant to be. Because liking fashion and clothes doesn’t make one automatically vain. I too like aesthetically pleasing clothes, I like to put effort in an ensemble if I go to a party or sometimes just when going out alone, just for the fun of it. But I don’t feel like making hardship on any subject about the plus size. I find it’s just not fitting.