Acceptance and Awareness, Dignity & Respect, Equality, Independence

Getting More in to a Normalized Pattern

Six days before the Governor of Pennsylvania ordered all Personal Care and Health Clubs to be be closed, was the last time I got my haircut. I usually keep on a rigid routine of every fifth Thursday of having it done because I enjoy it. But for 3 Months and 1 Week, I was unable to visit the Hair Salon as was 13 Million Pennsylvanians.

I wasn’t always keen on getting my haircut. Until I was a tween, I went to the family barber and that didn’t really appease me. It was just too rigid and in a very cramped space. The barber was nice, I was just overly sensitive to the space and the environment of a barber shop.

From that point, I usually went with either my mother or grandmother and while they were under the hairdryer, I would get my hair cut. For 17 years, I mostly have had the same stylist, excluding almost the amount of times I could count on my hand I didn’t for one reason or another. Sometimes hair places I would visit would have sensory overload, like the size and acoustics of a place.

While having my present stylist, we have moved locations to what is now stop #4, the last two her own businesses, the last one her own building. For me its not my identity of needing to have this pampered service. It’s what works for me. In her present space, the lights are dimmer, the sounds are minimal as are distractions. Clients are seen by appointment only, so there is no uncertainty of when or if you can get your hair done. This has been done for a year now, because of the demand of the salon before COVID-19, State guidance after COVID-19 mandates it to be this way and as such they cannot accommodate any more clients. As such as a result of COVID-19, screenings are administered and a maintenance fee is procurred because of all the extra procedures.

My hair never gets really long due to some of the medicine that I take, however it grew in and wasn’t too bad although there was more than their usually was. It feels alot better and I am glad I had it done.

I thought I would dislike being in a mask getting my hair cut and was a little anxious about it before going today, but it really wasn’t bad and very painless, except with hair clippings getting in my mask, Which, after coming home, I washed it as a precaution. There was some processes, such as blow drying that couldn’t be performed, but that didn’t bother me at all.

Some other things around town are getting back to normal, like the gym (it was always not crowded) and the mental health clinic (although telehealth is still available.) It goes to show that I am a brave trooper for trying things such as going back to program and work, because others are still having concerns for this, and I have to commend our commonwealth for continuing our telehealth to our most vulernable citizens, including individuals on the spectrum who may not understand these new, cumbersome procedures.

Sadly, its what we have to do and for me it can be overwhelming at the end of the day where I experience burnout and take it out on my parents and it’s not fair to them for me doing that. It’s alot to get through each day, but its getting better, day by day. It can be hard because I have had alot of transitions in the past four and a half months, but things are slowly getting back together.

Today in our county, the COVID-19 Cases hit 100 since the start of the pandemic. In a way I should be worried, but as long as I follow all necessary guidelines, I should be fine. I’m beginning to understand that I can’t control others, even though I want to, but it would be negative and possibly dangerous to do so. All in all, as long as I protect myself and myself from others, I can do only what I know is best.

Here’s to better times, everyone

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