Sunday, 30 September 2012

EOTD - grey and purple. Version 2.

Hello lovelies!

I hope you're having a good weekend?

Here's the second purply-grey look I've done recently. I used the a purple and pink from the Glamour Days and a grey and black from the Starry Night palettes by MUA for this look.

Apologies for the excess of photos. This is a look that came out quite well.









Do you like playing dress up?

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, 29 September 2012

EOTD - grey and purple. Version 1.

Hiya!

I'm really drawn to grey and purple at the moment and have done 2 such looks in about the last week.

The first was done using my e.l.f. 32 eyeshadow palette.

Top left off-white colour used over tear duct, bottom row purple used on lid, two greys bottom left used blended up and out towards the brow


 I'm wearing my winge in these photos. A winge, you say? A wig for the fringe :)





Lippie is MAC Viva Glam IV with a little gloss on top

Here are some images I edited in Picmonkey.



In my next EOTD - coming up soon - I pair similar colours with a hot pink glitter lip and a cat eye.

What are your favourite eye shadow colours right now?

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Houston, we have a problem. Pt 2.

Hiya lovelies!

I have a bit of a Lush 'Gorilla Perfume' addiction. There are 6 solid perfumes and 4 samples here.


L-R Imogen Rose, Tuca Tuca, Lust, Orange Blosson, Breath of God, The Smell of Weather Turnin, Karma, The Smell of Freedom

Imogen Rose is my absolute favourite of the bunch. It's absolutely divine. Let me say every other rose perfume I've smelled apart from this one smelled like pissy old ladies. Imogen Rose smells like a hug in a bottle. There's baby powder, rose (of course) and my favourite scent ingredient ever, vetivert (also referred to as vetiver or vetyver.)

From Gorilla Perfume

Main notes : rose oil, rose absolute, basil, bergamot, vetivert, ambrette seed, tonka, orris.

Real rose oil and absolute in amounts that nobody in their right mind would use; a soft, exquisite, powdery amber accord and the dry, woody vetivert notes make this eponymous homage to Simon's young daughter a beautiful, romantic, one-of-a-kind perfume. It's the scent of youthful innocence.
Always disappointed with other rose perfumes? Try ours: rose oil and absolute and just a hint of baby powder fragrance.

It's the kind of fragrance which ensures you can't stop sneaking whiffs of yourself you want to hump yourself when you wear it. A big fat bottle of Imogen Rose has been on my almost never-ending wishlist for over 2 years. One day it shall be mine! I love the whole ethos of Gorilla Perfume - no fancy bottles or swanky packaging, just damn good perfume.

I have quite a lot of perfume, both from indie sellers and well-known companies. 

What's your favourite perfume?

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Self care - How I feel good about myself

Hiya lovelies!

Following on from my post about self image, weight, diet and all that jazz, I wanted to do a post about some of the ways I make myself feel better or take better care of myself. Obviously this is a deeply personal issue, and I know everyone else's self-care will be unique to them.

Eating breakfast before I'm hungry.

Let it be said I am the crappest person ever at looking after myself a lot of the time. When everything gets on top of me, the easiest 'thing' to let slide is me. If I don't eat as soon as I've had a wash and cleaned my teeth I will possibly go all day through ignoring my hunger until I feel sick, shaky and at the verge of a migraine. Boo. Eating and making myself a drink as soon as I'm up before I get stuck into my day means I've got some fuel in me and everything else will go so much better. It's not rocket science, but at times I'm such a twot.

Doing yoga.

I've been doing yoga on and off for 3 months now and I can categorically say it makes me feel SO good. The only snag is, life events tend to turn up all at once just like buses and there are periods of time where I don't cope, and then it goes out of the window. If long enough passes, I forget how good it makes me feel, have a few weeks off and then spend every single day beating myself up. I'm a total masochist. Guilt and beating myself up are something I struggle with, which is part and parcel of depression. I have to give myself NO reason at all to self-flagellate, so this means exercising (even a little bit) as often as possible for me to feel proud of myself. For instance, last week I did 4 days yoga (about 25 minutes a day) and a day where I walked about 3-4 miles (that was an exceptional day for me, I would never normally be on my feet for that long.) I had no reason to beat myself up last week and I feel all the better for it. On a day when I've exercised I feel proud of myself, I'm more productive around the house and I feel better in myself. On the days I don't do it, I feel weak, lazy and sad.

It was quite the epiphany to realise exercise makes me feel better about myself. Whoda thunk it?!

Eating well.

I am trying to eat clean wherever possible. This means eating as little processed foods as possible. I endeavour to eat lots of fresh fruit (at breakfast only so I work off the natural sugars all day), lots of veg and salad, lean meats, fish, good oils etc. I also try to have as much organic food as we can afford. I try to avoid additives and products with an enormous list of ingredients. A clean eating website I get daily recipes from suggests aiming for products containing 6 ingredients or less if you must buy packaged products, as then you know you're getting a purer item, but the emphasis is on home cooking so you know what you're eating. I avoid caffeine, alcohol, carbonated drinks, sugars and most dairy. I do veer off - I have one takeaway a week and my snacks could be healthier, but when I consider how I eat now compared to what I was doing a year or two ago, I think I've come a long way. Just trying to live healthier makes me feel empowered.

Make up.

I am the kind of person that if I think I look good, I feel good. If I have greasy hair, haven't taken care of my skin properly and have no make up on, I feel gross and unmotivated to do anything. If however I spend half an hour at my dressing table looking after my face, if I'm all nice and clean and wearing something presentable, then I feel so much better. It can literally be the difference between sulking around all day like I have my own personal rain cloud or feeling happy and singing my head off. Obviously sometimes I go without make up or have a PJ day, but if I'm feeling really low, make up will almost always cheer me up and pull me out of a funk.

Getting shit done.

I am the best (or is it worst?!) procrastinator. I can give a massive pile of laundry waiting to be put away side-eyes for several days before doing something about it, but it'll eat away at me all the same. It's far easier just to do things that I know will piss me off if I don't. Also, if something really needs to be done, I'd best do it while it's in my head as Fibromyalgia steals bits of your brain, never to be seen again. I think they go to join the odd socks and missing pens in that mystical land called 'Lost Property'. So, getting shit done before I forget or before it starts to feel like a millstone around my neck is generally a bloody good idea.

Having a tick list.

I don't do a list every day, but if I'm feeling overwhelmed I will do a list. There's nothing as satisfying as ticking a few things off that bad boy. If I don't get everything done, phooey, just write the rest out on another list and call it 'Tomorrow'.

And most of all, the following point has been crucial to my physical and mental well-being - being self aware and being kind to myself:

Admitting I'm not Superwoman.

Balls. Am I really not Superwoman any more?! F U universe! Before I was ill, in a lifetime far, far away I had a busy job and a good social life. I was the one getting loud and gossipy after too many vinos and the first on/last off the dancefloor. I treated my body like crap doing every horrible shift pattern under the sun in my many jobs, travelled about all the time, barely slept, drank like a fish, took a few dodgy substances, and basically carried on like I was invincible. I honestly thought I was. I'd been as strong as an ox my whole life, and in many ways my size and strength made me fearless. I was always out on my own on nights out in London, or travelling back on my own after meeting friends. I'd fall asleep on the last train home, never worrying about being attacked as I had my shit-kicking boots on and was ready for whatever came. Well, what came was autoimmune disease!

My body has shown me in numerous ways that I'm not Superwoman any more. My body gets it, but my head often doesn't. This gets me into all kinds of scrapes when I bite off more than I can chew, or have a couple of good weeks and suddenly think I'm miraculously cured. One thing this whole thing has taught me is to BE KIND TO MYSELF when I feel awful. When my body is screaming at me, I listen.

So, when the depression is bad, when I've overdone it physically and even the thought of making breakfast feels like scaling Mt. Everest, I try to be kind to myself. If all I can do is feed myself and head on back to bed for a cry, then so be it. If I have to let people down and temporarily abandon my own plans to avoid a full-on physical and mental disaster, then I'll suck it up. If all I can face up to is making a cuppa and watching a film whilst wrapped up in my dressing gown, then so be it. If my husband comes home from work and asks what I did today and I say 'Breathed, and cried, and breathed some more' then that's OK too, because if I allow myself the luxury (and it is a luxury in these times) of listening to my body and acting accordingly, I genuinely believe these days will happen less and less.

So tell me, what simple things make you feel you're taking good care of yourself?

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Houston, we have a problem. Pt 1.

Hello readers!

Here is my lipstick, lipgloss and lipliner drawer.


Last time I counted there were 114 lipsticks and lip glosses in here. I have more in my handbag.

Send help!

What's your Achilles' heel?

I think I have several - lipsticks, eyeshadows, clothes and crafty bits like button and ribbon. Oh, and notebooks!

**Please note**
At the moment I have to moderate all comments as I have a particularly persistent spammer on my case. I'll moderate quickly though :)

Monday, 24 September 2012

OOTN - Pirate Wench

Aaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr me hearties!

This wench went out on Saturday night dressed as a pirate. It was my friend Rach's 23rd birthday. We went out to eat at our favourite restaurant, and it was lush as usual. I felt sexy and rawwwwwwwwwwr. A red lip never fails in that respect! I wanted to get drunk and do something wild and stupid but alas, too much month left at the end of the money and hubby was driving, so we both stayed sober. We still had oodles of fun. I have the occasional urge to get utterly debauched once in a while ;) Here are some shots of the night.




Rach & JP

My outfit:
Pirate hat, eBay (2011)
Stripey top Very (2010/11)
Pashmina, a gift
Black maxi skirt, Simply Be (2010 or earlier)
Stripey socks, eBay
DMs, Amazon
Hair feathers, Poundland
Ship brooch, eBay

Dressing up as a pirate is my favourite fancy dress, closely followed by a zombie.

What's your go-to fancy dress outfit?

I'm going to a horror themed wedding right near Halloween and I'm going as fat Morticia, so that should be fun! It'll call for a very long black wig. I can't wait!

Have you made plans for Halloween yet?

Here's my last week's worth of photos, if you missed them.

This week's photos - up to 23/09/12.

Hiya!

I hope you had a great week and an even better weekend. Here's my weekly run down of photos.
 

Treat biccies
Red hair
I bought a winge (a wig for a fringe) because I cut my fringe and TOTALLY cocked it up
Sparkly lips


Hanging out in front of one of my Momoa posters - he's a big part of my life ;)
My Bagpuss microwaveable slippers
I tried on a top hat and really liked it
Me trying to lick Jason Momoa - I'd get arrested if I ever met him


3 lovely sunsets and a pirate ship brooch


Yummy garlic bread
Hubby
Me and Rach (birthday girl.)
Garlic chicken


Eyelash extensions in
Eastbourne Pier
Our fave restaurant
A birthday firework



This week I

  • cut my fringe and did the worst job ever - I'm talking 5 year old with safety scissors bad
  • henna'd my hair my usual red
  • did lots of yoga and walking
  • had a really positive week
  • had a day out with friends
  • had a night out with friends and hubby to celebrate my friend's birthday
  • started to feel the chill of autumn
Have a great week!

Sunday, 23 September 2012

TW mentions of fat, diet talk, self image & loving yourself

Hiya!

I've been writing this post over the last few days as I want to share my feelings on a subject quite dear to me, so please bear with me as I meander my way to the heart of it. Please note these are just my opinions and I'm not intent on being preachy but when I'm fired up about something I can get a bit intense. I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments, whether you agree with me or not.

TW means trigger warning, in case you don't know. This is in case anyone who is sensitive to a particular topic can avoid it, or at least go into reading about it forewarned. These type of warnings are put on posts about emotive topics, for example talk about dieting (which might affect someone with an eating disorder), self-harm (talk of cutting might bring someone out of relapse) etc. etc.

When I first started writing this blog I didn't have very many followers (I had readers who were here because they were my friends, basically) and I didn't expect to gain many followers, because at the time I was just waffling on about my life. For about the first 2 years of writing my blog I didn't use the tag feature (for people to search within my blog by certain 'tagged' subjects.) A few weeks ago I started to go through all my posts to attach the relevant tags as I was getting peed off with my own lack of organisation. As I did so, I started to read back on my posts and was really shocked at the way I used to talk about myself a couple of years ago.

To zoom forward before we go back again, I've been on Tumblr for about 18 months now, but only seriously for about the last 10-11 months. There is a really great fat community on there, full of really inspiring people who inform, educate and uplift. Since being on Tumblr, I've started to think of myself in a totally different light.

Some of the things I used to say about myself in my blog and in my photo captions were really horrible. I've always had a self-deprecating sense of humour, and I've always taken the piss out of myself pretty mercilessly. I once saw someone on Tumblr say that we don't know who might be reading our blogs, so we can't just put anything out there about ourselves and not expect it to have repercussions on the people who read it. A light bulb went on. If I say horrible things about my double chins for example, how does that make someone feel reading who also has double chins?! So, as I read back the things I'd written about myself in the past while I was adding tags, I changed a little bit inside. Any time I spotted anything horrible I'd written about myself, I deleted it. If a whole blog was about dieting or wanting to lose weight (more on this further on) I reverted it to a draft so no one has to see that, as at that time I wasn't wanting to do it for the right reasons. I wanted to be smaller. I didn't want to be healthy. I wasn't being kind to myself, and I think you have to think kindly of yourself before you embark on a lifestyle change. You have to love yourself to begin with so you can give yourself the best care.

Incidentally, on the subject of my chins, they've been one of the hardest things for me to accept on myself, until I found a photo of myself from when I was 17 and emaciated. Guess what?! I HAD A DOUBLE CHIN WHEN I WAS SO SKINNY MY BONES HURT. They're a part of ME. Fat or thin, I'm just someone with a lot of chin. Now, I'm a lot less down on my chins. And damn, they're so soft. They make velvet feel like sandpaper. Ha! So, yep, I love them now and am letting a lot more pics of them creep into my posts, apart from when I do a tilt-head-back thing when I laugh, because I'm not all the way there yet with this self love thing. It's a process, it's a journey, and it goes backwards and forwards. I love myself some days more than others. We all do.

So, what are my feelings on dieting now? 

Dieting: Restrict oneself to small amounts or special kinds of food in order to lose weight. [From Google search definition.]


RESTRICT. Interesting choice of word.

Well, I've binned the word 'diet'. It now offends me as a concept. It instils the belief in people that for a short time of suffering or restriction you can have long term results. I think the entire thought process behind 'dieting' is harmful. It's not usually about being kind to yourself, it's usually about losing weight as quickly as possible no matter what damage it does to your body. Let me make it clear - changing your body or wanting to change your body is not a bad thing. Being realistic about how you're going to get there and how you are going to take care of yourself in the process is key. To me, dieting isn't realistic and doesn't scream 'I'm taking care of myself'. Dieting is about restriction, punishment, whereas eating well and exercising moderately are about taking great care of yourself. Giving yourself something, not taking it away.

Dieting is about telling you a thin body is better than a fat body no matter what you do to get there. That is SO fucked up it makes me fume.


Obviously there are some plans which are healthier than others, ones which encourage moderate exercise and eating lots of fruit, veg, lean meats, fish and good fats. Then there are meal replacement shakes, meal replacement bars and other such plans where all good sense goes out of the window. I've been there. Doing one meal replacement snack bar diet as a teenager, I was so hungry I had to crawl downstairs on my hands and knees in the middle of the night to eat a slice of bread as I was in so much pain I couldn't actually stand up. Doing the milkshake meal replacement diet was equally as disastrous. Starving yourself and depriving yourself of vital nutrients isn't going to make for sustainable weight loss. Of course it isn't, that's the fucking point! If you 'fail' they want you to think it's because you're greedy and useless, not that their product is designed to make you yo-yo in a cycle of self-loathing, coming back time and time again to give them money. BILLIONS of pounds are made every year off the back of the suffering and shame of people who want to be something other than what they are now. Compound that with a media who want everyone to hate themselves (as that keeps you miserable and spending) ESPECIALLY if you're 'fat' (i.e. anything over a size 12) and female, then it's no wonder it's so hard to think positively about ourselves.

It's about encouraging you to self-loathe, which is a fucked up place where only the diet companies win. You can't possibly succeed from a place where you're told you're disgusting at every turn. Dieting is not about health. It's about money and control. It's about making you believe only slim people deserve good things in life. It's about putting the idea into your head that the moment you hit goal weight the sky will fill up with glitter and puppies and it'll rain down on you, and the man who comes to your rescue from all the slobbering puppies will be the ONE. Puhlease. When people lose a couple of stones and say 'I was a fucking beast before!' it makes me sad, but we're all encouraged to do it. It's so insidious, and I was just the same as anyone, before Tumblr.

If you want to lose weight, great, amazing, good luck to you, just don't fall prey to the temptation to slate your 'before' off. You're still you, whatever you weigh. You're still deserving of love and respect. In fact, I think if you realise your worth before you embark on a fitness goal, you'll probably do better, but that's just my 2 cents. I love how Dawn French said after she lost loads of weight that she thought she looked great before and she thinks she still looks great now. I like that attitude. I think it's healthy. I base my self-worth on a lot more than the way I look, which I think is healthy, too. I base it on knowing I'm funny, caring, reasonably smart, and fun to be around. I base it on my constant quest to learn more about life and myself and on trying to become a better person inside (and gawd knows I need the help!) I base it on the great group of people I have around me - my husband, my family and friends who are all so awesome that I must be pretty damn awesome too ;) Too much credence is given to looks in society, which is really sad. I feel strongly the focus should be on health. This is crucial to me and I think there's a difference between going on a diet to LOOK better, and living a healthy lifestyle to FEEL better.

I have to say in the spirit of disclosure I am trying to live a healthier lifestyle. Lifestyle. I'm not starving myself. If I want to have a pizza, I'll have a pizza. If I want to eat my bodyweight in salad, I will. The key is to make my choices free enough that it doesn't feel like I'm punishing myself. I'm not accountable to some cult-esque diet guru once a week. I'm accountable to me. I'm eating well (lots of fruit and veg, lean meats, fish, good oils, trying to eat organic where possible) and doing yoga as often as I feel able (4 times this week.) Shrinkage might come as a result, but my 'goal' comprises of  keeping my health markers where they are now - great blood pressure, low 'bad' cholesterol, etc. and feeling great. Also, I make no bones about the fact that I want to be a mum. I'm getting older - I'm 38 - so my chances of conceiving are getting slimmer by the day, pardon the pun. Also, Fibromyalgia is likely to be slightly exacerbated by the extra weight on my joints. I'm realistic. I don't expect to be skipping through a sunny meadow every day if I lose a bit of weight. I don't expect Jason Momoa to declare his undying love if I drop a clothes size or three - although that'd be nice, but we might need a bigger bed to squeeze him in ;) I'll still have Fibro, CFS and all their little buddies. I'm not deluded enough to think life will suddenly become perfect, but if my changes are enough for me to get pregnant then great. It took me years to get where I am today, and I'm all about the slow burn in reverse. I don't actually know what my destination is, other than it's a point where I feel great. It's not a clothes size, it's not a weight. If I don't lose any weight but have great health markers and am healthy as fuck from eating loads of healthy food and doing regular exercise, then that's fine too. Doctors love to ram horror stories down our necks to keep us compliant little lambs, but many fat people live a long life free of illness and disease.

I will not be a better person if I lose weight.
I will not be liked or loved more BY ANYONE WHO MATTERS if I lose weight.
I will not be a failure if I don't lose weight.
I will still be me, whatever happens, and I am worthy of love and all good things.
So are you, whatever you weigh and whatever you look like.
Think kindly of yourself, you deserve it.

In my next personal blog, I will talk about self-care and the things that make me feel good about myself.

Thanks for reading!

TL;DR. Restrictive dieting=bad, taking wonderful care of yourself=good.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

New e.l.f. make up brushes

Hiya ladies! (and gents, if any are reading.)

I took advantage of e.l.f.'s £1 shipping to buy 2 brushes which I'd been after for ages - their Studio stipple brush and Studio powder brush. I also picked up a blusher as I *thought* I had the same shade before.






I bought both the powder brush and the stipple brush for liquid foundation. I've seen quite a few bloggers rave on about the powder brush for applying liquid foundation. Because the brush is so densely packed it means it picks up the product without being too 'thirsty' so it doesn't waste much product and it also does a great job of making your skin look dewy, not cakey. I used the powder brush today and it's really good. I haven't used the stipple brush yet, but I think I'll use it for areas where I need a more gentle action than the frantic 'wax on, wax off' circular method I use on the main part of my face. Buffing your liquid foundation in as I've described is a great way to stop it sinking into your pores or looking heavy. I tend to go up, down, left, right and do the aforementioned circles to make sure it's all buffed in properly. I think the stipple brush will be good around my eyes, where having the skin pulled about isn't a great idea. Both brushes are cruelty free with taklon bristles (synthetic animal hair.)

I bought this blusher 'Glow' because I thought I'd had the same shade before, but I hadn't, unless they've changed the formulation. The shade I was after was a sparkly peach, but this one isn't sparkly and is very powdery. I just tested it on the back of my hand with the brush inside - which is way too harsh to use with such a powdery product as this, by the way - and it was virtually undetectable and product fell away into the air when I blew on it. I will see how it goes over foundation and report back. The original blusher I had was a £1.50 one (before their pricing structure changed) so I need to go back and check the tiny label to see what the shade is.


Seriously e.l.f., a 3mm label with the product name on it is a tad too small for old birds like me to read, you know? :)

Right, I need to get into buying Christmas presents now and stop spending money on myself.

Have you bought any presents yet? I've done a bit but I've usually done a lot more by now than I have this year. We've had a hell of a year. I worked it out recently, since April we've been to Birmingham 3 times, Salisbury twice, Manchester, Mansfield, Cornwall, Winchester, Ware.... I think that's it, but that's not even including trips to London and Kent to see our families! We got married, hubby's brother got married and we've done thousands of miles in the car. It has been an expensive year, the most expensive ever. We have another trip to Manchester in 2 months, providing we aren't knee deep in snow by then, and then that's it for us, aside from heading off to see our families on the odd weekend here and there. Phew! I feel tired just thinking about it all.

What's your favourite make up brush manufacturer?

I love e.l.f. brushes and Eco Tools ones - the latter which can be found for a fraction of the price of the High St on eBay. I've bought 2 sets of 4 for less than the price of one set from Boots would've cost me.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Two very exciting videos and about comment moderation

Hello!

It's a great day for geeks today! Firstly there's been a second trailer released for the new Hobbit film, and also a behind the scenes video behind some of Game of Thrones' special effects scene from Series 2. 



I can't bloody wait to see that film!



This was quite interesting too.

Thanks for geeking out with me :)

What new film releases are you excited about? 
---
Also, I've just seen this on Buzzfeed and I think you'll like it, if you haven't already seen it on the internet. A love story in 22 pictures. It made me cry. What a couple! So inspirational.
--- 
I've had to change my comment moderation due to being INCESSANTLY spammed by some deluded soul trying to tout payday loans. So if you comment on a blog I will have to moderate it, but it'll be done swiftly. Hopefully soon they'll go and pester someone else!

Latest mani - MUA shade 1 sparkly navy

Hiya!

I'm working through all my MUA polishes so I can show you them. Then I have some Models Own polishes to show you, but first I need to decide if I'm going to give any away as Christmas presents. Too much temptation to keep as they are so sparkly!

Anyway, here we are. As usual with the rest of the MUA polishes I've tried, this one applied smoothly, didn't smell too awful and was opaque in 2 shades. The only downside I've found so far is that these polishes wear really quickly, not just on the tips but all over (I have ridged nails so that probably explains it) so you could use a top coat if you have one. I use Seche Vite when I have time. Please forgive the slightly sloppy clean up, I've run out of cotton buds. Argh!






Pretty, isn't it? £1 from Superdrug stores, Superdrug.com and the MUA Store.

Yesterday I:
  • did yoga for the first time in almost 2 weeks
  • henna'd my hair
  • (my scalp didn't like that so is weeping all over)
  • rocked a cardigan and slippers to save having to put the heating on
  • put on my winge (wig fringe) because I butchered my fringe when I cut it last week
  • worked out my next 12 outfit posts (without looking in my wardrobes to remind me)
  • forgot to text my mum to thank her for the postcard she sent me from Cornwall
  • filled in my eyebrows with sparkly eyeshadow for the first time and loved it
What have you been up to?

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Text post - On dealing with chronically ill people for friends, family and partners

Hello.

This is a little bit serious, so please feel free to pass this one up. I feel it needs to be said, however.

I haven't done as many posts this week as I wanted to. I've found myself in a position where the CFS has come to bite me on the bum. I struggle to find ways to describe how it feels to have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, or any other long term fatigue-causing illness. Imagine perhaps a dose of the flu or a particularly bad cold, where you have so little drive and energy you just want to lay in bed. A time where you think the housework can go sod itself, everyone can piss off and take their demands on you with them, and where feeding yourself feels like a total chore. It's like that, but for weeks on end, not mere days like a bug. Illness always ebbs and flow, but it takes very little extra effort to overdo it and feel like death for quite a long time.

One of the hardest things for me is other people not understanding just how much my health affects my whole life. In many ways it's my own fault because I have a mask up constantly, trying to hide how bad things are. There have been a few occasions this week when I've yelled at my hubby because his over-enthusiasm made him dismiss or ignore my fears (this is a common occurrence) and now here I am spent and he's doesn't get why. I need to educate him, but that in itself is an exhausting process. That's why I'm writing this piece - to (hopefully) give other ill people a way to describe how it feels to navigate a life surrounded by well people - be they friends, family members, colleagues or your partner.

At times I feel very, very alone.

Sometimes it seems I'm ignored when I say I can't do things or say no to events, which leads me into situations where I know I'll come out worse off. It often feels like people will only grasp my feelings on a matter if I were to start yelling at them, which is unfortunate as I really don't have the energy for shouting. This leads me into putting up with other people's errr....persuasion about certain aspects of my life until I am at the point where I'm about to explode. 

Probably THE most stressful thing for any chronically ill person is well people not understanding. Particularly people struck down with the over-optimistic gene.

'Well' or completely healthy people who are giddily over-enthusiastic tend to override the fears and wishes of ill people because they fail to see OUR reality through their rose tinted glasses. For ill people, when this kind of thing happens it feels like our thoughts and feelings don't matter to you, and it's a horrible place to be. It feels like YOU think you know what's better for us than we do.


Sick people know their own bodies, believe me, especially if they've been ill for years. They've been through times where they've felt so ill they've wanted to die, and most of all they know what will make them go there again. Please heed any sick people in your life and LISTEN to them. Listen to what they say and especially what they DON'T say. If you sense a lack of positivity about something it means you're likely to be putting them in an uncomfortable situation and will likely hurt their physical and even their mental health if they go along with your plans.

It's a tight rope act. It's not an easy job being a friend/partner/relative to a physically and/or mentally ill person by any means. Sick people need friends too, but it has to be on their terms, which is a difficult thing for sick person and friend alike. Sick people don't want to be selfish but have to be to survive a life which drains them so much already.

What tends to happen with me is I go along with other people's demands of me to keep a 'quiet life', especially when I'm dealing with someone who doesn't take no for an answer. There are people out there, who no matter what you say, carry on as if you've never said a word. They just don't hear you, so keen are they on their plan. Having to reiterate yourself over and over again is so, so exhausting for an ill person, so I just tend to let people walk over me and go along with it. The path of least resistance is also the least tiring. I go into situations sometimes knowing full well they're going to be detrimental to my health, but do so anyway to prevent having a long chat about why I can't do something. Sick people hate having to justify their no's.  We should not have to justify a 'no', EVER. We know ourselves so much better than you do, trust me.

If we say no to something, it's because we have no spoons left, not because we don't want to be your friend/partner, or we're boring, or we have something better to do. It's because we honestly don't know how we will get through to the end of the day, or manage to last the week without a meltdown. It's because we're mentally and physically overwhelmed and we just need to be left alone for a while to recover. 'Alone' will mean different things to different people. It might be a couple of hours to ourselves reading a book, a couple of days away at a friend's to experience life with no demands on us, a couple of weeks in hibernation with the phone off, or something else, but we will all need time out when we only have to think about ourselves and no one else.

Please be a good friend/family member/partner to people in your life who are sick, even though it's hard.

Ask yourself is your friend/family member/partner really keen to do this thing you've suggested so enthusiastically, or have you steam-rolled them into agreeing with you? Have you made it so they'll look unreasonable to say no? Please be aware the weight of other people's expectations of us is like a mill stone around our necks. We want to be able to do more and we already carry so much guilt. Giving us a hard time for not being as active a participant in YOUR life as you'd like does us no favours and can actually lead to us spiralling further into ill health. Please realise for very ill people energy reserves are so low even having to say no a couple of times about the same thing is exhausting. Even the thought of dealing with these circumstances and dealing with over-enthusiastic people makes me want to hide under the duvet for a week. Please understand unwell people have to make a decision about everything they do with regards to how much it will take out of them and how they will cope afterwards. It's NOT personal.

Thanks for reading. I know it's SO hard to understand something you've never been through, so thanks to everyone who tries. Thank you.

Your thoughts?

Instagram photos up to 16/09/12.

Hiya!

Another week has whizzed by and here we are with only 100 sleeps till Christmas! Are you excited yet?

New marker pens
Otex in my ear - I went deaf  for 2 days
Another lovely sunset
Giant sized Marmite


Dreamcatchers
Fiery sky
Me in the car
The park


Pretty flowers
I love autumn!
More pretties
Me in the peace garden



Hubby snapping away
Leaf fall
Changing colours
Palm trees in the park


Sunshine!
Lovely leaves
Shadows
My DM Mary Janes

This week I've:
  • Cut my fringe and made a total hash of it
  • Had a lovely walk around the park
  • Pinched a nerve in my back (recurring injury)
  • Watched lots of Red Dwarf
  • Wished Eastenders would hurry up and tell us who Kat's shagging
  • Ordered a faux leather skater skirt from Simply Be
  • Longed for more leaves to fall so I can take photos

Have a great week!

Thursday, 13 September 2012

OOTD - Live long and prosper

Hiya lovelies!

I'm here with a Trek-flavoured OOTD today. I thought up this outfit while I was in bed last night. Insomnia is great for ideas. I really need to have a pad by the bed. This tunic reminds me of Star Trek smocks and then I remembered the communicator badge we bought at the Forbidden Planet for hubby.






Here's the obligatory silly shot from me. I was jazz hands-ing.


Tunic top Evans £30 (2011)
Cardi eBay approx £8
Belt from a New Look dress
Leggings £7 (set of 2 for £14) Very
Wedge shoes Simply Be (2010ish)
Star Trek badge £9.99 Forbidden Planet

Remember, the geek shall inherit the earth!

Totally non-fashion question: Which Star Trek series do you like? My favourites are Voyager and Next Generation. 

I love all the films though and am looking forward to the new movie Star Trek Into Darkness coming out in 2013.



I LOVE this music!

Thanks for reading.


A few Sleek MakeUP purchases and swatches

Hello my ickle cockles.

When Sleek MakeUP had a discount code a wee while ago I bought a few bits and bobs I'd had my eye on.











How vampy is Mulberry?! I always used to wear a vampy shade like this years ago but had struggled to find a suitable replacement after my last one (which was from the Body Shop) ran out.

Blusher £4.49, 8g.
Pout Polish £4.49, 10g.
Lipstick £4.99, 3.5g.

Have you tried anything by Sleek?

Thanks for looking!