MY JANUARY TOP 5 MAKE-UP GEMS…

TOP5MAKEUP

So today I thought I’d share my Top 5 make-up favourites with you. It’s strange really but every time I hear the phrase ‘TOP 5’ I automatically think of those notes you used to pass to your friends back in school days constantly asking them what their ‘TOP 5 BOYS ARE’ every lesson! It would obviously change throughout the day depending on whether you’ve had a good lesson with one of them or not and then the said boys, when the note was secretly passed to them by your best friend who swore to not tell they would instantly get offended if they’d dropped down a place. A Top 5 school boy charts if you will. Remember those days? No? Oh… AWK!

Anyhoo enough reminiscing (Blazin’ Squad reference) let’s talk make-up.

So as you all will know by now that I suffer with severe eczema all over so finding the right make-up has been a constant challenge for me. I will be filming a make-up tutorial video in due course to show you guys how I cover it up and talking about all I have in my make-up bag but for now I thought I’d keep it simple and stick to 5 favourites.

TOP5MAC

Fifth place has to go to my…

concealer writing

This concealer really does the job required to a pretty high standard. I have red blotches all over my face so this really helps to create the illusion of my face being all one colour. It is very dry and I apply it with a concealer brush, dabbing it onto the red patches prior to putting on foundation. I mostly end up covering the whole face with it on most make-up days because my skin is so blotchy but it worry not about that because it creates a great even base for your foundation. I cannot stress enough how important it is to get your skin all moisturised and all that dry skin scrubbed off before using this. It can look horrendous if you apply it straight onto flaky skin. What’s great about this MAC product is that MAC will match up your colour for you there and then without you having to take any make-up off etc… so you know you’re spending your money on something that is right for you. There’s nothing worse than getting home with new make-up purchases to find they are the wrong colour! If I am ever having a make-up day I don’t go anywhere without using this little gem so I just had to throw it into my top 5. 

TOP5KATE

Forth place has to go tooooo…

lipstick writing

I just love the whole of the ‘Kate Moss’ lipstick range but my favourite of the month has to go to shade ‘05’. With it being winter I feel that adding a subtle rosy lip really adds a taste of summer to your look which I feel strangely really compliments a wintery theme. With my skin being red and patchy you’d think having a rosy lip would just enhance the redness but I find that it actually takes the attention away from it and draws attention to those juicy lips which works wonders for the rather worrying ‘she’s staring at my skin’ thoughts that nag away at anyone with a skin complex. I have a burst of confidence when I’m rocking this so in the top 5 it goes! 

TOP5DIOR

In third place comes the…

mascara writing

This is a newbee to my make-up bag. I have so much love for this. I frequently suffer with swollen eyes due to TSW or itching my eczema I have on the lids in the night so I need mascara that will open up my tiny key hole resembling eyes and will be long lasting throughout the day which won’t cause irritation. This Dior mascara really does tick all of those boxes. The brush is a huge factor when choosing any mascara and this one in particular is great for anyone with little eyes. It’s a small rounded brush that really gets to the root of all eyelashes. It also has a fixing agent it in which will make sure those lashes are curled as much as possible and will stay that way all day. This is great for those people with shorter lashes like mine and inevitably, the bigger the lash, the more open the eye looks. The colour is also really bold which is a weird thing to say considering it’s black but you do get a lot of mascara’s which say they’re black but need quite a lot of coats to achieve that colour. I only use two coats of this one which is great because no one wants clogged lashes. The spider lash may have been fashionable in the 90’s and 00’s eras but times have certainly changed. So for those reasons combined, it had to go into my TOP 5.

TOP5EYESHADDOW

The runner up in second place goes tooo…

eyeshade writing

I absolutely love this pallet. The colours are beautiful and they work great together. I mean, I recommend you don’t use them ALL at the same time but I mean, I wouldn’t judge you if you did. Whatever floats your boat and all that. It is a very versatile little pallet which can create a variety of looks for both daytime and night time make-up. The shades are subtle so you can’t accidentally go overboard easily which is always a plus factor, a problem a lot of us have! The eye shadows are really soft and light which is so important to anyone suffering with eczema on the eye lids. They also blend extremely well together making your eyes look a lot softer. I usually apply with a brush and then blend with a small blending brush. I find this much more effective and less painful when applying to that tender skin. This eye shadow is long lasting and doesn’t irritate my eyes at all so I use the dark brown underneath my eyes instead of harsh eyeliner that normally causes me to itch. This pallet is great if you’re on the move. Its shiny gold casing is just beautiful and with it being small, it’s great to just slip into the handbag for those emergencies! It also works as a pocket mirror as you can see so it really does kill 2 birds with one stone, except there will be no birds killed and no stones thrown. Result! So taking all of this into consideration I just had to put it as runner up!

TOP5FOUNDATION

So number 1 has to go toooooo
*DRUM ROLLS*

foundation writing

I cannot express how much love I have for this product! It’s absolutely flawless and I can’t make any complaints. With it being ‘double wear’ it really does give a great coverage and it’s surprising light making it easier to apply. You will need to generously moisturise prior to applying if you have super dry skin but once your moisturiser has dried this goes on so well. It’s silky smooth and gives a beautiful finish. I treat mine like a little pot of paint. Putting a tiny bit on my soft foundation brush and applying lightly to the face gradually. The last thing you want to do is rub it in. Treat your face a canvas, carefully painting it on. This technique works well with people suffering with dry skin. You need something that will lightly brush over it rather than something that will create more flakes because of harshness. What is great about double wear also is that you can sample before you buy. When you go to the estee lauder counter you can ask for a sample and they will discuss what colour they think you are and give you a 1 months’ supply in a little tub. Although, it tends to last longer than 1 month. If you get home and the colour isn’t for you, you can just go back and ask for a different colour so you can keep trying until you get the right one for you. I just absolutely love it so it had to be the winner of January’s favourites. 

TOP5MU

So those are my January personal favourites. Obviously everyone is different so what works for me might not work for you! I know how frustrating finding the right make-up is so I thought I’d leave my thoughts on a few bits and bobs to give you a helping hand. 
Leave me a comment and let me know if you’ve had any experiences with these products or if there are any products you would recommend.  Any question, don’t be shy, just ask. 😀
Thanks lovelies.xx
Amy-Lou ❤

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THE FACTS: What is TSW?

CREAM
Since I talk about Topical Steroid Withdrawal so much I think it’s only polite to explain what it is for all of you that haven’t heard of it before. There’s nothing worse than someone talking excessively at you about something you have no idea about, like when a friend started up a long conversation about the hypothetical situation of the sun being made of billions and billions of bananas and still burning as hot because of the pressure that’s created or something along those lines. I still have no idea how this works. I make my point!

So what Is Topical Steroid Withdrawal exactly?
Topical Steroid Withdrawal is the process of withdrawing from a Topical Steroid Addiction. So what is a Topical Steroid Addiction? Well it’s a fairly new thing that’s only come to light in that last couple of years. It only occurs in those eczema sufferers who have previously used steroid creams. Your skin becomes addicted to the steroid therefore comes back even worse every time you stop using steroids due to it craving more and more of the drug. Most patients start with little patches of eczema usually on the creases of the arms or legs when they are younger and gradually over the years of using steroid creams which is supposed to ‘keep it at bay’ (or so we were told) the skin develops an eczema known as Steroid Induced Eczema which is caused from the skins addiction to steroids. So with this being the case, why does the eczema spread across the body and not just remain in its original patch? Well that’s because we have to stop thinking of our skin being individual body parts such as the head, the legs, the arms etc… and start thinking of it as one huge organ. With such a huge organ craving this drug it means it affects the whole of the body and the sufferer will eventually end up in adulthood with severe full body eczema.

Had we not been advised by doctors to use steroid creams the skin wouldn’t have become addicted and we would have eventually grown out of it or be left with just sensitive but manageable skin.
The withdrawal process can last anything from a few months to a few years depending on how addicted your skin is. When withdrawing the skin needs it so badly that is becomes extremely aggressive, red, itchy, swollen, weepy, tight and sheds excessively. Due to the body being under so much stress the hair starts to fall out and open wounds can become infected resulting in staph infections and in extreme cases the sufferer can become hospitalized. The withdrawal process also makes you extremely ill. You experience frequent sickness, the chills, the sweats, blurred vision, weight loss, dizziness and it makes you feel extremely exhausted. Just like people going into rehab to combat a cocaine habit or any other drug addiction, it will inevitably get worse to get better.

Unfortunately the only way to get over a topical steroid addiction is just time and trust me when I say, that it will be one of the hardest times of your life!
After going through hell and back, eventually, the skin will be rid of its addiction and thus become ‘healed’. So said ‘incurable’ eczema is actually curable and could have been so easily avoided if doctors had warned us. Those little magic tubes known as steroid creams have made my life hell for over 20 years and now we all have to endure this grilling process to get over it! Having the knowledge that there actually is a light at the end of the tunnel however, is really the best feeling in the world! 😀

Although doctors now acknowledge ‘Topical Steroid Addiction’ they still continue to give it out to people of all ages like it is just mild cough medicine. Not only do the doctors prescribe them, but you can also buy them over the counter in any pharmacy at any time. You’ll find them labelled ‘for a winter itch’. This is unacceptable! It’s time to put steroid creams out of business and give people their lives back! This is my mission. It may take years but we will get those creams off the shelves for anyone to buy and we will do it together.

So all in all, that’s ‘Topical Steroid Withdrawal’ in a chestnut shell but if you want to know more just follow the link below
http://www.itsan.org/
This website changed my life. It’s definitely worth a read if you have ever used these creams or know anyone using them.

I hope, as formal as it was, this explains it a little more. Any questions, don’t be shy, leave a comment. 🙂 
Loves.xxx
Amy-Lou ❤
DAY 58

Join my on my quest to keep smiling through the day to day pains of living with severe eczema… <3

LIFE'S AN ITCH
ABOUT
The facts…

Twenty something years old. A lover of all things made out of cheese. Currently going through topical steroid withdrawal and shall be sharing my journey with laughter and tears along the way. ❤

I want this to be a place where we can learn, gain tips, share experiences and support each other. Friends and family will always be there but sometimes it takes a fellow eczema sufferer to truly understand. So, that’s what I’m here for, I’m here for those 2am scratching fests and those tears before having to venture out in public or go to work, and just simply for those quiet moments when you just need a little support to put a smile on your face. You can’t tell how much suffering is on a face that is always smiling. 😀

Well, I suppose I should explain who I am and why I feel the need to do this.

My name is Amy-Louise but I like to go by the name of Amy-Lou as it’s far more cool and hip! 😉 I need a name to match my reputation and as I’m known for being the coolest kat (spelt with a ‘K’ for added coolness) around I thought Amy-Lou was rather fitting.

Ok, ok, I’m completely lying! I am far from cool and definitely not hip. Unless having flaky, patchy, bleeding skin and having to constantly apply cream to stop itching and creating what can only be described as a snow storm when anyone walks past, is classed as ‘cool’ then I’d say I’m very much the opposite!

I pride myself on being a geek, being cool is so over-rated these days! 🙂

Why am blogging about my eczema you may be thinking, well, it’s most certainly not to parade my flaws all over the internet for the world to see, it is simply for you guys! For all of you suffering with this agonising disorder, for all of you that have lost your confidence because of the way it’s made you look and feel, for all of you who are at the end of your tether and feel you have no escape from this itchy shadow that controls your life and for those of you who are having to support someone going through this terrible, life changing, mental and physical problem.

I’m hoping to help all you unfortunate people out there by documenting my life experiences and in the process of doing so I am also kind of hoping to help myself get through one of the hardest times of my life. I will be discussing everything from products, clothing, techniques, tips and sharing information that could, in some cases, be life changing.

I’d love to hear all about your experiences and any of those awkwardly humorous moments you may have encountered due to your eczema nightmare. 😀

So, you want to know about my atopic dermatitis right…

I have suffered with eczema for 20 years, technically I started out with just a mild itch in the creases of my arms and on the back of my legs and as I’ve gradually got older it’s got worse and worse and now I’m faced with severe full body eczema. It is literally from my scalp to my ankles with the only place I don’t have it being my tiny feet, I’d prefer not to speak too soon though. I have recently found out that the reason for this is something called ‘topical steroid addiction’, something the doctors like to leave out when providing you with the magical steroid cream. Please go and take a look at https://didsomeonesaycheese.wordpress.com/the-facts-what-is-topical-steroid-withdrawal/ to find out what a topical steroid addiction actually is and how to solve it.

I do like to refer to it as my ‘itchy nightmare’ but by suggesting it is a nightmare I would be suggesting I’ve had sleep which is something that seriously does not fit into my itchy schedule. I have averaged about 6 hours sleep in the last 3 days and I am seriously starting to feel like an exhausted first time mum having to deal with a screaming new born every time she tries to get her head down! Except there is no screaming baby to go and rock to sleep, there’s just my screaming body crying out for my nails to scratch it until it bleeds and burns. With eczema this severe, I’m sure you’d all agree, there is no such thing as ‘relief’. For all you people out there that have to live with us I really do feel for you! It must be such a strange site to see someone literally tearing off their skin in a state of what I can only imagine looks like we are being possessed! If we were born in the 16th Century they’d think we had the devil inside us and would no doubt burn us at the stake!! Am I getting too morbid here!? I apologise, I have a tendency to get carried away with historical facts.

I often find myself on the floor in an upright foetal position in a constant scratching frenzy and wondering, is this what it would feel like to have fleas!? :S I even sometimes find my Cat staring at me in a judgemental manner and you know you’ve always hit a low point in life when you get judged by any animal! It’s an awkward moment for both parties involved but I think you’ll find, whilst following my blog, that my life very much revolves around awkward moments! They do make great stories as you get older though and if there is one thing I have taken from living with eczema and having to deal with the dip in self-confidence, the not wanting to go out, the sleepless nights, the agonising pain and the continuous dry red skin, it would be to just not take life so seriously. 🙂 A sense of humour is imperative when coping with eczema and so for my first entry on this page I will leave you with this… It is a saying that my nan used to say to me when I’d embarrass myself one way or another, I feel it relates perfectly to this: “If we don’t laugh at ourselves we’d just cry, and where exactly is the fun in that” 😀

So if this sounds like your cup of yorkshire tea then click that subscribe button and join me on my journey through ‘Topical Steroid Withdrawal’. You can also catch me on Instagram @cheese_isakindofmeat

Together we can, and we will beat eczema. 🙂 Amy-Lou ❤

OATS OATS OATS… Why I love Oats, and why you should to!

UPDATED OAT1

Oats are great! Especially for those tired mornings when you need to fill a hole and get a gradual energy boost that will keep you going for the day. With our bodies being exhausted from fighting this steroid addiction so hard, an energy boost is definitely what we could do with if you’re one of the lucky ones who are still able to work. If you’re not one of these people who are able to work due to being Homewood bound (love that film by the way, brings a tear to my eye every time) then you should love oats just as much as we do because you don’t just have to eat them to feel the benefits!

Oats really are underdog of cereals! When you’re weighing up your breakfast options in the cereal aisle ‘Crunchy Nut Cornflakes’ will win over ‘Quaker Oats’ every time! Am I right?
So why should you reach for the Quaker Oats instead of all other tasty cereals chilling on the shelves? Well, Oats are much more versatile! You certainly wouldn’t benefit from bathing in Cornflakes or Cocopops but oats are perfect for that purpose. Killing 2 birds with one stone, not only is it a tasty treat but also it’s a great for bathing in. If only they knew this back in the Victorian workhouse days, poor Oliver Twist wouldn’t have had to ask for more if only the governors were aware they could have saved money on soap if only they used the ‘gruel’ to bathe their dirty orphan children in! Times have changed.

Having an oat bath when feeling itchy and irritant will certainly soothe those angry patches or in most of our cases, our whole bodies. Itchy skin has a high PH level and the oatmeal helps bring it back down which in turn relieves your itch. The oats also work as a natural moisturiser for the skin which is great for people also doing ‘moisture withdrawal’. With it being a natural moisturiser this means that where water itself dehydrates your skin, the oats lock in moisture helping your skin long term. The chemical components found in the oatmeal work as a cleanser which absorb oil, dirt and odour. These chemicals known as avenanthramides and phenois work as an anti-inflammatory so it’s also perfect for those swollen limbs and puffy faces. So what should you scrub yourself with then? OATS OF COURSE! 😀

Now, oat baths are really easy to do but can go horribly wrong if you don’t know how to do them, as I found out. The first time I made myself an oat bath it was disastrous! After being told to bath in it, I naturally took it literally and poured oats into the bath water. I must say, it was a little weird when I got in it to have oats floating about left, right and centre but it tasted lovely if I accidently got any in my mouth so I thought, yes! This is the best thing ever! That is until I had to empty the bath tub. It was that moment I realised that I’d probably got it all wrong. Having to sieve out such a mass amount of oats was a tragic moment and certainly an epic fail. It was at that point I thought it was probably best to look up how you do it which I now don’t quite understand why I didn’t do this in the first place.

So now I know how to do it I thought I’d provide you with a tutorial so you don’t have the same issue as I did. 
UPDATED OAT 2
OAT 3
1. Get an old pair of tights that you have jamming in your draws or in my case, a pair that was suffering from extreme vile pattern syndrome. I have no use for leopard tights and never have so I honestly have no idea why I thought purchasing them was a good idea. I question my ideas sometimes.
2. Moving on, get your good old Quaker Oats, take a few handfuls and put them into one of the legs.
3. Tie the legs around the head of the tap so that when the water runs it runs through the oats
4. When running the water, run it at a lukewarm temperature because you don’t want to cook the oats. A hot bath will also irritate the skin a little but it really does depend on the individual as to how hot you can handle.
5. The water will be a lovely cloudy colour that resembles the colour of sick but we have to do what we have to do don’t we.
6. Carefully take the tights off the tap being careful not to let any oats fall out into the tub and tie a knot in the top of the tights. Leave it bobbing around in the bath and use as a sponge to really scrub those wounds.
7. Bathe for around 10-15 minutes
8. Get out feeling refreshed and relieved.
9. Throw away the tights and the used oats.
10. Bob’s your Uncle, Fannie’s your Aunt. You’ve successfully achieved an oat bath!
I’m sure there are other ways of doing it but that was just my version so by all means let me know if you have any other suggestions or if you’ve had a different experience. Leave your comments below so we can all share advice 
All in all, I’d say…
LOVE OATS WRITING
OAT ME
Loves.xx
Amy-Lou ❤

My rating on LUSH Porridge Soap…

LUSH PORRIDGE  SOAP
Well hello there my lovelies! It’s certainly that time again, the time to rate some products! Or one particular product to be exact and I do like to be exact! Give me fact, not fiction and so fact is certainly what I shall be giving you.

If you follow my instagram account @cheese_isakindofmeat you will already be aware that I have put the LUSH ‘porridge soap’ to the ultimate test and given it a 7 day trail. The 7 days were up yesterday and so it’s time for the verdict.

LUSH was always a shop I avoided like the plague. Ok, maybe to say I avoided it like the plague is a little dramatic, but I certainly didn’t go anywhere near the shop for fear of being ushered in by the overly polite and weirdly passionate employees insisting they show you how a bath bomb works in a small metal bowl allocated at the front of every store, whereby you have to pretend you’re amazed by it and awkwardly act like you may consider buying one before trying to leave the store subtly. Top marks for customer service I suppose. To suggest to them that you can’t use bath bombs due to having a skin condition only strikes up a pointless conversation that frankly takes up too much of my precious time where they insist their products are all natural but failing to understand that it doesn’t matter how ‘natural’ their products are, bathing in black pepper and grapefruit is never going to agree with our skin, and well, to bring up the topic of TSW is a whole different conversation! Having to constantly explain to people the dangers of topical steroids and the process of withdrawing from them really does get a little tedious at times.

After my best friend Sam insisted I go into the shop with her when on a shopping trip I naturally started checking out all the products they have to offer, mainly to avoid looking like a lost puppy and therefore being approached by the said staff trying to do a bit of ‘add on’ sales. My ‘bessie’ (as they label best friends these days, whoever ‘they’ may be) directed me to a soap called ‘porridge soap’ due to me constantly insisting oats are good for your skin. It wasn’t the most attractive looking soap to be brutally honest, if soap can be attractive that is but regardless of its weird appearance I thought I’d do some research. After all, as we all know by now, you should never just anyone or anything by its physical appearance.

The ingredients aren’t quite ‘ALL natural’ as the staff constantly insist, which wasn’t exactly a shock discovery. The soap consists of…
Water (Aqua), Rapeseed Oil and coconut oil, Glycerine, Pinhead Oatmeal, Sorbitol, Fresh Organic Orange Juice, Titanium Dioxide, Perfume, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Labdanum Resinoid, Sweet Wild Orange Oil, Sodium Chloride, EDTA, Tetrasodium Etidronate, Sodium Hydroxide and Limonene.

I mean, half of these ingredients sounded rather alien to me but I thought, meh, why not, let’s give this baby a go. So I whipped up a little block which I picked up for something like £3.95 which I thought was a fair price if it worked and if it didn’t I wouldn’t be crying over the loss of £4. Although you could get 4 99p ice creams in a cone from the ice cream van for that price which is a little upsetting when I think about it. So I started using it on my face first, the soap that is not the ice cream. I used to wash my face in AQS cream every morning and every night and when I first started using it I’d have sworn by it but I had noticed that lately it had been drying my face out quicker than the time it takes me to reach out for my moisturiser to plaster on my face finishing the process. So the first time I used the porridge soap, it was actually really refreshing. It left my skin feeling great and the little bits of pinhead oatmeal actually worked as a mild exfoliator which helped the process of scrubbing off that stubborn dry skin I wake up with every morning. It definitely left my face feeling much more hydrated and far less blotchy than the AQS cream previously prescribed to me by my doctor. So after 7 days of using this on my face morning and night I’d give it the thumbs up. I did have to use a little moisturiser afterwards though as my face started to feel rather tight after about an hour so I slapped on the Aveeno oat based cream which unusually stayed put for most of the day. YAY!
So thumbs up for the face, but I felt it was time to give it the full body test. This really is where anything trialled shows it’s true colours. I don’t know about you but the rest of my body flares like mad if the wrong product is used. To say I was nervous was an understatement. There’s nothing like an all over body flare after bathing to stamp on your positivity. I ran myself an oatmeal bath, which I will blog about in due course, and attempted to use the dreaded porridge soap. I was surprised with the results. It felt relatively calming actually and my skin seemed to welcome it freely like we welcome the sun’s rays on a lovely summer’s day. It was heaven! It didn’t quite smell of strawberries but it definitely smelt better than the medical stink of AQS cream. I did need to use rather a lot of it as it didn’t really froth up but that wasn’t a problem as the block seems to be quite long lasting. Once I’d finished bathing I had a bit of an issue because I had a huge flare but this is fairly standard after soaking in water. For a lot of people a nice bath or shower is a relief but for me it’s hell! My skin just cannot handle water! It’s not surprising though considering water dehydrates your already dry skin. My flare however, was surprisingly over quite quickly. I usually, after bathing in anything from Oilatum to AQS cream spend at least 2 hours shivering on the sofa from itchiness with socks on my hands and my head on my partners lap so that she can stroke my back constantly to relieve the deep itch I have all over my sore and painful body. This time however, I was able to deal with the after bathing nightmare by myself and although I cried and screamed a lot I seemed to fall asleep from exhaustion within 30 minutes. I 100% believe it has everything to do with using this new LUSH porridge soap. So all in all I’m giving it the thumbs up for all over body use.

So it’s time to give it the ‘Did someone say cheese’ rating…
• ITCHINESS, 1 being itch-free and 10 being unbearable.
**DRUM ROLL**: I give it a very happy 3! 😀
PORRIDGE RATE
Would I recommend this to others going through TSW or suffering from eczema?
YES
WELL DONE LUSH. You have 1 very happy customer.

Have you tried this product also? How was your experience? Leave a comment and let me know. 
Loves.xxx
Amy-Lou ❤

How 2014 shaped my outlook for the new year. Oh yes, and A HAPPY 2015 TO ALL YOU LOVELY PEOPLE!

JAN 06

Wow! 6 days into the new year already.  I’d say “you can’t believe where the time has gone can you?” but I fear I would sound like my nan so we’ll leave that one out, even though it’s what we’re all thinking. New year, new start is what is being said on every social media site possible by all sorts of people and there are talks of “Time to start the gym again and get fit” or “No more junk food, it’s time for some healthy eating” amongst my best friends. I mean, it’s pretty clear this new found attitude to life will start to slip after January.  If people really kept it up we wouldn’t see the same repetitive quotes every year because there would be no need to say them if you’re already gyming it up and living that healthy lifestyle everyone strives for.

I looked at my resolutions from last year which certainly mimicked all of the above with the slight difference of ‘have more fun’. Have I achieved any of this? Well, that is debatable. I didn’t attend any gym but I did work out from home for 1 month out of the 12 months which counts right? I did also start to eat more vegetables, but being a pescetarian that was pretty much standard anyway, regardless of that fact I’d say it still counts though? I did, however, turn to the takeaways pretty quickly though which became slightly worrying when my Pizzahut answered the phone with the line “Hello Amy-Lou, would you like the usual?”. You know you’ve eaten too much pizza when the pizza hut staff almost become your friends! Awkward.

As for the third resolution of ‘have more fun’, I can’t say I achieved this to the extent of my intentions. I had big plans for the summer especially. At the start of the year I booked off the whole of the last month in July and the whole of August with the intention of really enjoying myself. Maybe attend some festivals, go out on day trips, do a bit of travelling, spend time with friends drinking cocktails and generally having ‘more fun’ but what I actually ended up doing was the complete opposite. My idea of ‘having fun’ has now completely changed which I don’t think is necessary a bad thing at all. I now appreciate the little things in life. It’s not all about big gestures and day trips. I appreciate a good sofa day with my partner and friends more than I ever did before and I can now say that I can see what all the fuss is about! Especially as I have discovered NETFLIX! This has taken over my life.

Tuesday the 13th of May is where my life changed completely and suddenly those New Year’s resolutions I’d made just over 4 months before became completely irrelevant. The 13th of May marks the day where I stopped steroids completely and started my somewhat turbulent journey of Topical Steroid Withdrawal. It has taught me a lot and has had a weirdly positive effect on my life. It may have been a difficult 7 months so far but the impact it has had on me as an individual has been insane! I have learnt that life isn’t all about looking as beautiful as possible because my existence doesn’t depend on how much other people find me attractive. I’ve learnt that positivity is imperative when recovering from a topical steroid addiction. I’ve learnt not to be so quick to judge because behind everyone’s smile there is always some sort of pain and suffering that you are unaware of, everyone has their own difficult journey. I’ve learnt that everyone of us is stronger than we think, our bodies are wonderful things that can handle anything and I’ve learnt that TSW isn’t just something you just go through, it’s a whole life style change that not only effects the person going through it but also the people supporting you. Respecting them and understanding their point of view is certainly the key to a smooth running recovery. It’s hard to see an out siders point of view when TSW seems to completely devour and strangulate any thoughts regarding other people and makes you extremely self-involved  which can be extremely dangerous if you let it take over you. How you handle things is a choice that only you can make. You can either let it beat you or you can tell it where to go and beat the hell out of it. Don’t let it run your life. This is your life and this steroid addiction doesn’t have the right to tell you how to run it, take back the control. Just by putting a smile on your face through the hard times and being positive on even the darkest of days means you’re already half way there! 😉 Stay strong peeps!  Together we will beat this, one day at a time. Loves.xx Amy-Lou ❤