Saturday, 8 May 2010

Haul Ahoy!

Yesterday i had to do something horribly scary. Because i am on disability allowance (due to my social phobia i can't get a proper job) i was made to go and have an assessment where basically they ask questions and take notes about how my illness affects me. Not only is talking to a stranger horribly scary for me no matter what the situation, this had the added pressure of being really quite important. If they don't believe that i am genuinely ill (which is obviously harder to tell with mental illness that physical problems) they can cut off my benefits and then i basically won't have any income. So yeah, very scary! 

However it wasn't so bad, the woman who conducted my assessment was really nice and understanding and seemed to realise how difficult i was finding it and tried to put me at ease. Which was a big contrast to a few weeks ago when i went to a doctor for an assessment (i was hoping to find something that might help my condition), the doctor was awful, i felt intimidated and bullied and he made me feel worthless. Really not what a health care professional should do.

Anyway i was still feeling a bit shaken up and low so we decided (Claire had come with me) that as we were out already we should pop into town and do a little shopping. Usually it just ends up with me buying everything and Claire following me around being good and financially sensible, but yesterday she actually bought some things, yay! (though of course not as much as me :P)

So we went to Oxford Street because i wanted to check out the new makeup line at Topshop.
Let the haul commence!

2 beautiful pairs of tights from Topshop and a great belt from Miss Selfridge.

Topshop makeup!
(a proper post on the line and swatches and reviews of what i got will be coming up shortly :))
I picked up:
blushes in neon rose and crushed berry,
nail varnishes in Gypsy Night and a matte topcoat
Lipsticks in Rio Rio and Brighton Rock
Lip gloss in Pulp
and Lip Crayon in Rosa


Tights from H&M.
We went to the big Boots because i wanted to test some of the new Models Own products which are now available there. I didn't end up buyging anything as i'd spent too much money on the Topshop makeup but Claire got me a lipstick in Hot Pink on the proviso that she could borrow it whenever she wanted. When she bought it she was given a No 7 voucher and she gave it to me :) 
So i picked up one of the No 7 Anniversary edition nail varnishes in 50s Bobby Socks.
Also PURE cosmetics are being discontinued so everything was just £2. However the whole display had been completely ransacked. I managed to pick up the red lipgloss and gold mascara which were the last of their kind and a nail polish. There were also a few single eyeshadows left but none were particularly interesting. I'm not sure if i'm going to keep these bits or if they'll go in a giveaway :)

And finally i got this amazing bunny jumper from Miss Selfridge. I love it! I also tried on a beautiful pair of shorts but sadly the size 16 didn't fit. I have other size 16 bottoms from Miss Selfrdge which fit fine but it was still a little depressing. But anyway the jumper is gorgeous!

Now i am going to try my best to go on a no buy. Maybe a few things will have to be purchased first from a few sales... but after that i WILL go months without buying anything frivolous! I swear! ... Well i'll try my bet anyway :P


  1. Good for you making it through that interview!

  2. I read your blog regularly and while you have absolutely no right to answer my question...I am confused about your social phobia...I do not mean to be rude...I am not even putting my name because I wouldn't want you to think shitty of me and disregard anything I say in the future by thinking I'm an question is you put yourself on youtube, your blog, you go to gallery viewings, you go out shopping a lot, go dancing at clubs and during these things you are always interacting with how do you have a social phobia? You seem like a really bright and outgoing girl...but you are living off of government expenses and don't have a job because you are uncomfortable in front of people? Please do not think I am being rude or using a bad tone! I'm just curious! I don't know you, so I don't know what you have been through and am not judging you or anything! I love your blog and think it would be awesome if you became a makeup artist as a profession. I just don't know why you live off the government when you could probably make more money doing makeup as a living!

  3. Phyrra:
    thank you!

    Umm... sorry i can't help but find your comment very upsetting because you're basically accusing me of being a benefit cheat.
    The fact is that i do have very severe social phobia, i have panic attacks, and am physically sick in crowds or when talking to people i don't know well. I stay up late panicking if i know i will have to talk to a stranger. I very rarely go out, i can't answer the phone or door and even feel uncomfortable around my friends and family as i feel inferior. There are so many people who i know a little but not well, i want to be there friends but it's impossible for me to do so. I literally cannot talk to people, i clam up and any words that escape come out in a whisper. When i went to university i didn't make any friends and only went out socially once in the whole 3 years, and then i was drunk. I'm the only person i know who lived at home throughout Uni and still live at home.

    It was insanely hard for me to start a blog and make videos, it's still difficult but doing these things is actually better for my confidence.
    You don't know how hard it is for me to do those things you listed. When i was at the gallery last week i had a panic attack and had to leave early, even though my friend was there i was too shy to speak to him properly. When i go shopping i have to take my girlfriend as i have fainted in public before because the crowds scare me. I can't ever talk to SAs. When i go dancing i get very, very drunk which lowers my inhibitions. I try to do these things because i want to get better and i never will if i don't try. But there are still many many things that i cannot do myself so other people are forced to care for me in ways.

    I'm an artist and illustrator so i am trying very hard to be able to make my own living but the fact is i can't. It's hard enough to be in the art industry anyway but blagging is really the only way to get into galleries or jobs and i cannot do that as i cannot approach people. I hate having to take money off the government, it's awful and shameful but i don't have a choice. Even if i could put up with the anxiety i get in social situations noone would hire me because at the interview i would be a shaking, crying mess.

    I know you didn't mean to be hurtful with your comment but my social phobia is something i am ashamed of. It's not normal to be my age and dependant on so many people, i can't have a normal life like other people. It just upsets me when people imply i'm making it up or exaggerating it because it's something that affects me every day of my life.

  4. I seriously 100% had no intention of making you feel ashamed...I was just curious...I don't want you to think that I think you are a cheat or anything. I just was wondering what you go through day to day. I do think you could be an amazing makeup artist and stuff and I hate that you are set back by this. I really do find your blog amazing and in your face to the companies you know are rip offs. Please do not feel bad on my account. I know this is something you can't help and was wondering how you are able to do the things you do with this illness. I'm extremely sorry if my confusion/ignorance has hurt you in any way. I don't even know you and wouldn't even put my name for fear that you would think horribly of me for saying anything! (I'm extremely aware of my cowardice!)

  5. Lillian you know I adore you!
    Social phobia, social anxiety and panic dissorders are no joking matter. These are very painfully dibilitating, embarassing and invisible illness' .
    My husband is almost 40 and rarely leaves our house and never, ever alone. He stopped driving two years ago due to his panic attacks.
    It hurts me so for people to dismiss Mental illness as false or laziness. You and my Hubby are good people who have a serious health problem(s) and people need to educate themselves on the severity of these types of issues instead of assuming or dismissing them.

    Anonymous- I absolutly guarantee that both Lillian and my husband as well as any other person suffering from Social phobias, anxiety and panic attacks would gladly take a job in exchange for their illness' vanishing. It hurts to no beable to go to your childrens ball games, plays and to miss friends weddings, parties and to be so isolated. It all hurts and the fact that so many people assume that it's "fake" only creates more anxiety and fear for people already suffering.
    My husband would love to stop depending on me for everything and to be able to work. The only way he was ever able to work was to drink, therefore he became an alcoholic from trying to be a "normal" working adult.

    Please, please google Social phobia, social anxiety and panic disorder. These are very real, very harsh illness'.

  6. An odd social phobia related question - don't feel you have to answer.
    Do you sweat a lot in difficult social situations?

    I get that, but I don't know why. Might just be my happy pills.
    I don't get it online/behind a screen, but that is a problem in itself.

  7. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  8. Lillian,
    Although you don't know me I've enjoyed reading your blog for a while and have commented once or twice before. I will be honest and say I was unaware of much surrounding social phobias, and since reading the odd mention you have made about them, I have done some googling and read up on it (just out of curiosity and to learn more). I also feel cautious about this topic incase I come across as ignorant or offend you (which is not my intention!)

    I found that I do identify with some aspects, albeit only mildly. Namely anything to do with phones - I won't answer my house phone, and HATE having to call companies, or even friends/family; I literally have to sit there and build up the courage, then I sit there assessing the conversation afterwards and what they might have thought of me. I won't say I know how you feel, as I know it only affects me mildly (if it even IS social phobia), but I can tell from what I have learned how much this illness must affect you.

    I just wanted to say that I really hope that in the future you find the courage (for want of better words) to do some volunteering for an animal shelter. :) I just moved to the US and knew no-one but my husband. Being lonely and unable to legally work yet I applied to volunteer at an AIDS charity and to my horror(!) they put me on the front desk answering calls - I just thought I'd tell you (perhaps as encouragement) that that was 2 months ago, and that it did wonders for me and I have now become that bit more confident and have made some friends in the process. Anyway thanks to you i have learned more about this issue - I really hope that you are able to overcome this in the future. You seem like a lovely girl and I love reading your blog. :)

  9. Hello Lillian,
    First off, I think that your blog is amazing and that you are indeed inspiring - art, sense of style, makeup, everything - and that I hope things get better for you in these circumstances. I, too, am an artist, and it is tough to get exposure without putting yourself out there and pushing your boundaries (I'm incredibly shy.. and would too rather avoid the social situations, etc.)

    I'm studying psychology, and please don't take what I'm about to say in offense - I mean well, and I'm rooting for you to overcome some of this problem, and on top of that, I do have family and friends who have disorders that do severely debilitate their lives - but have you considered therapy in the future, or looking for some soft of treatment? Again, I mean this in NO offense at all..

    I just know that treatment can help a lot in phobias (especially social ones) and with your talent, it can surely help you gain so much and overcome this obstacle.

    Wishing you the best of luck.


  10. I feel you Lillian. I have very bad anxiety problems as well, not to the extent of yours but I at least feel I can sympathize. If I return something at a store or have to go somewhere new by myself or call someone I don't know, I get very anxious. I had a panic attack for over 3 hours before my first job interview because I was so scared. That is one of the reasons I enjoy blogging so much, because it is a way for me to talk to people that is less scary than irl.

    I really have no problems at all with people I already know, and sometimes I can even be really outgoing. But sometimes I get anxious about the most random things, like I said returning items. I get really worried that they will say no and get angry at me and I know what an accomplishment it can be just to talk to a salesperson sometimes.

    Sometimes I am totally fine and nothing bothers me and other times I get really anxious about everything. I guess the point of all my rambling is to tell you there is someone who understands at least a little.

  11. Hi Lillian! First, you are cute and adorable and I'm really happy that you've been somewhat fighting your phobia through your blog.
    While I don't have social phobia, I had some panic attacks before and I imagine how hard it must be to have it lots more.
    I also have a small psychological problem that most people that know it don't take it serious (I don't tell much people about it...) - I decided to study psychology to understand and help people like me.
    I know lots of people that use their psychological problems as a shield, but I'm sure it's not your case, 'cause you've been posting videos, taking pictures and fighting your fear, not hiding behind it. I find it very brave.

    I know you had trouble with a therapist before, but I'd suggest you to try again. Maybe a psychodynamic one?
    I'm just saying that 'cause I know it helps. It's been helping me a lot with my problem - and though it's not being easy (it's hard to listen and see some stuff about yourself sometimes)things are changing.

    Good luck with the government!

    Many many hugs,


  12. I know how you feel Lillian. I have depression and I'm 16, I'm very dependant on my mum, and I hate it because most 16 year olds have arguments with their parents about the fact they can't stay out all night, or go do things their parents may think are unsafe, and I wish I had fights with my mum over things like that, but I couldn't even face the idea of it. I love to shop, I love to dance and have fun but being able to do this is a massive deal! when you pluck up the courage to go out, or talk to the person behind a till it's like winning a huge battle even though it's a trivial thing and part of life to most people. Have to have a fight with your mind all the time is incredibly hard, and people who think you're just making it up or exaggerating are the worst people to deal with and have no idea how much worse they make you feel and how it knocks you back when you might actually be feeling really strong.

    I'm smart, not meaning to sound cocky but I am, I'm quite smart, but when I leave school in two weeks after I take my exams, I'll leave with 4 GCSE's. Four. Because of the fact that I was bullied so badly that I refused to go to school for the whole of year 10, and I hardly ever go back into school now because the unit I was moved to has been taken over by the same kind of people. It's amazing how closed minded people are and how they can really destroy how you feel so easily. I was beginning to regain my confidence and start to do things again before this all happened again and it's awful. I love reading your blog and hearing about that you've been out and been to a club or gone shopping because it's like hearing that some people can manage to over come their problems even if it's only for one night or something

    xxxx Best of luck

  13. Ah! Just wanted to apologize for my bad english. I know I'm not being able to express myself properly (like my reason to study... I know it's not exactly what I mean, but I can't find another way to say it! Argh, sometimes it's so hard to speak english!)

  14. Well I know I'm on a blogging break but I couldn't not send you a little support... I'm glad you had someone understanding for your assessment, I know they have to do them to get rid of potential cheats, but they're so stressful for people that genuinely need help!
    You should be really proud of yourself :)

    I'd love to know what your thoughts are re Topshop makeup once you've had a play!

  15. It's great that you went to the assessment and I'm so glad the woman there was nice! I've had my share of mental illness too, being OCD. But I'm so much better now, It's still there lurking (evil bastard) but I went to therapy and I'm on a low dose of meds and it's helped me be me again.
    I wish you loads of luck with fighting your fears! It is possible, I can tell that you are a strong and intelligent woman! So don't be afraid to get some help if you want to, even if previous events might not have been so positive. There are some great people out there who can help you!

  16. You are a strong lady Ms Lillian. Keep your head high and know you have people backing you up, even if we are just web strangers :) I have mental illnesses running around in my family (OCD, schizophrenia, bulimia, bi-polar disorders probably others, my fam is hugemongous) so I tend to be more sympathetic than the average Joe. I understand that as people, we don't get to chose how our brain synapses work, we get stuck with what we're born with and sometimes it decides to go a lille wonky on us and then the docs step in with their pills and then it just gets overwhelming! I think what you are doing (blogging) is a terrific way to help combat your disorder and face it head on.

    Not everybody is perfect and 1 in 5 of us will have a mental illness sometime in our lifetimes. All we can do is hope for the best and stay positive and when that 1 in 5 has the misfortune of developing the illness, just hope for a wonderful support group to keep us going strong.

    I probably even have a bit of a problem but psychiatrists weird me out with their probing ways. Especially when the only free intro psych help thing my work supplies takes place in a friggin CHURCH! Yeah... that'll help me a lot... Even right know he or she would say I'm being paranoid :D

    And hug a kitteh (or your puppy!) :D Man I wish my appt allowed pets.

  17. i don't know if you have had this before, but cognitive behavioral therapy helped me with my anxiety issues.


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