the incoming storm

I watched intently, as the storm rolled in,

I wished that you were there to hold my hand.

The clouds had gathered rather slowly

But still I knew that it would decimate the land.

I wish that there was someone there to comfort me

When this beast comes charging for the kill.

I have a knife that’s often brandished

When I know the blood’s about to spill.

But any attempt to stop the storm

Is just as pointless as before,

There’s no one there to offer shelter

From this sad internal war.

The dreaded fear, it must roll in,

And fill my veins with searing pain.

I wish that I could hold your hand,

Until this weather starts to wane.

Feelings are a bitch. They can be so painful and there is nothing you can do to stop them (unless you turn to wine and that didn’t work out very well for me last time!). They are kind of like a storm. You can watch it brewing but there’s no point in trying to stop it.

I wrote this poem with anxiety in mind but I guess it applies to any of the negative emotions. It’s so nice to have someone to hold your hand through the hard bits. I am lucky in that I still have at least two members of my family who are there no matter what.

I hope that if you ever feel waves of panic or depression, that you have at least one person out there to lean on. And if you think that you don’t, try reaching out to someone you know. You would be surprised how happy people are to be there for you in a time of need.

Much Love,

Rachel xx

more doom and gloom and stuff about breaking up and having to get rid of the house you love

First to be tackled was the fridge,

I wiped away the crumbs that dusted the bottom shelf,

Do you remember making them

When you made me toast to eat in bed?

Then I turned towards the bathroom

To clean the toothpaste from the sink.

Do you remember standing side by side

Brushing teeth and smiling at me in the mirror?

We always brushed our teeth together,

It made me feel like I was in a rom com

And that I’d get my happy ending.

Then I reached that sacred room that housed our bed,

The marriage bed where the deal was sealed.

Do you remember how we used to giggle

Underneath the covers?

Our arms and legs all tangled up in such a loving mess.

And in the living room I dusted the spot where the TV used to be.

Do you remember putting on some MTV

And how we used to dance around

As we drank cheap wine and laughed and laughed and laughed?

I sit down on the couch with a heavy sigh,

Because that was then and this is now.

There isn’t any love, here within these walls.

It vanished with the closing of the door.

This house was where I wanted to grow old.

But now it’s just an empty shell, ready to be filled

With someone else’s love and happy memories.

I know that I am bathing in my bitterness

But I worry they will have to peel me from this sofa

Before they can embark upon their own adventure.

A bit about divorce

The axe has fallen and the blade is sharp,

It slices through the wooden block with ease.

I wish that I could wrap my arms around it

And hold together those two pieces.

But the axe is harsh and does not care,

About my feelings and my sentimental wishes.

The axe, it cares about the bottom dollar,

It cares about an even split,

A “fair” divide between the two opposing sides.

It’s never quite that simple though,

To cut straight through those rings of time,

Without a wrenching of the heart.

It hurts as though it’s I who takes the blow.

And there is nowt that I can do,

Bar watch the gleaming blade come down

And hope that from the mess that’s made,

Something new can grow and bloom.

I’ve been unfortunate enough to be divorced. I git married really young and in a hurry and it all ended badly before I turned twenty two. When I went through my divorce we had only been together for a short time and we had no house or savings, so the divorce was mainly just paperwork. However, now my parents are getting divorced and I am seeing a whole new side to the process.

My parents have been together since the 1980’s and they own a house. I’m a grown up now so I really shouldn’t have much to do with this but I want to support my dad so I went along to his meeting with the solicitor today. And it was horrible.

I just think about all that they have built together and it is getting trashed and I could see the sadness written all over my dad’s face. It was heartbreaking. And I know that I shouldn’t expect inheritance but I’m so sad that the house I grew up in is going to be sold and have somebody else living in it.

The solicitor was excellent but she spoke of the divorce entirely in monetary and legal terms and it all felt so clinical. I wanted to pipe up in the middle of the meeting and say that I didn’t want it to happen and that the house contains so many memories that I don’t want it sold. But that’s not the way the world works and so I had to just sit quietly and watch my history melt away over the course of an hour.

If any of my readers are going through a family breakdown, I hear you. I’m not even involved in this one but it probably hurts even more than my own divorce. Stay strong and keep hold of your dignity. It’s really tempting to lash out but you will feel good for only a short while. Bite your tongue and just practice some self love. I know it’s hard but we can all do it together.

Much Love,

Rachel

If you are having any family issues you can get advice from the Relate website.

chess, love and woodwork

I can’t make you love me,

I can’t reach across the table,

I can’t shake the hatred from you.

I’d love to be a bit like God

And be the one who’s able

To push around the people in my life,

Like little pieces in a game of chess.

I’d find a way to drill inside that fucking queen

And find a heart, deep within the wood.

I’d win the game and make you love

In just the way I think you should.

I have such a problem with acceptance and it’s taken three years of recovery and working on myself to realise this. While I was drinking I struggled to come to terms with the fact that I can’t make people like me. I can’t make them be nice. People are who they are and I may just have to disagree with them. And quietly, without an argument.

It’s still something that is hard because I am going through a difficult time with my mum and all I want to do is force her to like me. But I can’t and that really hurts in a deep way. But I will sit on my hands and keep my mouth shut. All I can do is be ready for her if she changes her mind, be ready to accept her and love her.

I hope that if you are struggling in a relationship that you can find the strength to be accepting and loving and patient. Just let go and Let God, because everything happens in his perfect timing.

Much Love

Rachel xx

little blue tent

I wonder how he got there,

So cold, it’s January ffs.

Did he have a problem with the drink?

Slipping down that greasy slope,

Nothing there to grasp, to stop the inevitable crash.

Did he lose the love of his life?

Did she stamp he stiletto heel into his heart,

The puncture wound, a fatal one.

Did he lose the job he loved?

His reason to get up each day,

His passion dissolved when the liquidators came in.

Did he have a house before it all went wrong?

Before this shabby blue tent was his home

There’s a driveway and white picket fence.

It frightens me, chills me to the core,

That this can quite easily happen to me.

And yet what do I do?

I turn a blind eye, as I draw a deep breath, shaking my head.

It’s January ffs.

This could be you.

Just one tiny wobble and you could be falling.

And where will you land when the shit hits the fan?

In a little blue tent at Waterloo Station.

I went to London today and as much as I love London it opens my eyes to so many of the problems that we face as a human race. There is so much inequality in the world but I don’t have a clue how to fix it.

It scares me shitless to think that it only takes one thing to go a bit wrong and I could end up on the street. It’s a slippery slope and once things start going wrong you never know where you might end up.

My trip just got me thinking about how somebody can end up in a little tent outside the station and what their life might have been like before. I hope that the guy I saw at the station can get some help. I hope that he can get a place to stay and get a job that he can hold down. I know people can pull themselves out of these situations but I know that it takes a lot of hard work. I pray that they get the support and help and that they have a future that is bright and that they can look forward to.

Much Love,

Rachel xx

Donate and show some support by visiting the Shelter website.

pancakes and break ups

Today we went for breakfast,

Pancakes, and this is how it went.

It was he who ordered for us both,

Cream cheese with sugar and shiny red berries.

Not what I wanted but that’s what I got.

He spoke about work and everyday life,

His words were so empty

And so I just watched as a car tried to park

And a woman walked past with her dog on a leash.

I had doubts he would care if I said what I thought.

If I told him how tired and and lonely I felt.

I dabbed at the sticky and syrupy ring

Left by the jug that needed a clean.

He glared at me angrily just as my fingers

Raised to my lips, licking the sugar and closing my eyes.

The sweetness dissolved the heat that had burned

And singed through the flesh of my heart.

“I don’t think this is a thing I can do”

I said with my eyes still trained on the car and the dog.

“I’m tired and I need to go home.”

I stood and I left without saying more.

He was so silent, angry and brooding.

I hoped that the pancakes would not go to waste.

The sweet and the tart would do him so good,

A jug full of syrup to pour down his throat,

Dousing the fire that was burning so bright,

The flames that were flickering with a heat so ferocious

That nothing could possibly survive the inferno.

Our relationship dead,

Blackened and charred,

A beautiful mess, but still irretrievable.

Gone with the click of the door

Leaving him sad in that old pancake house.

I had no idea that when you eat something spicy you can counteract the spice with a spoonful of sugar. I ate a spicy pasta dish the other day and my friend told me to try it because I was crying with the pain. And, OMG, it worked.

Anyway, it got me thinking about how great it would be if we could use sugar to neutralise the heat that comes with anger or sadness. I don’t normally talk about my battles with mental health but I take a drug called pregabalin and it works just like the sugar in dampening down my anxiety. It feels like it smooths down the spikiness of my anxiety. If only there was a drug that could work like sugar on all of the angry and controlling people in the world.

If you are struggling with anxiety or depression, I really feel what you are going through. It would be so lovely to be able to wash it away, but unfortunately we have to work hard to get over it. Look after yourself and keep yourself safe as we go into the New Year. It’s a difficult time of year but you can do it! You got through 2019 and you can get through 2020, just one step at a time.

Much Love

Rachel xx

virus

The software’s birthed into the world,

Disc space empty, memory wiped.

Just waiting for those google docs,

The Netflix films and searches typed.

They seem so so bland, so insignificant,

But every picture, every document,

Remembered, burnt onto the motherboard,

Forming something of a monument.

Permanent and always can be traced.

Computers don’t forget the past.

Algorithms form the patterns

That push them forward to the last.

I have always seen the human brain as a computer. I think that we are born with a clean hard drive and everything that happens to us after that forms our behaviours and shapes the person we become. I believe that childhood trauma can really have a big impact on how we behave in the future, as adults. If we have suffered something horrific as a young child, I think that it can cause us to act out in a negative way as an adult. And we don’t have a clue why because it’s all subconscious. This is why I think that therapy is so helpful when you don’t understand why you are behaving in a certain way. There is an underlying reason underneath it all.

If you are struggling with a horrible pattern that is running your life, then I urge you to try therapy because once you know what might be causing it, it’s far easier to start working on stopping it. We can’t control our feelings but once you know where they come from it’s far easier too control how we act on those feelings.

Much Love,

Rachel xx

it's hard being the boss

It is a precious crown that’s made of glass

Placed on just the chosen heads

Of those who do not quake in fear

At that sentiment, that ludicrous idea

That they can keep it balanced there.

To keep it safe from careless slips.

It’s hard, it requires some tender care.

But wear that crown with love and grace

And for the reins there’ll be no race.

A monarch can be truly loved,

But duly note that once you’ve reached your pearly throne

You are up there entirely on your own.

I’ve been thinking a lot about responsibility recently. I hate it. I have absolutely no desire to be a manager of any kind at work but it’s not always been like that. Not so long ago, I craved that success. But I didn’t seem to appreciate that with the success comes responsibility. It was a burden that I am not strong enough to carry and I would often buckle within a few weeks of getting any promotion.

It’s taken a lot of therapy to realise that it’s not what I want and that it’s OK to not want it. Society tells us that we should aspire to reach the top, but it takes a certain type of person and not all of us are that person. I love just pottering around at my work and leaving my stresses at the door when I leave. And that is OK!

Push yourself in areas that interest you because once that crown is placed on your head you sometimes have to fight to the death to keep it there. Make sure that it’s a battle you have the energy and the inclination to fight.

Much Love

Rachel xx

a big cheese grater

I think that it’s fair

To say I’ve been scraped

As I travelled along this year.

I’ve been through a grater

With flakes of myself

Snowing down far and near.

I feel a little lighter at the end of this year. And it’s been a painful process. My skin hurts, I’m feeling so sensitive. Perhaps I have been through a big human sized cheese grater? I imagine that I would be like Parmesan and the little bits of me that have been shaved off are being sprinkled all over a nice salad. It’s good to get rid of those flaky bits that were clinging on to me, but oh boy, did it hurt.

Did anyone else get cheese grated this year? I hope that if you have been grated then you at least have a nice salad to look forward to at the end of it all. I have a feeling that there is going to be celery on mine and I don’t like celery.

Happy New Year from a softer, less flaky version of me.

Much Love

Rachel xx

fast car

The need for it all is compulsively strong.

It tears at my skin and it squeezes my lungs,

Air leaving alveoli like drips wrung from sponge.

It’s the need for speed,

The need for it now.

I would inhale all these books

If the laws of this world would allow.

I would soak up the internet

And learn every language ever been spoken.

Grab life by the shirt collar

And shake til it’s broken.

I would shake it so violently

To get it all out.

Like change from a piggy bank

Echoing inside and amounting to nowt.

I need it all there, inside my head

Despite knowing better and knowing the danger.

I know that I need to slow it right down.

But the speed that I know I can plough into knowledge

(a bit like a car with brakes that have failed)

Is far more enticing and I’m willing to drown,

If drowning will mean that know it all now,

The ins and the outs and the whys and the how.

Anyone else feel like they need to know everything and they need to know it yesterday? I blame the internet. We are so used to getting everything immediately that I’ve almost completely forgotten how to wait for anything.

But is there a danger to the immediacy that we have become accustomed to? It is true that knowledge is power, but it’s also true that ignorance is bliss. Sometimes the onslaught of information can seem like too much and all I want is for it to slow down. I felt a little like I was in a car heading towards a lake with no brakes. I knew that I wanted the information but it was coming at me so fast that I knew I was going to drown in it.

Next year I’m definitely going to make more of an effort to slow down and enjoy the not knowing. I’ll enjoy turning off the TV and not consulting the internet every time I get a headache and think it could be some sort of tumour. Next year I am going to savour the moments rather than race towards the next one at any cost. I hope that you can do the same.

Much Love

Rachel xx