what the bloody hell was i thinking?

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What is that thing that pushes me

Into places darker than

The hole of hell that draws me in?

What makes me want to feel that pain

That stabbing in the broken brain?

I always do this thing where I sign up for something and then I wonder why the bloody hell I did it. I kind of want to do it but I don’t think about the pain involved when I sign the form and pay my money. Once it’s all signed and paid, I realise how stupid I have been.

This weekend I’ve signed up for yet another 100 mile run. I failed on the last attempt, only making it to 80. And I know in my heart of hearts that I’m going to hate almost every second of it. My ankles will swell and I’ll vomit until there’s nothing left in my stomach. It sounds horrendous because it is.

So, I’ve been spending a bit of time thinking about what my motivation is. Why do I sign up for things that are going to make me miserable? I think that the main reason id attention. The thrill of having people tell me that I’ve achieved something awesome is so great that I’m willing to put myself through hell to get a hit of it.

It’s pretty sad that I need that validation from people to make myself feel worthwhile. To think that there are people out there who can just live there lives and feel like they are enough. They don’t need to be doing things that will harm them to make themselves feel like a whole person.

One day I will have enough self confidence to just stop with this madness, but for now I guess I’m going to spend my weekend throwing up in various bushes. I’m just interested to know if anyone else does things like this to feel good about themselves. If you are like me, make sure you look after yourself. I don’t want you getting into any trouble!

Much Love

Rachel xx

the chest pains and the crazy thoughts

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It starts with the chest constricting,

Pulling in tight til the air’s squeezed out,

And then come the thoughts, pouring on in,

Like water that swirls round the hole of the plug,

Faster and faster, tighter and tighter,

Until madness has gripped and there’s no turning back

As I sink down the hole with the ugliest slurp.

I woke up with chest pains this morning. I get them when I’m stressed and they can be pretty scary at times. I haven’t had them for quite some time so it has made me feel uneasy that they are creeping back into my life.

I know how important it is to stay calm right at this point. This is the point where things can go wrong and this time around they will not. Because the point where I get sucked into that plughole is a desperate one and you can’t come back from it.

This time around there is a teacher that is a bit aggressive and I worry that she is going to start slating me. And the more nervous I get, the more mistakes I make and then these strong characters have something to jump on to.

But I’m learning that these people are just that; they are strong characters. They don’t really mean any harm, they just say things a little more harshly than my tender little mind can handle. They probably like me (although they probably also think I’m a bit of a wet blanket).

The point is, I must not tell myself that these people hate me and are out to get me. They just have a personality that is different to mine. And it’s just as much my job to be understanding of them as it is for them to be understanding of me.

I will not spend the next four weeks worrying that they want me dead or that they’re plotting to get me arrested (both of which have been real worries of mine in the past). Instead, I will take deep breaths and just do the best I can.

The worst that can happen is that I fail, nobody employs me and I end up back at the petrol station. It’s not the ending I want but we are all put on our own paths for very special reasons. It’ll just be interesting to see what my path will ultimately be.

Much Love

Rachel xx

the 90’s girls

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We clung together in our groups of fours and fives,

And spritzed ourselves in Spice World spray

That hung in clouds above our hair

Brushed through and through with coloured wands,

The bane of mothers’ lives, as they washed it out

Of pillowcases, still the pink of little girls.

We’d laugh between ourselves, over copies of our magazines

With names like Mizz and Bliss and pictures of our stars,

The Britneys and the Backstreet Boys that filled filled our lives

As we lolled on sofas made of PVC, squeaky and inflatable.

I miss those days of blissful youth when teenage love

And hate and drama filled the air,

I miss those days of Dawson’s Creek and weddings Greek

And big and fat and spots and creams,

I miss those days of teenage dreams…..

just don’t let people bother you so much

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They’re always going to be there,

Those types that always want to hurt and hate,

So just ignore, forget their scathing words.

It’s as easy as that,

Just ignore the words and pain will go away.

And if I break your leg with force,

Why not ignore that pain and limp

Along like someone brave,

Like someone stronger than you are.

I’m getting fed up of people telling me that because I’m emotionally sensitive, I’m a bit of a loser, or I’m somehow weaker than I should be. It’s as though the pain that I can feel through words is irrelevant and I should just pull myself together.

But to me, the emotional pain I feel from hurtful words is physical. It hurts so much that it takes away my breath, so surely I’m allowed to wallow in that? If I told somebody to just pull them self together if they broke their leg, it would sound heartless, so why is it different with emotional pain?

I see myself as a really strong person. I can swim the Channel and I can run 100 miles, so I have a hell of a lot of strength inside me. And so, I’m not going to let someone tell me that I’m pathetic because I have to curl up in a ball when someone says something nasty to me.

Love people when they are in pain. Don’t tell them that they are not justified in their suffering. Because next time you break your leg, you might not get that much sympathy from that sensitive person you’ve put down time and time again.

Much Love

Rachel xx

because she’s a bully

She’s wicked but clever

And she’ll scrape at your heart

With a needle so fine,

No one will notice

That she’s put one foot wrong,

But you, my dear

Will be dead in a gutter somewhere.

There’s a lot of talk about workplace bullying at the moment, or at least there is the UK. We are just coming to the end of our Anti-Bullying Week and the news we are seeing couldn’t have come at a more appropriate time.

Now, I don’t know what had gone on behind closed doors so I can’t really have an opinion but it’s brought back some horrible memories for myself, as I’ve had a really bad experience at work before.

I’d never experienced bullying at school so it was actually really frightening when I went through it as an adult. In my case, I went to my boss feeling really frightened of a colleague. I was literally crying and shaking, I was so frightened.

So it was shocking when the management then thought that it was funny to put me with that colleague every time they could. My duties were changed and my life was made a living hell.

Eventually, after my behaviour got so strange and erratic they pulled me in to say that I was bullying this girl. I ended up being signed off for weeks and losing my job as I suffered from psychosis with the anxiety.

Workplace bullying is just the worst, especially when it’s the boss that has all the power and is abusing it. I hope that the people who have made the complaint are being looked after and that they don’t ever need to face being shouted and sworn at ever again. And a stressful working environment is never an excuse.

Much Love

Rachel xx

is it ok: to tell a kid they’re crap?

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You’re horrible;

Your work, it sucks.

You can carry that through your childhood

However it is you see fit.

You can heave it upon your shoulders

And let it grind you down

Until you’re drinking and hanging onto life

With fingernails that bleed with pain

And cry all through the night.

I think I’m going to start doing a little ‘is it OK?’ series, because I don’t seem to know what is right and what is wrong. I used to think I did, but as I’ve gotten further into my sobriety I’m actually not so sure. I think it may be because I don’t call people out anymore, but leaving them to their opinions can sometimes make me drop to the floor with shock.

I got told the other day that I was teaching badly because I didn’t shout enough at the students. The teacher said that I need to start telling the students that their work is rubbish and that they are going to do badly in their exams.

Now, I don’t like laziness but I’m also OK with a bit of low level chatter and I don’t like telling people in an aggressive way that their work is rubbish. I feel like I need to be a bit more diplomatic than that.

I may be really naive and the only way I’m going to get through to a Year 10 class is to shout at them, but I was always told that I wasn’t good enough and look at what a mess I’ve become!

I may be completely wrong, but I feel like I want to be nice and it worries me that to get a good report from this woman, I’m going to need to be less nice. Everyone is entitled to their opinion but it is making me feel a little bit sick, thinking about being a bitch.

I’m sure there are some out there that know the science and know that being nice is going to screw up these kids royally, but I’m sticking to my theory that we need a bit more kindness in the world. The last thing we need is more people going through the world thinking that they’re worth nothing because they didn’t understand Romeo and Juliet….

Much Love

Rachel xx

how do i love routine?

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How do I love routine? Let me count the ways,

I love routine with all my heart and soul,

The gentle rock and smoothest roll

That keep my life in regimented line

And make my dates and times entwine.

I’m all over a good routine. It’s probably why I’ve always had to have jobs that are very process driven. I’ve always had jobs where one task after another have to be completed and they are always done in order and they are always done by a certain time.

I love knowing that nothing is going to jump out and make my life a nightmare. Nothing can surprise me and get me into trouble. As soon as you throw in the odd surprise I feel like the rug has been pulled from underneath my feet.

Whenever a boss changed something about our routine when I worked at the petrol station I felt like somebody had kicked me in my stomach. It could be something so trivial and yet it would completely throw me. Once I was told not to bag the doughnuts until after I had cooked the croissants and I could feel my heart racing.

Now that I’m doing my training in a school I’m getting curve balls thrown left, right and centre. It has been such a tough experience and it’s made me ‘grow up’ more than I’ve ever needed to.

And yes, I am a thirty-six year old woman, but I’ve never stepped out of this comfort zone. If things ever got tricky I would just throw in the towel and leave.

That still doesn’t change the fact that I love routine so much. I love the comfort and the familiarity, like a great big hug from a lovely friend. There’s not much of that happening these days so I’m learning to just wrap my own arms around myself. I can be my own best friend and I can be my own comforter.

Much Love

Rachel xx

poetry perfection: diary of a somebody by brian bilston

For somebody who writes poetry every day, I’m not much of a poetry reader. I think it’s because a lot of the books I see are too clever for me; or too deep. I don’t know if I’m just a bit too dim to understand what these poets are going on about.

But this….

This book was bloody brilliant. It was like a male Bridget Jones with a poetic twist. I laughed out loud; like proper snorted. I very nearly shed a tear at the end and I know for fact that I will be thinking about it for many days and weeks to come.

It’s nice to know that you don’t have to be deep and dark to be a poet. You can be a little bit silly and just have a genuine love of words and you can still make a success out of it.

If you are ‘sort of into poetry’ and you want something that will just warm your heart, I highly recommend this book for Christmas. I have looked on Goodreads and Brian has a few books out so I will definitely be reading those.

If you can’t get hold of his books then you can always follow him on Twitter (that was how I first came across him).

I’m on the hunt for some good Christmas books now, so any suggestions will be very gratefully received.

Much Love

Rachel xx

i only know how to focus on the bad comments

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They’re etched across the eye inside my mind,

Like an ugly smear that swipes across my life.

Those words are harsh and burn through skin,

No matter how they’re meant to sit.

I had a feedback session for my formal observation today. I think it went OK. I think.

And the reason I’m not so sure is because we started with the things I did well before moving onto the things that I need to work on. So, of course, I left the meeting with all of my flaws ringing in my ears; the good bits all but forgotten.

I know that this is something that a lot of people suffer with but I take it to a new level. When I was having therapy my counselor said something really nice about me and when she asked me what it was she had said just two minutes later, I had no idea what it was.

I was aware that she had said something kind but all that was rumbling through my brain was the bad stuff. It was a though my mind couldn’t hold onto the good stuff; it just didn’t compute.

I am better, and at least I know what I’m doing to myself these days. It still takes me a hell of a lot of brain power to tell myself that there were some positives in there. I even needed to get my dad to read my feedback form to see if he could spot good stuff in there because all I could see was the bad.

It’s kind of sad and when I saw what I was doing in therapy it actually brought me to tears to see that I was so horrible to myself. So tonight, I’m going to spend some time going through everything that I do well so that I can remember that I have talents and I’m not a pathetic loser.

I’ve managed to get this far so I can’t be that bad, can I?

Much Love

Rachel xx

i’m a little bit better than i first thought

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The flames aren’t lapping at my feet,

The planes aren’t crashing into rooms

Filled with kids who scream in fear.

No. In fact it’s rather pleasant

This world that I create

Inside my haven, my heavenly room to teach.

I have this thing where I think that I’m doing really badly as I lead a lesson. In my head, everything’s going wrong, I can’t find the resources that I need so I’m scratching around for bits of paper, and I’m stumbling over my words.

I was also told that if I were to film myself, I might not enjoy the experience because I’ll be able to see all of my flaws (and, of course, nobody likes the sound of their own voice).

However, I had to record a lesson today so that I can be assessed by my tutor. I was dreading it, but I did it anyway and this evening I sat down and had a look at what a mess I was in front of my Year 8’s.

But the funny thing was that it actually showed me that I’m not that bad. I’m not really stumbling; I’m just concentrating so hard on the few times that I do stumble that I forget about the remaining two hours that are word perfect.

I’m nice to my class, I laugh with them, I have them all quiet so I can’t be too boring! All in all, I’m much better than I thought I was. The exercise that was supposed to make me question myself has actually given me a bit of confidence.

I’m not that bad. I can do this. And I need to be proud of how much I’ve improved in such a short space of time.

I hope that you are feeling confident in something at the moment. Even if it’s just knowing that you can do the cryptic crossword in the newspaper. You deserve a pat on the back!

Much Love

Rachel xx