too big to understand

I want to open up my mind

Like ribbons falling from a gift,

But once unfurled and spread across the floor,

The pattern scattered over knees

And tiny human feet

Is complicated,

Kaleidoscopic,

Shifting each and every time

I think I’ve got a grip.

No, better not to even try.

Put the present back where found

But think about it all the time.

The God question came up in conversation today and I felt like it was something that I wanted to talk about because it is so interesting. I believe in a Christian God, but I really had to sit down and think about what a Christian God is.

I have a lot of friends who are agnostic and believe that God is nature or something similar. They are dead against organised religion, but interestingly, they do need something bigger than themselves to lean on.

Today, I spent a bit of time thinking about this and how God can be different things to different people, when He seems to have a positive impact on these people, regardless.

I think that this is because our minds are just too narrow to comprehend what God really is. We have to make our own version so that He fits in with what we can understand. I think that if a being created everything in the universe it is impossible for us to understand what that being may be like because we don’t even know how it all started or where it will end. My brain goes to mush just thinking about it.

I hope that you all have something to believe in during this strange and scary time. It really helps to feel like there is a loving presence that is in your corner and that has a listening ear in times of trouble.

Much Love

Rachel xx

just hang on

fingernails are used to dig

in the soft and fleshy ridge,

the final place to get a grip

before the long descent.

letting go is tempting me,

to land in soft and springy grass,

a place where I can fall asleep

and follow rabbits in my dreams.

I hate the phrase ‘trigger warning’ but I think that I need to put a little warning here as I want to write about the horrible thought processes that I used to slip into when I was drinking (and I still do fall into these patterns, even now).

I remember when I was coming to the end of my drinking career, I could feel that my liver was starting to hurt and I was really worried that I was going to die. But I couldn’t stop so I just prayed each day that I could live until my son got married.

After that point, I didn’t care. As long as I got to see Noah paired off with somebody lovely, I was quite happy to then go and drink myself to death.

Although I don’t ever want to drink myself to death anymore, I can sometimes run the risk of falling into the same pattern of thinking. It’s when I get stressed or upset of tired, I find I can spiral.

The last few months have been really hard with my mum kicking dad out and then turning on Noah and I. I feel like I’m bereaved as she has cut off all contact with me. And so, I have found myself occasionally thinking that I’ll just hold on until Noah turns eighteen and then I can take my own life.

I promise that I won’t do it, but it just goes to show how a few knocks can put us in a really vulnerable place. I know that there are a lot of people who are going to feel stressed over the coming months and I want you to stay strong if you feel yourself wobbling. I’m not telling you I struggle for sympathy, but to show you that we all like that from time to time.

Stay safe and talk to somebody if you’re not feeling good.

Much Love

Rachel xx

glimmer

there’s always a glimmer

of hope in every day,

even when the world tells you

that you need to be slimmer,

your light needs to be a bit dimmer,

need to be a goddamn winner.

I can’t be half these things,

but I know for sure

that there’s always gonna be a glimmer

of hope.

We’re going through a bit of a rocky patch at the moment and it’s all doom and gloom every time we switch on the TV. It’s enough to put anyone in a dark place because it’s downright scary.

But, we have to remember that in any bad situation there will always be a glimmer of hope. There will always be some good news somewhere, or something to make you smile. And we need to hang onto this tightly.

I interviewed for a new job on Thursday and they rang me back within a couple of hours and offered me the role. It was so exciting and it offered me that little bit of hope. I hope that there are some good things that are going on for you to help you through these tough times.

Much Love,

Rachel xx

loneliness

Inside the curvature of glass

The outside world is warped and out of shape.

Images are upside down and inside out

While sounds just bounce against the dome,

Coming neither in nor out.

I have been shaken up and down

And tiny flecks of plastic snow

Are choking lungs and stick to skin.

Infuriating,

To the point of making

This girl want to end it all.

Just save me from my tiny globe

And let me live in holy commune

With my fellow man.

We are living in really scary times at the moment and a lot of people will be struggling with loneliness as we all start to retreat and isolate. Older people are the most vulnerable and they are the ones who are going to be feeling the effects of being alone.

I don’t know anything about the science behind what is going on, but I do know that we need to be thinking of people who have nobody around them at this stressful time. Loneliness can play with people’s mental health and the effects can be devastating.

Also, I think it might be worth mentioning that panic buying is doing nobody any favours. There is no toilet paper anywhere and I can’t understand why a household of two people need 27 loo rolls. Let’s try and share our resources and make sure that nobody is going without.

Stay safe guys and keep talking to each other (nicely) over the internet, because it might be the only human contact that some people are getting. A nice message might feel like a life line to some.

Much Love

Rachel xx

nasty case of FOMO

The man at the gates, at the end of my life

Looked at his list and then looked at me.

Why are you here? he asked, seriously.

You haven’t yet done the most important of things.

What could that be? I asked, earnestly.

I’ve worked and I’ve travelled

And I’ve ticked off my goals.

But those allowed in are only those souls

That did the most perfect of things.

What can be greater than all I have done?

I’ve achieved all my hopes and magical dreams.

Ah, but you haven’t felt love, said the man.

You’ve shut yourself off through hurt and through fear

And not let one person see the real you.

And until you have done this

You’ve only had a life that has been half lived.

I have steered away from relationships all of my life. I know that it is mostly out of fear and I think that is really sad. I hear other people talk about love as though it is magical and intoxicating and I can’t help but wonder if I would embrace the feeling too, if only I could let down my barriers enough to let it in.

I just hope that I don’t get to the end of my life and find that I’ve wasted it in some way, just because I was too scared to let in the most important part of it. I mean, if love makes the world go round, then my world must be pretty stagnant at the moment.

I hope that any people out there that are struggling with this fear can start to chip away at the walls because I’m sure we are all missing out. And I don’t know about you but I’m starting to get a nasty case of FOMO.

Much Love

Rachel xx

coping badly with change

Do you remember those days as kids,

Welly boots on and wading through streams

With fishing nets slung over shoulders

And minnows in washed up jam jars?

I never thought for a moment back then

That life would be changed with age.

We’d all just remain at that innocent stage

And never be worried by bills or break ups

Or casual flings and steamier make ups.

But life is not life without constant change

And if you’re not willing to bend, you break.

So I’m limbering up for the next big surprise

Because change is best suited to the fittest

And only the fittest survive.

I put my hand up and freely admit that I am terrible when it comes to accepting change. I love routine and as soon as somebody tells me I need to change something it completely unbalances me.

There is no problem with liking routine, but it does become a problem when change is frightening (which it can be for me). I’m always convinced that the change has been introduced to catch me out and get me into trouble.

I’m sure there must be loads of people out there who find it as crippling as I do and I can sympathise with you wholeheartedly. It makes world situations almost impossible because every time a new manager comes in they want to ‘shake things up’ or ‘put their own stamp on the place.’

I know how important being open to change is to live a normal and productive life, so I do really push myself to embrace it. It’s easier said than done, but I’ve had lots of changes happen over the last six months and I’ve (sort of) handled them ok.

My point is that in nature it is the species that adapt to change that survive the best, so it makes sense for us humans to be open to change. It’s often that first step into the unknown that’s the hardest and once you’ve done that you find yourself looking back and wondering what all the fuss was about.

We’re all in this together and most people only try new things to improve the world; not make it worse. So exercise a little bit of trust and join me in giving some of these new things a go. You never know, we might just enjoy ourselves!

Much Love

Rachel xx

slowing it right down

The brain is quite mechanical,

All made up of turning cogs

That clink and clunk as thoughts pass through.

Sadness slows the churning down

But happy news can send it into overdrive.

The pieces start to let off smoke

And with no help they’re known to jam.

There is a way to slow it down,

It takes some effort on my part

But take a breath and fill my lungs,

It’s like a smudge of oily grease

On overworked and rusty parts.

It slows the thoughts that run away

And eases painful broken hearts.

When I first got sober somebody told me that it’s easy to get complacent and find yourself relapsing because of a happy event. After all, I didn’t just drink when I was sad; I also loved to drink to celebrate birthdays, holidays, graduations and…… well, Tuesdays.

I don’t think that I’m at any risk of relapsing at the moment but I have received some happy news today and I can already feel myself getting a little bit overexcited, and it’s at times like these that I need to be at least a bit careful.

The happy news is that I have an interview for my teaching job on Thursday! I’m so happy, but I can also feel myself wishing away the time before now and then. And that’s dangerous for someone like me. I need to live in the moment and appreciate each moment.

I have found that CBT techniques can help and I know to practice my breathing work when I start to get a bit carried away. I do feel a bit like my brain is a machine and it can become a bit like an overheating car engine when I get excited about something.

For now, I’m just doing all the things I love to keep myself distracted and enjoying as many moments as I can. And if you’re in a similar situation and wishing time away, just slow down. You’ll get there in God’s time.

Much Love

Rachel xx

is this real love

My T-shirt clung to sticky skin

As the sun would melt all it hit.

Inside the concrete garden space

We sat playing card games and laughing at nothing,

Spurred on by the fog of wine

And the shouts of angry players

Of darts and snooker and barroom brawls.

My heart was buoyed upon the humid air,

Love surely taking root?

So when that fateful blow came down,

The heart’s sheer plummet took me by surprise.

Ever tried to poker face

When the air has left your lungs?

When you’re kicking, clawing for the ropes

And icy water’s pouring in,

Filling lungs like little buckets,

Buckets that cannot be bailed.

That’s the slow and painful death

That greets a broken heart.

To you it’s just your toes in a luke warm paddling pool,

For me it’s something dark and cruel,

It’s something you could never comprehend.

I don’t know if any of you have been on a blind date or met someone for a date from the internet recently? If you have and you are a bit of a sensitive soul then you may have been in for a rude awakening.

Internet dating is fabulous if you are a lover of getting out there and meeting loads of people. But if you’re like me, it can be a real struggle just to find the courage to go on one date. And then if that date goes badly or they let you down quite abruptly, it can be heartbreaking.

I used to think that there was something wrong with me. Perhaps I was too soft or too clingy, one of those crazy stalkers who gets attached after one date. But now I realise it’s just that I feel things so intensely, and there are a lot of people out there that are just like me.

I did do on a couple of dates with someone a few months ago and I thought things were going amazing until he let me down over a game of cards in a pub garden. It was a hot afternoon but I suddenly felt so cold and ashamed when he said he didn’t want to see me again.

I haven’t been able to gather the courage to have another go, but I am becoming aware that perhaps internet dating isn’t the best option for somebody who feels like they are a bad person if they are not loved instantly.

I didn’t want to moan, but I hope that this resonates with somebody out there, who is also finding themselves to be a bit too sensitive for the rough and tumble of modern life. If you are feeling that way then perhaps we could date each other. We may not be compatible but we’d end up staying together forever out of fear of hurting each other. That sounds like an excellent basis for a long and happy relationship.

Much Love

Rachel xx

Happy International Women’s Day

I’ve not agreed to all these rules

All these expectations,

And so many self imposed.

Do I stay at home?

To cook and clean and care for kids,

Or do I go to work and break some balls?

Use my head and stretch my intellect?

It’s quite the dark conundrum

That’s left me feeling lost.

Firstly, happy International Women’s Day! It’s really nice to take a bit of time out and appreciate some of the women who have led the way for all of us following behind.

But I did want to use today’s post to voice my own worries over what I’m doing with my life and whether it’s amounting to a worthwhile life.

Women today have this awful battle in choosing whether to take on the traditional role of housewife and stay at home mother, or go out and forge a career. Pick either one and someone will make you feel guilty. And try to strike a balance and you feel like you’re letting everyone down.

I’m not complaining, as I think that, as women, we are living in an exciting time. But it would be nice if we could just make up our minds and skip the judgement part.

Whatever you’re doing with your life, enjoy it and dont let anyone tell you that you are doing it wrong. I can assure you that you are smashing it either way!

Much Love

Rachel xx

It’s for scientific purposes, I promise

I’m still finding my feet,

A teen in a grown woman’s body.

I find myself watching reality TV

In an attempt to learn what to do.

*

Some people turn up their noses

But I actually need those things.

A road map to help me through

A world that I once drowned out.

I have found since I stopped drinking that I’ve begun to watch a tonne of reality shows. I find that I’m absolutely fascinated by them and I couldn’t quite put my finger on why. I almost felt a bit embarrassed about the fact that I adored Love Island.

However, I think I now know what it is that keeps me hooked. I think that it’s because I’ve been drinking heavily for my entire adult life and now that I’m only three years out of it, I’m still trying to learn all of the things that everyone else learnt during their twenties.

Romantic relationships are completely beyond me because I’m emotionally about fifteen years old. So Love Island is a treasure trove of ‘information’ for me. I get to see all these people fall in love and break up all in fast forward.

You may all be laughing at me and being all judgey, but I promise, I’m only watching it for scientific purposes.

Much Love

Rachel xx