the eve of the big day

swimmer on block before diving into pool
Photo by Heart Rules on

The dress hangs on the rear of the door,

Catching light that streams before it sets.

The shoes are placed like man and wife,

By the door, ready to take me where I must go

And the bags are packed to bursting full

Of things I know I will not need.

But, still excitement burns through from the core

With a raging heat that can’t be quenched.

It’s just like Christmas Eve, when as a child

Those butterflies would hold me up at night,

Knowing Santa’s on his way with gift wrapped love

And sprinkling magic dust on furniture

That in the day was dull to touch.

That fiery joy will burn all night, and for a part

Of long days yet to come. If I could sleep

I’d dance through to the main event,

Forgetting that sweet pain that stings

On the eve of a big day.

I’m running a long race tomorrow and the nerves are starting to set in. Not in a bad way, but in a way that makes me feel a little on edge; it’s like some primal part of my brain knows that something big is on the horizon.

I don’t know if you are the nervous type, but as a child I used to vomit when I got nervous. It was excruciating to want to do something really well but to struggle to do it because I would get myself into such a state. It wouldn’t matter what I was doing: exams, swim meets, Christmas; I would always end up making myself ill.

I’ve gotten better at controlling my nerves as I’ve gotten older, but I still feel that familiar twist in my stomach on the night before a race. I know it’s going to hurt, but I also know that I have nothing to fear because I know that I’m enough no matter what happens, and I never knew that to be true when I was a kid.

If you’re feeling anxious about anything, just know that you are enough too.

Much Love

Rachel xx

isn’t it nice to have a safe space?

A little corner or a room

Where one can curl up legs beneath

And gently close the eyes, to cry

Or just to breathe, one two three.

Those black and glistening fronds,

The tentacles that reach for me,

Searching through the open windows,

They can’t get me there, sealed inside,

Here I’m safe, and I can breathe

One two three….

I really love the fact that blogging creates such a lovely safe space for all of us. The internet can be a bloody scary place (just hop on over to Twitter if you don’t believe me), but the blogging world is just so lovely and kind and I find that even negative comments are well thought out and intelligent, rather than a stream of vile hate.

I know that a lot of bloggers do use this space to just get our feelings out into the open. We are introverts who are happy to sit in our living rooms with our cats. To us, the outside world is just a little bit scary and writing is the thing that helps us process everything we see out there in the big bad world.

I realise after this very strange year that we all need a safe place. For some people, the isolation that we have endured has been dangerous for them and their safe space is out there with all the people. Crazy, I know. To think there are people out there who like socializing!

Writing does give me so much joy and helps me to feel lighter. The fact that I can write and connect with lovely people at the same time is such a wonderful thing. I just wanted to put that out there…

Much Love

Rachel xx

it took an explosion to realise something about myself…

I sometimes get myself so stressed out about some things and a lot of the time I couldn’t even tell you why I’ve gotten myself into such a state. However, there are also other times when I feel that I should be upset and I don’t seem to care.

Example: last night Noah came into my room to ask for ear plugs because there was a truck outside. I looked out the window and saw blue lights but it’s too far to see the road properly so I couldn’t see what was going on. And so I went back to sleep.

When I woke up this morning, I found tape all round my car and the front of my car had been melted by the vehicle parked in front. I think my car is a write off, but I don’t feel all that stressed.

I was thinking how losing a five pound note could make me so upset that I can’t sleep and my only form of transport being trashed has very little effect and how that doesn’t seem to make sense. But then I realised that one was my fault and one wasn’t.

I can’t seem to cope when I know that I am to blame and I know it stems from my mum making me really frightened to make mistakes. I feel like this has been another step in learning about myself and how I tick.

I’m just wondering if there is any way of overcoming this now that I have noticed it’s when I blame myself that everything falls apart. My brain continues to fascinate me and it’s actually been quite fun in some ways, getting sober and finding all this stuff out that I probably should have learnt fifteen years ago!

Much Love

Rachel xx

returning to the known

Photo by Quenani Leal on

Those dusty corridors that occupied my mind

For months I tried to shake those lockers

Metal bending, warping with the memories

That once were sharp and rigid too

Holding all the information needed for

A smooth return to something so familiar

It’s like a dream that will recur

Several times a week, but then

There’s always ogres in the doorways

Ready for a gory pounce, to end that calm

That once immersed my body like the lake

That ripples as the water closes up

Over heads that thought they knew too much.

I’m going back to my first school placement tomorrow and I should be really excited because it’s familiar. But the familiar is actually scaring me a little bit. I thought that I was being ridiculous, but after speaking to the other trainees today, it seems that I’m not alone.

I though that going back to something that was known would be a breeze but I realise now that so many things are actually quite different, and that includes me. I’ve had to learn so much since Christmas so I bet I have learnt loads and really managed to put a lot of it into practice.

I think that I’m a bit worried that they will think I haven’t come on enough, but I must be doing OK because I got a job. I need to keep telling myself that these negative thoughts are possibly a load of rubbish.

We all need to be a bit nicer to ourselves and actually enjoy going back to see all the nice people who helped me during my first term. Wish me luck!

Much Love

Rachel xx

my battery is low

close up photo of batteries
Photo by Hilary Halliwell on

There is a little red light

Flashing in my brain

Telling me it’s not alright

For him to be here again.

But I could spell it out

And still he wouldn’t see

The need for isolation

To recharge and just remember who

I am, and where I’m from and what I do.

My lovely dad is here at my flat… A LOT. I love him dearly but he is an extrovert and I am an introvert. I need my space. I need silence if I am going to recharge my batteries and not get ill. But he doesn’t understand that. And he is inviting himself over more and more.

I feel so bloody ungrateful because he does so much for us and yet I just want to sit in absolute silence and eat what I want to eat and watch what I want to watch and read when I want to read.

I’ve always been really sensitive to sound and I find the presence of another person really exhausting because they are constantly making noises. There was this one time that I had to go for a conference with work and dealing with all the coughing and sniffing and whispering was just too much. I ended up crying all the way home because my brain felt so scratchy, and I had to chug a lot of vodka just to settle that feeling.

Obviously, these days I don’t have the vodka to fall back on so I just have to bite my tongue and ride it out. But it actually hurts.

So how on earth do you tell somebody so nice, that you just want some space? It’s like kicking a puppy. And that really doesn’t make me feel very good about myself.

Much Love

Rachel xx

running for anger management

Her feet will hammer on the starlit tarmac road,

The breath in white and puffy clouds,

Her ponytail is swinging, a happy kind of beat,

But really there is seething there,

A burning hot desire to hurt, to dig in nails,

To tear at skin and let out sound.

It’s something primal, pumping up with every step,

The thump of blood that rushes through her ears

And tells her that this run will save her life.

The running’s not for fun, not to ease out gentle stress;

It is to strangle out the worst of her,

The painful spikes that festered for so long.

I think I’ve written about this before, but it plays on my mind so much that it deserves being written about over and over. I should probably write a book about it because it eats me up and quite literally hurts me.

I’m a runner. Not a great one, but a runner nonetheless. However, I find that every time I run, I get too angry to even breathe. I’m not even an angry person, but it seems to pour out of me when I’m running. It even makes me sometimes think I should stop. Why would I want to carry on something that literally makes me cry and feel like I can’t breathe.

Am I the only person in the world that loves something that causes me that much pain? Am I sick? Should I just give up? I’m exhausted, but I kind of crave that outpouring.

Much Love


the unwanted child

They’re beautiful, I was told by everyone.

You always love your child, with their newborn smell.

But what does that make me?

The mum that cannot bear to look at the baby in her arms,

With milk dried in fleshy folds of chunky necks

And circle mouths that let out cooing sounds.

I hate myself for hating this,

The thing it’s law to love.

But bubble baths and baby soap never did fulfil

The aching hole that seared my soul

When the child was pulled from me,

Screaming for a swift return

To a place that just exists, in a dreamy flight.

the nervous smile

yellow painted egg with smiley emoticonn

It’s like a fragile mask

Glued to skin that’s taut with fear

But still it does the ugly job

And tricks the world,

Its tacky, brightly painted tint

Makes them think it’s all OK.

I have a problem with a nervous smile or laugh. It appears whenever I am starting to feel quite distressed and I didn’t realise I did it until a few years ago. I realise no, just how confusing it must have been for the people around me, but it also caused me so much pain.

I went to counselling and it was only when I started to trust the therapist and tell her some of the really hard stuff that she asked why I was smiling. It scared me because it was exactly what bosses said to me when I was getting pulled into an office for doing something bad. There was that same look of confusion on her face.

I then went to hospital once, when I had fallen over and really hurt myself. I was smiling and laughing because I was so scared and in so much pain. However, the nurse seemed to think that meant that I wasn’t in pain and started moving my arm around with no care at all. She even shouted at me when I yelped in pain.

It turned out that the arm was broken and dislocated, but because I was smiling I got shouted at by the nurse.

I’m not blaming the nurse, because my weird behaviour was the reason that she treated me the way she did. And it’s the reason why I was misunderstood by so many bosses who thought I was rude.

At least I now know exactly what I was doing wrong, but I still feel my mouth twisting into that ugly smile whenever I’m under pressure. One day I will get it under control….I hope.

Much Love

Rachel xx

Do you think that kids ever realise how scared we are?

I was sitting on the sofa, almost hyperventilating as I prepared for another online lesson. Deep breaths, in and out, trying to calm my racing heart. And I wondered whether the kids ever have even an inkling that we adults are sometimes scared.

I know that I’m probably a slightly more nervous person that the average but I sometimes feel that I’m about to pass out with the nerves when I’m just about to stand up and take the lesson. It’s even worse online, because we have all that technology that could go wrong.

I have listened back to some of my lessons and I seem really calm and in control which doesn’t match up with anything that I am feeling on the inside. So, can a kid really know that I’m quite literally dying?

Sometimes I think that we are unaware how much kids do pick up on, but on the other hand, I think that sometimes we worry about nothing. I’m there worrying that the kids won’t learn the inner workings of Romeo’s mind, when actually they’re chatting on another line and not even listening to me.

I’m not kid bashing here, but I am writing this to tell myself that I’m not the centre of their universe. A lot of them don’t care and those that do (yay for them!) are really busy jotting down notes. Literally anything I say is useful to them! I just need to remember that.

And if you are worried about what people are thinking about you, you are in my thoughts because it’s a horrible feeling. But the truth is that we’re not really all that important to them. And if we are important to them, then they should love us anyway.

Much Love

Rachel xx

i’m a flamin’ mind reader, don’t you know?

photo of head bust print artwork
Photo by meo on

I can see inside that mind or yours,

The way it ticks and plots my death,

My slow and painful unbecoming now

Apparent to the world at large.

You haven’t told me that it’s what you plan,

I’m just a lucky one, a reader of your minds,

I see it all and know how much

You hate and wish to see me dead.

I’m sure that there are loads of mind readers out there. You may be one yourself. You may be the type of person that just knows what other people are thinking without them uttering a word. I suppose it’s body language or one of those heavy silences; whatever it is it’s powerful stuff, because I really start to believe the shit that I make up.

I’m writing today from a tiny little office that I’ve cooped myself up in because I’m scared. All I want is to be taken out of circulation because I am scared. And I don’t mind admitting that now, because understanding my issues and saying them out loud are what help me most.

Four years ago I had a breakdown and I thought that the people who I was working with wanted me dead. I was so self absorbed that I thought the end of every conversation that I caught was about me. Every time the room went quiet it was because people hated me. Every time there was a disaster it was because of me.

And I knew that people thought badly of me because I would read into their silences. I didn’t give a crap whether they had a bad day and were just quiet because they were stewing over what had happened a few minutes before I had walked in. In my mind, their silence was because they hated me. Obviously.

I’m better now, but the point is that I still have these overwhelming feelings when somebody is abnormally quiet around me, or gives me a strange look, or slams a book down too heavily for my liking.

It’s hard to be this sensitive and that’s why I’m hiding right now. But I’m also remembering all the things that could be going wrong in other peoples’ lives and I know that it’s not all about me. Fortunately.

Much Love

Rachel xx