The chemistry of love

How do I measure what I’m feeling inside?

Is it with scales or a measuring cup?

Or perhaps it’s a ruler that needs to be used?

It’s hard to say what it is that I’m measuring,

Let alone work out what I should use.

I am told it is love, but love is so……nice.

But this. This hurts like hell, a thump to the chest.

It feels like a drug and this trip is bad,

but drugs can be measured and analysed too.

This just lurks in the system waiting to pounce.

Perhaps if I mix it with acid

It will fizzle away to nothing?

Or what if I combine it with helium

and hope it will float far away?

There must be a tonic or potion

That will start to dissolve my devotion

To the one who is causing me all of this pain.

It’s one hundred percent chemical,

of that I am sure.

But how do I measure the amount I have in me

and does anyone know of a cure?

do you ever read a book…?

do you ever read a book

and wonder how the writer

got you so incredibly

and accurately right?

did she crawl inside your head

and have a rummage round?

or is there someone out there

who might just get the way you tick?

just sit still.

i know it hurts and words cannot

express the million different ways

that every muscle, every bone,

is creaking underneath the strain

of what you have been through.

but now it really is the time

to stop, to breathe, to just sit still.

I know it feels a little like a crash.

the impact plays on loop.

the splintering and fracturing

of all we loved and knew.

it all went up in flames that day,

but still we need to sit with it.

we need to let the body heal,

the heart, the soul, the mind.

no more medicating

with the pills or booze.

just sit there with that pain you feel,

it is the only way to heal.

i know how hard it is to fill

the silence when you’re sitting still.

but just sit still, i tell you that you must.

i know it hurts but this will help

and in my words i hope you trust.

Just sitting with pain has been one of the hardest things to do n recovery. I would always have vodka on hand to anaesthetise the feelings that gripped me and frightened me. Now, I have to sit here, feeling the pain and the darkness and it’s really hard. It seems counter intuitive to sit still when you’re scared; why not run?

However, I do it because I know I have to and each day I see that I’ve made it through and it’s a cause for celebration. I won’t say it gets easier because that’s a lie. It never does. It’s always hard. But as yet I haven’t died and you won’t either.

Much Love

Rachel xx

comedian.

God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh.

Voltaire

i sometimes think he’s having a laugh.

i mean i’m a christian and all.

i respect the guy.

a lot.

but what if this world really is a stage?

and what if we are merely players,

being pushed around for fun,

for jokes or just for bants?

i think he has a sense of humour

and we just need to lighten up.

love the life you have been given,

and learn to smile, even when you’re sad.

it’s just a game that should be played

knowing there’s no final grade.

you won’t be punished if you smile

because the one who’s in control

is just a funny guy.

pills and stuff

does anyone else take pills and stuff

to get them through the day?

to help them through the bits so rough

they can hardly lift their head

from the pillow where they lie?

let’s face it, so that they don’t die.

but really all those pills will do

is be the very end of you.

legacy: ugh, i feel like time’s running out

ugh, i feel like time’s running out.

how can i make something built to last

in a world that is moving so furiously fast?

what can i do that is intensely new?

that’s remembered by those yet to be born,

that cannot be scrapped or crumpled or torn?

the answer, i think, lies in the heart.

i need to be kind and make an impression,

free from hate and all that aggression

that hurts our society,

sweeping us up in a wave of pain

that cripples our hearts and never will wane.

better to build something bold and new,

cherished until death by just a few.

fame and glory will fade when i’m gone

but love and charity and caring compassion

will never ever fall out of fashion.

the seeds i sow will take their root,

so i’ll make them flowers i’d like to see

in a world that’s still here long after me.

I’ve been thinking about legacy a lot recently. I know it’s morbid but every time I have an ache or pain, the first thing that runs through my mind is that it’s something serious and I mustn’t have long left on this planet.

Of course, none of us know exactly when the end is coming so we do really need to think about the legacy that we are leaving behind for our children and their children.

As I’ve watched the news recently, it has become more and more evident that nothing is set in stone anymore. The money that we make and accumulate and the property that we hope to pass on can be taken from us in an instant. It’s terrifying, but it’s in these moments of fear that we really get some clarity on what’s important.

I think that there are a couple of things that we can leave behind that are much better than property and money. The first is the things that we create, artistically. Paintings and pieces of writing and sculptures and films and crochet blankets. Everything that is an artistic expression is like a piece of our heart that we have poured out into the world. These are things that are personal and even if they are worth nothing to the world at large, they are irreplaceable for the ‘few’ that I mention in this poem. Think of a painting done by a three year old at nursery. His parents will put it on their fridge and love it forever when it has no value to anyone else. Sure, the paper may disintegrate into nothing but the love that it represented will never be wiped out.

The other thing you can leave is something that will grow and help others over time. Even helping once or twice at a shelter or food bank is helping that thing to grow and just think of all the people that it will help over time. Our good actions are like ripples and they just spread without our awareness. All we are responsible for is starting that process.

I hope that you are already working on your legacy. You don’t need to even know what it is, just pumping those good intentions out into the world could be building something that will be great long after you are gone.

Much love,

Rachel xx

What a dumb bloody question

“what are you wearing?” they asked

as i marched through the crowd of glamour and glitz.

dumbly, i looked down at the gown that i wore.

“a dress,” i said, feeling deflated.

why would they ask?

does it matter if i wear

a thing that i plucked

from the rails of forever twenty one?

does it matter that the blusher and lipstick is on?

i wish so bad that you would learn to see

that rather inadvertently

you’ve missed a golden opportunity

to open up a conversation

that would give you a sort of indication

that the world at large, it wants to hear,

less about the stuff that’s so nonsensical

and more about the things we loathe

and that we love and that we fear.

that’s what pulls upon the strings

that hold our hearts in place.

that’s what reaches inside our soul,

shining a light on all that is dark

making us squirm and scratch at the skin

until nothing is left but a thing that is raw,

the clothes that you asked about all tattered and torn.

so now it is time that i make you a pledge

if you ask where i bought the shoes on my feet

or who was the person that coiffed my hair

i’ll say something smart and incredibly deep

and i’ll do it with style

and courage and flair.

I saw this thing that was said by Jennifer Lawrence and just had to write something about it. It made me laugh and get angry all at once which is what all the best quotes should do. Nothing should be entirely black or white if it’s going to make us think and open up a lively debate.

On the one hand, asking her what she is wearing is the standard question we expect to hear on the red carpet. It’s what the designers put the dress on her for. But then she kind of has a point. Are we worrying too much about the things that shouldn’t really matter at all?

We are living in a world where so many people have depression and anxiety and so much of it is because we are scared that we are not good enough. There is a deep black hole inside some of us and it could be filled if we started asking meaningful questions. Better questions than “is the dress you are wearing really expensive and highly sought after?”

We should be seeking kindness and fun and a desire to love; this is what will make the world a nicer place to live in. I hope that today you spend a little less time judging people by what they are wearing, what job they do and what car they drive and a little more time getting to know the real them and what makes them tick.

Much Love,

Rachel xx

fruit.

When I was a kid, I was a swimmer,

I trained so hard and yet I had so little talent.

I’d watch on as the other girls did half as much as me

And yet they reached the dizzy heights,

Whereas me? I just didn’t seem to have it there.

But when I did well, it wasn’t taken for granted.

It was savoured, each and every morsel of it.

I still look back, all this time later

And marvel at those little gems of time

When I had my moment in the sun.

Patientandkindlove 2019

Come into the office and close the door behind you

Does anyone else fear those awful words?

It shakes me to my very core

When the boss comes out to me and says

“Come into the office,

And close the door behind you.”

What the fuck do you need to say to me

That can’t be heard by anybody else?

What are you going to do to me

Once we’re trapped inside that tomb

That you prefer to call a room,

Or an office, or some other

Much less terrifying name.

Does anyone else feel their blood run cold?

Does anyone else say a silent prayer

When those fatal words are uttered?

But in I go like a little lamb

To the slaughter or at least the place

Where I get a grilling

For a thing I really didn’t mean to do.

I really hope that my words resonate with some people out there because this is a fear that has crippled me over the years. I’m not sure if it is down to some repressed trauma; maybe I got locked in a cupboard when I was naughty back when I was three?

I can joke about it but the fear of being asked into the office has made my life a living nightmare. Every time it happens I can feel myself sweating and my heart palpitating. And then nine times out of ten, whatever my manager wanted to say to me is positive anyway!

I think that a lot of this fear comes from my own insecurities. I constantly worry that I’m going to get pulled up for doing something wrong and a lot of the time this prevents me from even starting something. I sometimes wonder where I may have gotten to in my career if I had been more fearless and cared less about the dreaded office. I wish that I had known in my twenties that it’s fine to get something wrong. We all make mistakes and that’s how we grow and develop into strong and wise people.

If you are struggling with the fear of the office, try to see it as a place of growth. I understand how it quite literally feels like a tomb, like a place that I’m never going to escape from once that door closes behind me. It’s about as scary as being buried alive for me, so I know that it’s worthy of a panic attack. There is nothing to be ashamed of in feeling this frightened but do draw strength from the knowledge that there are lots of us that feel the same. I pray that you find strength and that next time you are called into the office there is a positive outcome.

Much Love,

Rachel xx

Gossip Girl (a poem)

It sucks you in rather like

The moment that the plug is pulled

And the old and dirty water drains,

Swirling and whirling from the bath.

There’s no escape, it’ll all go down.

You cannot stem the flow, no matter what you do.

The words are just the same,

Addictive, moreish and impossible to stop.

Ears prick as thoughtless words begin

To cross the lips of foolish girls

Who know not what they say or do.

They don’t know the pain they cause,

The syllables they think are silly bubbles,

Popping harmlessly before they reach that other girl.

But actually, they’re like a tiny army

Of barbed and deadly spears going on the hunt.

They gather speed and gather mass

Before they find their target.

When they hit they hurt like hell,

Crushing hearts and scratching brains.

Metal on metal screeching loudly

As she crumples inwards like

The messy car wreck that was never wanted.

It was harmless fun, or so they thought

Until that day the gossip killed.

I’ve had so much trouble resisting gossip over the years. It’s such a problem at school and in the work place and it’s so easy to get sucked into it. I’ve described it as being the same as water flowing down a drain; once the plug has been pulled, there is no escaping that pull.

Since I have become a Christian I am so much more aware of my flaws and it helps me to turn to the Bible so that I do not get sucked into these things. I know that if I stay well away then I am safe. If I don’t take those first steps by getting involved and even listening to the gossip, then I am in a much safer position.

I also wanted to use this poem to show where gossip can end up. It can be as destructive as a car crash, killing anyone in its way. What would you do if you found out that your words had been the cause of somebody harming themselves? I know that I couldn’t live with myself and yet we all do it. We all whisper in corners about people that we don’t like or we think that we are better than.

If you have been subjected to bullying and gossip then you will know the pain that it causes, so keep that in mind next time you hear someone mindlessly spreading rumours. Try and be the point where it stops. And if you are being bullied at the moment make sure that you speak to someone. If you’re at school speak to a teacher and if it’s at work go to HR. Nobody needs to put up with it so stay safe and never get to the point where you are considering harming yourself because of it. You are loved and special and you can hold onto that forever and ever.

Much Love,

Rachel xx

A troublemaker plants seeds of strife; gossip separates the best of friends.

Proverbs 16:28