vacancy for the position of friend

lovely couple walking on pathway with a dog on the man s back
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There is an opening that came to be today,

When my friend called Jess, handed in her notice.

She was a long term hire, a most reliable sort,

And she would be there when my insides started to

Jellify, and turn to water sloshing in my skin.

Today she told me that she doesn’t think she’s needed now;

It’s not that we have fallen out, it’s just I’m different.

She took the role when I was just a mirage, shimmering,

In need of some solidity, and that was Jess’s part.

But now, she says, I’m stronger, we’ve separated

Like the heavy branches of the oak where we

Would meet when I was drooping with the weight of life.

So now I’m left with a gaping hole, that must be filled

With someone new; a person who can guide me through

This new terrain where there are risks. This person must

Be understanding of my quirks and work

For little more that jelly beans and chocolate coins

And gratitude that pours from me in giant waves.

So if you have no life outside of work,

And challenges will drive you more than money will

Then please apply by Friday noon; a CV and a form,

And if you are successful in your bid to be

My newest friend, I’ll make sure I call.

when friends just seem to fall away

instant photo of three women drinking
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They’re always still there,

Lurking away in shadowy coves,

Appearing in photos

With arms flung round shoulders,

Smiles all abound.

And you wonder how so

You weren’t invited,

Do they hate you so much?

I have friends from school that I don’t speak to anymore. Not out of choice. I would love to hang out with them and be included in those smiling photos on Facebook. I’d have loved to have been a bridesmaid at their weddings and been at the first birthday parties of their children.

But I kind of screwed up and so I don’t see them anymore. They wouldn’t want to hang out with the girl who used to get so drunk she’d black out. And it doesn’t matter that I’ve sorted myself out. The damage has already been done.

For a long time I blamed them and thought they were horrible for not letting me join in on their fun. But I’ve learned that it is the price that I’ve paid for my drinking. I’ve learned that I have to take responsibility for the things that I have done.

Every so often I see a photo pop up and I wish things could be different. I miss them, but now I don’t hate them. I wish them well and I live the life that I have been given now.

I hope that you don’t have to feel left out at any point, but I know that it is part of being a human. We’ll all be OK, it just really hurts sometimes.

Much Love

Rachel xx

at least i got to meet you

two women sitting on vehicle roofs
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I got to meet a person who

Will always be a friend.

And what is better?

Money and a title

Or that connection

You know will never fade?

I started my last job about two and a half years ago and I found myself in a small team that remained the same for almost the whole time that I was there.

We were all women and so there was obviously a little bit of bitchiness and the team split into two very distinct camps. I didn’t have any issue with the ‘popular girls’ but I preferred the company of one friend that was a lot like me.

The other girl was an English graduate and had a real love of books and she got me totally obsessed with the Robert Galbraith books that JK Rowling is behind.

Because the other girls became a ‘team’ we ended up becoming firm friends and she left the company just a few weeks before I did. (I felt quite lonely in those few weeks with my little geeky partner in crime not there).

Anyway, because of COVID and people in her household losing their jobs she has had to move to her husband’s hometown to stay with his parents. I went to visit her one last time yesterday, and we had coffee before she moves next week.

It was really sad, even though she is only moving a few hours away; it felt like the end of an era in my little life. But as we said our final goodbyes she said ‘ at least one good thing to come out of working at **** was that I got to meet you, and I’ve found a really good friend.’

It was only as I was driving away, that I really thought how wonderful it is to hear someone say that. I don’t ever think I’ll be successful in a career, so my life has to revolve around the relationships I make. And what better mark of success is there than a comment like that?

I don’t think I’m a brilliant person or friend but to hear someone say that reminds me that I am to some people and that’s all that matters. I’d rather be remembered by people as being a good friend rather than a bit of a bitch who earned lots of money!

Much Love

Rachel xx

hidden little handwritten notes

person holding a sticky note
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I don’t need an expensive gift

To know that you are thinking of me,

Just a token under the pillow

Or a thoughtful line pinned to the windscreen,

Something to hold in the queue for my coffee,

To reread again in my office booth.

All that I need is a gentle reminder

That we go together like the moon and the stars.

I love a little bit of cheese. I’m ashamed to admit it but I really love the sweet little gestures in life; the things that don’t really cost anything, but that show me someone is thinking about me.

When I was in a relationship I always loved letters and cards or him bringing my favourite ice cream home from work. Just those token gestures were special to me.

The other day I was feeling really sad and when I got into my car I closed the door and just let myself sob in a really self indulgent kinda way. I was rummaging around to find a tissue when I found a little rolled up strip of paper that had been dropped between the front seats.

I wiped my eyes with my sleeve and unrolled the note that just said ‘I’m really glad that you’re my friend’.

I have no idea who wrote this note, but just reading something nice made me feel so much better. To be truthful, I don’t even think the note was for me; I think it may have dropped out of my son’s school bag when I gave him a lift home.

But that’s beside the point. It was nice to read something, anything!, kind and pleasant and it showed me how powerful a few nice words can go towards brightening someone’s day.

I kept the scruffy bit of paper for a couple of days and just looked at it whenever I got in my car because it just cheered me up. Even if it wasn’t for me, I told myself that it was for my son and I brought him up to be the charming young man that he is (so I guess that means I can vicariously take some credit for his niceness to other people (right?))

I just wanted to write this in the hope that whoever reads it might be persuaded to write a nice note to someone. Even if it’s a work colleague that you know is having a bad time, I’m sure it would be appreciated and it’s always nice to send out some positive energy into the world.

Much Love

Rachel xx

neighbours

We lived together, side by side

For many, many years.

And yet we never spoke

Or smiled or waved or said hello.

Sad, really.

But funny how

An unexpected turn

Can change the way we live.

He knocked on Tuesday

Holding apple pie.

“Do you want?” he asked,

Holding out the dish.

Now he comes out every day,

To bring me gifts

And for a chat.

I think he’s lonely

And he’s scared,

But I cannot help but love

That now we’re friends

And it grew from something

Everyone called bad.

On Losing Friends (a poem)

I am going to write a full blog post about this because it was such a hard part of my drinking days to deal with. I lost so many good friends who I ended up having some kind of misunderstanding with. I just felt so disconnected from the rest of the world and I didn’t understand the way that it operated. This made it really hard to hand onto the special people because I just couldn’t understand their reasoning and they couldn’t understand mine.

You hurt me more than words can say,

I did not do a single thing,

In the starting of that fray.

Everything was down to you.

The painful words and twisted face.

None of it was even true.

None of it was down to me,

I’d never hurt a loving friend,

Despite the fact we disagree.

But it is me who must be right,

I’m perfect, blameless,

But always ready for the fight.

I hope that one day I will find,

Another person on this earth,

Who’ll love my spotless drunken mind.