a big cheese grater

I think that it’s fair

To say I’ve been scraped

As I travelled along this year.

I’ve been through a grater

With flakes of myself

Snowing down far and near.

I feel a little lighter at the end of this year. And it’s been a painful process. My skin hurts, I’m feeling so sensitive. Perhaps I have been through a big human sized cheese grater? I imagine that I would be like Parmesan and the little bits of me that have been shaved off are being sprinkled all over a nice salad. It’s good to get rid of those flaky bits that were clinging on to me, but oh boy, did it hurt.

Did anyone else get cheese grated this year? I hope that if you have been grated then you at least have a nice salad to look forward to at the end of it all. I have a feeling that there is going to be celery on mine and I don’t like celery.

Happy New Year from a softer, less flaky version of me.

Much Love

Rachel xx

the truth is kinda pointless

Truth be told, I’m battling with the truth.

I mean, what on earth is it? Really?

Holding it up to the light, it’s so pretty.

Light filtering through glass,

Rainbow colours everywhere.

But the patterns on the wall are not the same

For everyone within the room.

Some will see the reds and ultra violet

While others see an orange and a green.

We argue that we want the truth

But how can we fight for a thing

That doesn’t even exist?

A thing that can’t be solid, can’t be tangible,

No matter how hard we do resist.

In a boat with no paddle.

Is it fair that you pushed me away?

And is it fair that you gave me the blame?

Is it fair that you pushed me away?

Knowing full well that I couldn’t get back?

You pushed me away with no oars to use,

And I sat and I watched as I drifted away,

Dreaming of things I was about to lose.

You knew that the wind was surely against me

And you soon were a speck on the hazy horizon,

An old loving friend I could no longer see.

But you knew that my oars were not there,

And you still pushed me far from the bank,

Not worrying about which of the facts were fair.

And then you began to heap on the blame,

As I drifted away, I finally knew

Nothing would ever quite be the same.

Once you had vanished completely from sight,

The sadness and anger began to set in

But I was too tired to put up the fight.

Now there is nothing between us but hate,

The outcome’s uncertain, we’ll just have to wait.

I feel like I’m being blamed for a breakdown in a relationship and I don’t know how I could have done anything differently. Have you ever had that feeling? It’s an uncomfortable knot that forms in your gut and it’s horrible because there’s fuck all you can do about it. It feels like being pushed out to sea without a paddle. My worry is that the person on the beach now has all the power and I am left feeling utterly alone and terrible.

The only way that I can see myself getting through this is by handing it over to a Higher Power and just hoping that I wash up safely on the other side. I have to remember that I have no control over other people so I can’t force them to love me. All I can do is wave goodbye and hold my head high.

Much Love

Rachel xx

Why is trust so difficult?

Trust is a funny thing. It’s like a sliding door that you have a little bit of control of. You can hold that door closed for as long as you want. But as soon as you hit that button and the doors hiss open, you are powerless. Trust is painful and scary. Staring into somebody’s eyes you have to make that decision, and sometimes you have to make it in a split second. Am I going to trust you or not? Am I going to open up to you or not? Am I going to be vulnerable with you?

Or not?

There comes a time when you really have to let that door slide open and see what waits for you on the other side. It’s inevitable that every so often you will make a mistake and it will be a monster waiting out there. The door will pull back and the onslaught will take you by surprise. The force with which he throws himself at you will knock the air from your lungs. But you have been brave and you did it. You faced the tyrant out there and you are stronger for it. And next time you’re faced with something similar, you are a little more prepared.

A little more resilient.

But sometimes the doors will gracefully slide back and you will be faced with true love. You will be faced with compassion and kindness and the fear that you felt will be all but forgotten. The warm embrace will make it all better and the smell of sweet perfume will soothe your aching soul.

You have to open that door eventually. I know it’s scary, but life requires a forward motion. And love will heal all your wounds. And without trust there is no love.

Much Love,

Rachel xx

Why ending therapy is f**king terrifying

I’m frightened. I’m terrified. And the reason? I’m ending my therapy sessions in just three weeks.

I started therapy when I was newly sober and still really mentally unwell. I was paranoid that my employer was trying to kill me and I even took an overdose and ended up in hospital just a few weeks after commencing my sessions. In short, my life was a bit of a shit show at the time.

Fast forward to almost three years on and I’m still not perfect. Far from it. But I have sat in that room, week after week, and I’ve talked and I’ve been open to learning. I’ve learnt so much about myself and where I was going wrong and where I can improve. And I say ‘improve’ rather than ‘fix’ because I don’t believe that we can ever truly be fixed. Perfection is unattainable and even when I’m ninety I will still be learning so much about myself and my fellow humans.

It has been an interesting journey, to say the least. And I’m nervous about where my life will take me after I leave the ‘care’ of my therapist. It’s the weirdest relationship that I’ve ever had with anyone, both close and distant all at once. I sometimes find myself wondering how I’m ever going to cope with nobody to hold me accountable in the same way.

I thought it might be helpful for myself and for others to just put into writing how therapy has helped me and just what it is that I’m frightened of in a life post therapy.

  • Therapy has taught me that we are all just winging it. In a way this is really terrifying because it means that I can never really find all of the answers. There is no instruction booklet for life and sometimes it’s all about a bit of guess work. Sometimes my decisions will be wrong and I just have to bear the consequences.
  • I’ve opened up to my therapist about some of my deepest and darkest secrets. I wouldn’t even tell my closest friends some of these things so I feel like I’ve let my barriers down in the extreme. Losing that relationship is like breaking up with a romantic partner. That makes me squirm to write, but it’s true, and it’s also a heartbreaking feeling.
  • I’ve discovered that some of my difficulties stem from past traumas and from my relationship with my mother. This has made for some uncomfortable realisations and I don’t know if things can ever go back to the way they were. I can cope with this, but it hurts.
  • I don’t have anyone to hold me accountable anymore. I knew that I had to check in with my therapist every week, and now I have nobody. I have to hold on so tightly to the fact that I have people around me who love me. I may not be able to burden them with all of my worries but they would be devastated if I was gone.
  • I’ve learned that when someone is mean to me, that’s their shit, not mine. People behave badly because they are uncomfortable and not because they hate me or want me arrested or dead. Holding onto this is so hard for me, but it’s essential if I am to stop myself from going down that rabbit hole I found myself in three years ago.
  • I’ve had to change my goals and my values. All I wanted was to be rich and successful because I thought that this would make people love me and respect me. Actually, it just made me bloody miserable. I need to do the things that make me happy, like writing and art and crochet. I don’t have expensive tastes so why the fuck do I need a job that pays me well but stresses me out to the point that I end up in hospital? I rest my case.
  • Just chill out. Life is to be enjoyed. If I die, then I die. But why not enjoy it while I have it?

I’d love to hear if you have had therapy and what you have learned from the experience. I think that it’s so helpful to learn what it is that causes you to behave the way that you do. I truly believe that we are all like little computers and the things that happen to us early on in life program us for the future. It’s fascinating and scary in equal measures!

Much Love,

Rachel xx

Ghost

Your ghost is always there,

It doesn’t matter how much time may pass,

Or where I am or who I’m with.

The swish of colours in the street,

It warps the faces of those figures.

Each and every one the same.

They all become the face I want to see.

It’s you.

How many crowds or queues

Do I search and find that ghost

The ghost of you who dances through

The other guests who fade away.

Because it’s only you that I can see

Since that day you left.

I want a partner in this dance,

But you are gone and no matter

How very hard I try to search,

How many times I think your face is there,

You’re not.

You’re gone.

It breaks my heart but I must dance

Alone.

I’ll see you all the time,

But they are ghosts who grace the parquet floor,

Waltzing and whirling.

One day I’ll learn, it can’t be you.

It’s just a ghost I want to see.

Ever lost someone that you loved so much it hurt? If you have then you probably know that feeling of seeing them every place you go. I got married when I was nineteen. I loved the guy so much and we had a child together. But then he left me and I was heartbroken. For years I thought that I saw him in crowds even though I knew that it couldn’t possibly be him. It was like there was a ghost haunting me every day of my life. If I’m being honest, I still sometimes think I catch a glimpse of that man and we are thirteen years on.

Sometimes people leave our lives and it’s a traumatic experience. This poem is about that feeling of seeing your loved one everywhere even when you know that it can’t possibly be them. For me it felt like I was in a ballroom and everyone around me was a dancer, swirling around, and I could just catch a glimpse of somebody with the same hair or the same eyes as my husband. It was haunting and ghostly and I hope that this poem captures this feeling.

I’m sure you have felt this at some point and I hope that reading about my experience can help you to feel better. We all miss somebody and hope that they are nearby, even if we know that they are far away or they have died. It’s part of the human experience to feel this pain and confusion. It sucks but feel comforted by the fact that you are not alone.

Much love,

Rachel xx