holiday romance

are you even the same person

that i married at the drive thru chapel?

back then, underneath the sheen

you looked so shiny, too hot to touch.

my heart swelled with pride

as we stood side by side

with elvis guiding us through our vows.

*

but now we’re living side by side,

no elvis there to help us on our way.

there is no sheen

and all the flaws are magnified.

a problem that was just a speck of dust

is suddenly a heavy load

that can’t be shifted

no matter how much energy we use.

*

it scares me now that i’ve got it wrong,

i’ve made a huge mistake.

but pulling out from what we’ve made,

will the pain be worth the push?

or should i languish here til death?

*

i’m sure that many feel the same

flitting free from thought to thought,

should i stay or should i go?

*

i’m sure there’s many heavy souls

languishing out there.

one day we could all meet up

and laugh about our past mistakes

that marred our lives forever.

I’m watching Love Is Blind on Netflix at the moment. It’s trash TV but I can have it on while I write or while I crochet, so it makes me happy. The thing is that although it’s trash TV it has made me think a little bit about what makes a relationship good and strong and stable.

If you haven’t watched the show before, the contestants talk to each other through a wall and they pick each other out based on personality only. Then they propose to the person they like the most and go on a holiday to Mexico to get to know each other physically. Finally, they go back home and live normally with each other before deciding if they are getting married.

I’ve got to the part where they are in their own homes and there are some huge problems starting to show up. All of a sudden these people are out of the holiday romance stage and they have to face up to the realities.

It’s really interesting because some people are just getting carried away while others are really thinking about what they are getting themselves into. I don’t really know which is better or worse. The people thinking about it are the ones that seem the most scared to dive in. Is being scared but sensible the best way? I’m not sure.

If you’re in the early part of a relationship this is a really good show to watch the open up those questions. It shows that nearly all of us are running on fear and I think it will help you to make a decision? Are you going to jump in with both feet and fall madly in love?

Or, are you going to make a horrible mistake by jumping in and then seeing the real person and being one of those tortured souls that wanders whether there are other people out there that thought they were madly in love, but weren’t?

I guess it’s your choice.

Love and Light,

Rachel xx

young and in love

do you remember the days

when loving each other

was simply a case

of riding our bikes, side by side,

and timidly kissing

under the willow tree

down by the lake

where we fished

and at night we skinny dipped?

i'd like a large box of happiness, please

Can I have the largest size? I said,

Pointing to the boxes on the shelves.

I was often glad that I could buy my happiness

In the form of tablets,

Purchased from the chemist.

But the woman raised her eyebrows,

As though anyone asking for a large

Deserved her judgement heaped on thick.

Read the information leaflet carefully,

She said, handing over a box.

Only eight to be taken,

In any twenty four hour period.

An overdose on happiness is quite a dangerous thing.

And no more than three days,

She added rather sternly.

Otherwise you could become dependent.

I nodded as I paid, pocketing the pills.

The woman knew me well,

She knew I was addicted

And yet she still allowed the sale.

The shame I felt was great, reddening my face.

To struggle to get through a day

Without a bump of chemical

Was almost more than I could bear.

But still I bought and still I swallowed

In the hope that one day I

Would live a life where joy

Was something that I didn’t need to buy.

If you have ever suffered with any form of addiction I think you will be able to identify with the shame that is felt when you have to go into the shop and buy that thing that you are dependent on. I remember going to a different shop each time I had to buy, in the hope that the shop assistants wouldn’t recognise me. My worst fear was that they would eventually start to refuse selling to me.

The shame becomes so great that you are sure they are looking at you in disgust. You are sure that any health warnings they are giving you are a dig rather than just being something they have to say as part of their job. You become paranoid.

It is horrible, but as I was writing this, I realised that everybody has these addictions that make us feel better even though we wish they didn’t. For some it might be something as simple as a love of expensive makeup. It may feel harmless, but wouldn’t it be nice to live a life where happiness came from within and didn’t need to be bought?

If you are struggling with addiction, please do reach out for help. It can be deadly and there is so much support out there. And if you are just struggling to find some happiness in life, don’t think that buying something is going to fix it. You need to start loving yourself because no amount of makeup or clothes or cars or furniture will fill the hole that is causing you so much pain.

Take care of yourselves.

Much Love,

Rachel xx

duvet day

I need a duvet day

Where your arms are the blanket,

Your lips are the hot cocoa

And your laughter is the series on Netflix

I devour in one

don't burn out like me!

My hands are red raw and starting to bleed

And yet the shoreline is no closer to me.

I wish that I’d let you into my boat,

Before I began to paddle my way out.

Now that I know the way this could end

It feels like stupidity, what I have done.

If I had just been a little less cocky,

If I’d taken a break,

It could all have been different.

But I chose to row out, without any help,

Without any person to take off the strain.

And now I am floundering,

I’ll never get back.

I wish I had listened, but now it’s too late.

I feel like I’ve reached a point of burn out and I know that I am the only person to blame. I have been signed off work this week because I just buckled under the pressure. However, looking back, I have done all the overtime that has been pushed my way and I haven’t had a holiday since August. I didn’t even realise this and it’s just all caught up with me.

I actually feel a bit stupid now because I can see exactly why I’ve ended up in the situation that I have. I wish that I had asked for help and maybe said ‘no’ to the odd bit of overtime.

For now, I feel a little bit like I’m stranded out there in a rowing boat. I desperately want to get back to the shore but I’ve completely run out of energy and the tide is against me.

If you can feel yourself slipping, do ask for help, even if it’s just a day or two off. I think that most managers would be happier with you if you did that rather than need weeks off to nurse yourself back to health.

Burnout is a really horrible thing to go through because it’s so preventable and you feel so helpless. I hope that you are all staying strong while we are powering through these horrible winter months. Don’t push too hard and make sure to give yourself a little bit of TLC every now and then.

Love and Light

Rachel xx

one tiny blissful moment

It’s important to carve

Out the space to reflect

On the fact that you may

Not be so perfect

*

Go out in the world

And stretch out your arms

Breathe in great lungfuls air

And marvel at all of the stars.

*

You’ll rise up above

The person you started to hate,

So go out and live

Before you realise it’s too late.

When I was going through a really confusing time I took some time out and went running in the Scottish Highlands. If you have never been there, it is the most beautiful place you can imagine.

I spent about twelve hours a day running. I was away from internet connection and people and buildings and I was just left with nature. And there was a moment when it was dark that I just stopped. I looked up at the sky and there were stars in every direction that I looked.

I suddenly had clarity, which probably sounds really cheesy, but it’s true. I had the space to really take a look at myself and my place in the world. It was both scary and freeing.

If you are feeling a bit lost in the world, go out into nature and enjoy the freedom. Take the time to look at the stars and realise how fucking small we are. We have this massive world to love and care for and there are seven billion people out there who we could potentially meet and love and influence and have a positive impact on.

My moment in Scotland, when I stopped running will be something that I remember for the rest of my life. I’m lucky to have a really active lifestyle so I have several of these moments but I wanted to share this because I feel like it’s a place I want to go to in my mind at the moment. It was pure bliss and I wish that for everyone.

Love and Light,

Rachel xx

the angel on the bus

He was dressed all in white

Which was quite a curious thing.

She prayed that he wouldn’t sit down

On the seat next to her on the bus.

He did stop beside her and she shuffled along,

Hoping that at least he’d stay quiet.

It’s going to be OK, he said after a mile or two.

She looked at him properly for the very first time,

The sun filtered through windows to blind her with light.

I haven’t a clue what you mean, she muttered,

But way deep down in the pit of her stomach

She knew that he knew.

There was something extraordinary

About the man dressed in white.

He smiled and he stroked at her face

And everything melted away.

He was gone by the time they reached the next stop,

But he saved her that day.

She had been travelling to the place where she planned to jump,

Feeling empty and dark, a weight on the world.

It only took one person to shine in a light.

Whether he was real or an angel on the bus,

It really didn’t matter,

He quietened the chatter inside of her head,

For just long enough

To pull her away from the edge.

I feel like everyone needs an angel at some point in their life. And I like to believe that sometimes we get one sent down. There has been a lot of talk about suicide in the UK over this weekend and the need to reach out and talk when things are difficult. But this is a bloody scary thing to do when you already feel crappy, and sometimes it needs to be the other way round.

The brilliant book The Stranger on the Bridge by Jonny Benjamin is a perfect example of this. When somebody is right there on the edge, it can be a stranger who makes all the difference. I know that everyone hates the person who comes and sits next to them on the bus and starts having a conversation when all you want to do is read, but we are a social species and surely the world would be a better place if we all connected a little bit more.

I really do believe in angels, whether they be normal people put in a certain place at just the right time, or some sort of messenger sent straight from God Himself, I really think they are out there. Perhaps we should all aim to be a little bit more like the angel on the bridge. You never know what awful set of events you might stop from happening.

Much Love

Rachel xx

He had vanished before they reached the next stop,

And she

fit in or f**k off

You do as I say or I’ll cancel you out,

I’ll delete you with the stroke of a key.

Fit in this box I made for you all,

Or I’ll make your life hell.

This box is a shape that we’ve fashioned to fit

The most average of Joe’s

We found wandering the street.

You’ll fit in this box because we’re scared of what happens

When a person breaks out.

You can fit in the box

Or you can fuck off for good,

Because keeping in line is vital to me,

So I can hold onto power

And keep you in the place that you’re meant to be.

Why do we live in a world where we are all supposed to fit into the same mould? We are all supposed to get an education, get a career, find a partner and get married, buy a house and then have a few kids. And if you don’t achieve all of these things, you are a failure.

But what if you want to forgo one of these milestones? What if I want to build a cob house and live in a woodland. What if I want to work in a shop and just have next to no stress? Does this mean that I’m not successful, or that I haven’t had a meaningful life?

I have had so much success in other areas of my life but I have to endure people turning their noses up at me when I tell them that I work in a petrol station. Maybe we should stop making all of these standard sized boxes and let people be whatever shape they want to be. It would be ludicrous to go into business as a clothes retailer and only sell size 10 because everyone is a different size, so why must we all fit the same size and shape box in the rest of our lives?

If you feel like you are lagging behind, or that you don’t fit in, don’t worry about it. We don’t move forward as a species without the visionaries and the people who are a little quirky. So spread your wings and go be your fabulous self. I heard someone say that we need to fit on or fuck off the other day and it inspired this post and made me think that maybe a new job is on the cards. I just can’t tolerate that kind of mentality.

Much Love

Rachel xx

sweet caroline

I stood staring at the rack of magazines,

Scuffing my toes on the dusty floor.

She’s a whore, whispered a man in my ear.

He pointed to the woman on the cover,

That poor, unfortunate soul

Who thought that all her dreams came true

When she found her fame.

She’s not, I sighed underneath my breath.

The man shrugged and sneered, moving on.

Everyone has an opinion

About that woman on the cover;

The one whose dream turned sour.

She may as well be fucking Minnie Mouse,

A character to entertain us when we’re bored,

No longer human in our eyes.

But underneath she’s slowly dying,

And when we’ve snuffed that final little ember,

We’ll all cry out that life’s unfair

And warn that nastiness can kill.

But by tomorrow someone else will be fair game,

Another girl, another circumstance,

But a story that always ends the same.

There was some very sad news in the UK today as it was reported that Caroline Flack took her own life. Caroline was hugely successful but hit some hard times when there was an altercation with her boyfriend just before Christmas. She was arrested and so the press went to town with her.

The story is so sad because she was such a talented lady and it was the press and trolls on social media that have evidently pushed her. It’s just really opened my eyes to the fact that no matter where you are in your life, you are still open to the same pain as anyone else.

While I was drinking I genuinely thought that my pain was greater than anyone else’s and when I got rich or famous that pain would just go away. Now that I’m a little more aware of what is going on around me I can see that this couldn’t be further from the truth.

It was only the other day that I looked at the cover of one of these magazines and saw a picture of Caroline. My heart actually broke for her because I realised that her pain was greater than mine at the moment. That was quite a moment, and so I’m crushed to see how it has all ended.

It goes without saying that if you are struggling, talk to someone! Try and stay off social media because it drains the life out of humans. I hope that Caroline stays in our thoughts for a long time so that we don’t move onto the next girl (or guy) in a matter of weeks. Things need to change, and sharpish!

Much Love,

Rachel xx

Homeland's Carrie

That episode of Homeland

When Carrie goes bat shit;

She wants a green pen and they only have blue.

I get that on a cellular level.

I don’t think I’m bipolar,

But I know that desperation.

The scrabbling at the surface of the slippery wall,

In a scary attempt to escape the hell

That is inflicted on me,

While everyone else is left scratching heads

And wondering where things

Took a horrible turn.

I was actually off work when I watched the episode where Carrie totally lost it at the end of the first series. I had had another funny turn at work and the doctor had given me some time to sort my head out.

My heart went out to her as I watched because I could totally understand how something so little can set you off when you’re feeling frantic and fragile anyway. It was also lovely to see Saul being so understanding.

I have always found it hard because I always smile and joke all the way up until the time I crack. And it can often be something weird that does set me off. It’s really easy for people around me to think I’m still joking and to poke fun at me which obviously makes things even worse.

I just wanted to write this post to remind people that it can be scary to go down that rabbit hole. If somebody you know suddenly starts acting very strangely, don’t make fun of them. Be a little bit more compassionate and maybe pull them to one side and ask them if everything is OK.

And if you can feel yourself becoming a bit wobbly, let someone know before it becomes a big problem and you snap over something small. It can be terrifying because it can feel like life and death, so I understand the fear that you feel. You will not die, though, and you WILL get through it. And most importantly, you will learn from it so that next time around it is easier for you.

Much Love

Rachel xx