hung up

apologies for the lil hiatus – here’s a thing I wrote in the spring

i’ve kept all these people as options
never letting them walk out of my life fully
in my mind i’ve kept them
hung on the back of a door
by the collars of their shirts
in case i ever need someone

i say i don’t want to play games
as i deal the cards out

i never commit to any one
for fear of losing the others
but by doing that
i don’t truly have anyone
just parts of people
spread over cities i don’t live in
and won’t visit
because it’s not like we are dating
right?

but i don’t say anything
i simply keep them hung up,
and stay hung up on them

DSC01336

xo, rachel

Advertisements

failing (and other things i’m not doing)

friday, april 28th

so I’ve moved back home and I’m trying really hard to look at the bright side – free rent, familiar faces, the freedom of time. but it’s hard, because being here at all, it feels like a failure. it’s like all the progress, everything I’ve done in the past 2 years was for nothing, because I’m back where I started.

the suburbs are melting my brain, sucking my motivation, molding me into the mundane I once was.

Thinking back to 2 months ago, when I was suddenly having to make a decision between staying in BC though I had nowhere to live, or going home, it felt like the actual end of the world. Realistically, I could have easily found a place in somewhere and got on with it, but I chose to go home. I got on that plane in Vancouver filled with a sense of dread that I couldn’t shake. For once, I wasn’t excited to be returning to my family, and I didn’t know why. I just felt like I was making the wrong move.

I was afraid that I’d go home and get stuck there, fall into some kind of black hole and become the sad sack I had been 2 years before. I couldn’t stop feeling like if I just never moved back, I’d be OK. That it was the place that made me that way, not my brain. BC was my home, I didn’t want to abandon it just as I was getting comfortable.

Fast forward to now, I can see that being here wasn’t as life-ruining as I thought it would be. Yeah, I spent the first couple of weeks complaining about the suburbs, and the weather, and the people and everything, but I’ve genuinely had a great time. I’ve been surrounded by love and have had so much time to work on myself. I’ve been doing yoga, going for long walks, laying out in the sun, reading for the first time in a while, and appreciating the place I am in. I even went for a few bike rides, which has been something I though I hated since I was probably 10 years old. The dread in my heart has been replaced with a sense of peace that I haven’t felt in quite some time. It was all my mindset, duh. This place is still home, after all.

Basically, I’m leaving on Friday and I almost don’t want to. But it’s time for a new adventure (plus I haven’t worked in like 3 months and I’m supposed to be an adult). Onwards and upwards!!!!!

Xo, Rachel

Let’s Talk: Part 4

Ok hi! This is the first time I’m posting this on my Real Blog and not my Tumblr so I’m a bit nervous but here we go!!

I’ve been posting little updates/pep talks for myself on Bell’s Let’s Talk day every year for the past 4 years and somehow I still get my thoughts all jumbled and forget to include probably important stuff even though I am trying here. Bare with me.

So, we all know that mental health is important. And we all know that it’s so hushed. And we all know that half the battle is feeling like you’re alone in your experiences. We know this, yet we gloss over things because we are afraid? I don’t know why we do this.

Personally, last year was a bit of a mess. I have come to realise though that life is supposed to be up and down and you have to ride it out. I spent my summer in one of the most beautiful places in Canada and I felt horrible. I also spent some time doing nothing in the middle of nowhere, feeling great. I definitely felt more depressed this year as opposed to the previous year being fuelled by anxiety, these things seem to come in waves. I also started feeling very spaced out, or at least noticing that I was feeling spaced out, which was sweet. Overall, it was a year of recognising my feelings and trying my best to accept them instead of pushing them away. See, for a long time I couldn’t draw the line between “I’m upset because of my brain” and “I’m upset because something upsetting has happened” and that was frustrating. I kept going back and forth with “well, would a normal person be mad about this or is is just me? Am I in a depressive state or am I just sad because I miss my family? What’s the difference?” and if you’ve ever had that inner debate, I have no advice, but I’m right here with you.

Last year my goal was to make my blog a place where people could go to have their feelings validated by sharing more and more of the things I tend to keep to myself. Whether that be the things that make me anxious or the way it feels to be in a depressive low or even the way I feel when I feel great! I’ve just been having human emotions out here in the open and nobody has come at me with a pitchfork. I’ve gotten feedback from people that I don’t know, and even some people that I hadn’t spoken to in years, because they read my words and found a kind of comfort. That really kept me going through all of October and even now – it’s nice to know that even though sometimes I feel like I’m sending these thoughts into a void, they occasionally reach other humans.

It makes me want to write more and talk more and text my friends to tell them that I don’t feel alright and tell them why and have them tell me they have felt the same, or simply send me heart emojis. I don’t know. I’ve been trying to be a more empathetic person instead of a disconnected robot person and it’s been working out quite well.

Talking helps. So much. More than yoga and more than drinking water and more than hurting yourself.

Use your words, friends.

Xo, Rachel

year in review, part 2

Because it rhymes.

It’s been a year. Kind of a weird one, as a matter-of-fact. I think we can all agree on that. Here are some more Life Lessons from me, a person Totally Qualified to give advice after learning things The Hard Way (quite possibly the only way to learn things).

#1 – don’t force it
I spent a lot of these past few months frustrated that I couldn’t seem to write anything, that I didn’t have the same desire to write as I had in the spring. Truth is, I needed a break. I needed to do other things for a while. I shouldn’t have expected myself to be able to write 3 pages a day for the rest of my life. I don’t have it in me. This goes for everything – if it’s supposed to be fun but you’re putting so much pressure on yourself that it feels like a burden, let it go. Step away from it for a moment.

#2 – go
Cheryl Strayed said that wanting to go is reason enough, and I completely agree. I’ve had 4 different jobs this year, because suddenly the urge to go hit me like a ton of bricks, and I went with it. I trust that gut instinct – if I feel like I need to go, I go.
And if I want you to go, I’ll let you know. Or I’ll try to be subtle and tell you that you can’t sleep in my bed because you snore. And I’ll keep telling you that until you get the hint (if you’re reading this, you really did snore, and I really couldn’t sleep. I also didn’t want to kiss you anymore). Not quite the same as my family’s “go before you go” rule, but both are valid.

#3 – it’s No Big Deal
I currently work at an art studio that does a lot of classes for kids as well as birthday parties and at the start of each one, the intructor lists off our 4 rules: No Running, Be Nice, No Big Deal, and Have Fun. Oh, how smashed we’d all be if we drank every time a coworker said “oh, it’s no big deal” on a Saturday afternoon. But it’s so true! Much like the whole don’t worry, be happy motto, No Big Deal is our daily mantra. You got paint on your face? It’s no big deal. Your mug didn’t turn out the way you wanted it to? No big deal. You showed up late to the party? NO BIG DEAL. It might seem silly, but most things in life are not a big deal. Nearly everything is fixable, and if it’s not, it’s really no big deal. You’ll get over it.

#4 – be kind
One of the rules at work, and something said quite often during a yoga practice. Be kind to yourself, be kind to others, be kind to your surroundings. Be thankful for your body, getting you where you need to be, for the sunshine and the rain, the places you can go, the people you have met. Be nice to the people closest to you and be nice to strangers. Practice self-love.

#5 – stop making things worse for yourself
exhibit a- don’t listen to sad music all of the time
Your mood depends heavily on what you’re listening to, so choose songs that make you want to dance and sing and get out of bed in the morning. Limit the amount of times you listen to Holocene to like, 3 times a day.
exhibit b – no caffeine after 6pm
I was thinking the other day about how I had so much trouble sleeping for years and years, and I’d always attributed it to my poor mental health but looking closer, I had been drinking like 7 cups of caffeinated tea per day and barely eating. And I wondered why I was so anxious and high strung all that time? Of course you won’t be able to sleep if you drink black tea at 10pm to “calm yourself down before bed”. Hindsight is 20/20!!!!

#6 – most places have non-dairy milk
Self-explanatory.

#7 – you need other people
I included this one last year and I’m including it again because sometimes I forget.

#8 – it’ll make a good story
If ever you’re on the fence about saying yes to an experience, remember that actually going to Christmas dinner at your boss’ parents house makes a better story than just being invited. Trust me.

#9 – being stingy pays off
All those months of eating oatmeal instead of cereal because water is free, drinking only tea and tap water, living with people you don’t like because the rent is low, and reading the same books over and over could mean being able to fly home or escape to the mountains for a few weeks. Ya never know.

#10 – make something
Anything.

Lastly, if someone tells you that they love you, don’t tell them that they don’t. Even if you don’t believe them. Even if your insecurity tells you that it can’t be true. Validate other people’s feelings. This is something I am learning from experience, after doing the wrong thing. Don’t ever tell someone that what they feel is wrong. And on the other side, if you feel something, don’t be afraid to tell someone. It doesn’t have to be a romantic thing, it could be anything. Let yourself have emotions.

Let’s not beat ourselves up about the forgotten resolutions, because as I said in my last post, it’s our expectations that end up hurting us in the end, not the people or the places or the events occurring. Instead think about all of the things that you didn’t plan for – all of the things you did that weren’t on your list of resolutions. Chances are, you accomplished loads of things this year that you didn’t even know were in the cards. Give yourself a break.

Oh, and like, get wrecked.

Xo, Rachel

My Old Bedroom

A post about Sundays and nostalgia

 

April 2016
The way the breeze floats into my bedroom and the familiar sound of creaking trampoline springs feels like high school, like endless youth and summers spent in my dad’s backyard before the world was bigger than my hometown. Back when everybody still lived within walking distance because we couldn’t just pick up and leave. Days and nights spent dreaming of the getaway. I miss the freedom of spare time where I could just sit on my friend’s bed for hours and not have anywhere to go except maybe home for dinner.

December 2015
I don’t know what it is about Sundays, but it’s like the universe agreed to just chill out for a while. Nothing feels rushed or strained. I usually don’t have Sundays off but when I do, it feels different. Like a proper day off, to do nothing and not feel guilty about it. Like when I was a kid and didn’t have responsibilities or worries.

If only there were more days for us to be lazy, for us to hold hands on the couch and watch weird movies. For sleeping in and not bothering to get dressed. If only there were more days for us to just be.

Xo, Rachel

Well, That’s Depressing

Much like my anxiety post – I don’t really know how to explain depression. So I’m not going to! I’ve sifted through various journal entries from the past few years and I’m going to copy and paste a few things that I read back and thought, “yeah, that’s it. that’s exactly it.” because sometimes, I get my feelings spot on without trying to. Do you ever experience that? Reading back something you’ve written and being amazed that you managed to put it to words so well? Just me? I must be freaking great with words, then. This is going to be a long one, so prepare yourself.

Have you ever just wanted to listen to sad music and wallow? Have you ever wanted to do everything and go everywhere? Have you ever gone between those two ideas within a handful of minutes? I constantly want to drop out of school. How productive and attentive can I be when for the entire 2 hours of class I’m thinking about throwing it all away? I am always looking at the clock or looking at my hands. I want to be everywhere I’m not. Restless. I don’t want to stay where I am but I don’t want to try something new and end up feeling this same way.
(Side note from present Rachel: I did drop out of school and I do not regret it one bit)

Am I content or am I numb?

I can’t stop thinking about other people’s heartache. Isn’t that an album by somebody? I don’t know. I can’t stop thinking about other people being upset. I know that there is so much bad in the world. I can’t stop thinking about it. I can’t help but worry about my friends going through hard times, people I know dealing with things I’ve dealt with. I can’t stop. It doesn’t help me to carry other people’s heartache in my own heart. I’m afraid I’m going to get bad again. I guess that’s just how it is when you’ve been bad – you never let go of it. I can barely enjoy being good because I’m afraid. Afraid that it’s too good to be true. Afraid, because the bad came on so easily. I didn’t see it coming. If it does happen, I want to be prepared.

I want to feel things properly again. I was looking at my calendar and the next few months are shaping up to be quite eventful – but I don’t feel excited. This life doesn’t feel real anymore. I can see that I’ll be doing things on this day and that – but I don’t connect. Is this what being an adult is like? I can remember counting down to concerts for months and months ahead of time and now I barely even think about them until a couple days before. I want to feel excited again. I want to push to the front of crowds again, instead of standing at the back and not dancing. Why do we do this? I’ve been overeating. It’s gross. I wanna be healthy. I wanna be a better person than I am. I wanna scream lyrics at the top of my lungs and throw my arms in the air in a room full of sweaty people and not even think about it. I want an escape. I want a future. I want someone else to fix me.

I’m nothing special. I’m a mediocre person. I’m forgettable. I’m in the background. I’d accepted this in high school because I always had bigger plans. I wanted to be the person that people wish they had paid attention to. But I’m on track to amount to nothing.

I feel weird inside and I don’t like it and I want to rip the bad feelings out. I don’t feel good. I don’t feel okay. My head hurts.

Everything feels so heavy. I didn’t even want to type this because it felt like too much effort. No matter how many fun things I do, no matter how much money I spend, I still end up alone late at night, weighed down by sadness. I always feel on the verge of tears. I’m so stuck in my own head.

I was like physically unable to be a functioning human today. Everything felt horrible. It was hard to get out of bed, harder to actually do my job, to make it 8 hours didn’t even seem possible. I was immersed in this dark cloud but it wasn’t just bogging down my mind, my whole body wanted to go in slow motion; to quietly give up. Smiling was almost too strenuous. At one point I stood in a closet and spent minutes contemplating just laying down on the floor and shutting the door. Minutes of my life debating whether or not I’d be able to fall asleep there and if anybody would look for me. Yesterday I sat down at work and stared at a wall for at least 10 minutes and I didn’t think I’d ever get up. By far, if bad days are just potholes, this one would have bottomed out any vehicle. I’m gonna remember it.

It’s wanting to kick and scream but knowing you can’t because you’re not a child anymore. It’s wanting to cry but being too numb for it, so many feelings pent up that you can no longer feel anything.

I don’t want to live like this anymore. I don’t want to spend the whole week counting down until my next days off. It’s not fair to wish your life away, to want to get entire months over with so you can maybe feel better. It didn’t used to be this bad. It shouldn’t be this hard.

I never thought I was bad until I was better so how would I know if this isn’t another low?

I’ve started going to the gym and I don’t know if it’s because I want to be fitter or if it’s because I hate myself and this is my new way of dealing with that. Whatever, I’m gonna get physically stronger to make up for how fuckin weak I am on the inside. Lol?

I hate Halloween with all I’ve got. Can’t you see? All of those carved pumpkins are going to rot in a few days and you’ll toss them to the curb. Would you toss me, if you could see? I’m rotten, too.
(Present Rachel cannot BELIEVE 2013 Rachel’s incredible angst. I had to include this one just because it makes me laugh. Is that dark?)

All I wanna do is eat is fucking Nutella on toast and drink shitty Tim Hortons coffee and lay in bed all day. But I don’t actually want to do that, it is simply happening as if I have no control.

I’m tired and cold and sad I want the rain to stop so I don’t feel like I’m drowning anymore. Funny how the bad days can make you forget about all the good days. Funny how bad days can make every song sound like a sad song.

I feel like I’m drowning out here. I can’t breathe and I need a familiar voice to tell me about the stupid mundane things going on in their life so I can pull my hands away from my neck.

Everything feels heavy again. I don’t know if I have the strength to get out of bed. I’m exhausted. I’ve been contemplating putting my life on pause and going back to my dad’s house, where I can just be alive for free. I want to give up.

Walking around and smiling like it doesn’t feel like my head could fall off at any moment. Like I don’t feel as though my life is being lived on the edge of a cliff over deep water. Like I’m living at all. Everything feels like it’s falling apart and I really don’t know what to do. I’m walking in a haze of “what am I doing? What’s the point? Where am I going? Who am I?” and I can’t see straight. WHERE AM I GOING???

OK that’s enough, I think you all get it. I can’t bare to look through any more journal entries, the further back I go, the less I can relate and the more I’m just sitting here reliving just how awful I used to feel circa 2011 up until dropping out of college. Honestly, since then, it’s been a lot easier for me to be a human. Of course, I have bad days (and weeks…) but at least now I don’t compare myself to rotting pumpkins or haunted houses (an entry that I did not include because it was VERY long and VERY dramatic but hey, I’m sure at the time that was exactly how I felt).

If we all put on our Therapist Goggles we’d see a few themes present but I think its more a general feeling of hopelessness for me. Over the years the hopelessness manifested in different ways, but it always came down to not seeing a point in things. Not seeing a future for myself – which is inconvenient considering that I’ve felt this way for years and while other people were making plans, I was struggling to see the next few minutes sometimes. Because of this, I live a lot of my live through whims and spontaneity, which can be great but I don’t think it’s sustainable to live your entire life that way. Eventually, I’m going to have to sit down and think about long-term goals. Even if “long-term” means a year from now, or a few months from now.

The Front Bottoms have a song called Peach and it includes the lyric, “it’s just so hard to see tomorrow past tonight” and that sums it up for me. Depression is the inability to see the good through the bad. Sometimes it really is not being able to grasp that a bad night will end, and there will be a tomorrow.

I went back and forth between if I should include a happy song or a sad song at the end of this, and I think we all deserve a happy one after reading through that emo shit. Here’s one of my favourites:

Xo, Rachel

Cheer Up!

I was going to do a post about depression today to keep in the spirit of mental illness awareness week but I think I’ll save that for tomorrow – to give myself a break from all the serious stuff. I promise, I did not intend for this entire month to be about how sad I am, it just kind of happened.

Anyways, I’m not all that sad all the time. I just don’t usually write about being happy. I should. During my first year of college, I actually used to write down 3 things that had made my happy that day, right before I went to sleep (I posted a few of them on my old blog, if you are curious, keeping in mind that this was not my best year and a lot of the time it was a stretch to think of anything to write). I stopped doing it after a while, but yesterday I was feeling very light and thought I’d document it in the same format I used to use:

It’s October 5th at 3:17pm and I am happy
because I have the freedom to sit
and stare at the ocean,
feel the sun on my skin,
and just be.
I am so happy to just be.

I was feeling very overwhelmed with joy because after a couple months of stress and hard decisions and confusion and going back and forth, I have settled. And I am so glad that I live where I live, that I can be with the ocean and the mountains, take long walks surrounded by trees, that I live on a quiet street that deer inhabit alongside me, and that I can have this kind of control in my life. I love nature and I need nature, but I also needed to be in a city, because that’s a part of me. I am so in love with this city and I was so worried but I can see myself being happy here. Well, I already am. And in time I’ll make friends and discover new parts of the city and the island and in time, I’ll leave. But for right now, I am satisfied. So thanks, Buzzfeed, for telling me that Victoria was the place for me. Right now, it seems to be.

Also, I saw Tokyo Police Club on Tuesday night and rediscovered my love for this song and have listened to it so many times in the past couple days. Awesome Day is another good one, although they didn’t play it, but I couldn’t find it on YouTube so just go find it yourself!!

Xo, Rachel