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Rackers

self-help

“You have depression.”

1 in 3 Australians battle with mental health. I’ve been on the bandwagon of preaching self-help, self-love and talking about your problems since day dot, but to be perfectly honest with you, I thought that was where the line would be drawn.

I did not think I would actually ever hear those words.

“You have depression.”

It makes sense. I had come to accept my over-emotional nature, my attuned sense to the things that hurt me to my core, the tears that would leak out of my eye for no apparent reason.

I told myself it was, “just Racquel.”

“That’s just the way she is.”

Have you ever been in a place so deep and dark inside yourself that you’ve convinced yourself you’ve never been there before and you’re never going to get out of it?

I found myself in one and I was so confused. This time, I didn’t know who to put the blame on. I’d been hurt, sure. People who were supposed to be there for me were starting to prove their selfish thoughts. People I’d come to rely on had pulled the rug from under my feet and, what felt like, ran away. Loved ones were getting on my nerves and clashing more than should have been.

But it wasn’t enough to justify the hole of self destruction I’d buried myself in.

I’m lost. My heart feels broken but no one’s touched it. And sometimes I just simply don’t want to be here anymore.

Life is a fickle thing. Moments are fleeting. Moods are fleeting. Happiness, sadness, anger and jealousy. People are there for you one day and no where to be found the next. The only constant you have in life is yourself and the only way to get better is by patching up your own heart (with the help of others, of course).

I know I’ll come out on top of this because I always do. Sometimes I convince myself I have a weak, sorry soul until I look in the mirror. I see resilience. Strength. And a whole lot of love I have sitting in my heart, ready to give to someone else.

Bout time I gave it to myself.

Lifeline 131114

Categories
Rackers

short story

“Flight VA898 to Melbourne is boarding now.” 

I look up at the sound of the announcement, checking my ticket to ensure it’s my flight that has been called. People around me scramble to line up, the line stretching further than the seating area. Those at the front who were lining up, even before the boarding call, watch with smug smiles on their faces. I may never understand the need to line up straight away, the sudden rush everyone finds themselves in to get onto the plane; as if, if they don’t line up fast enough, they won’t get to sit in their assigned seat. 

I turn back to my book to keep reading. The mindless chatter of people surrounding me flows past my ears, the whirr of the milk being steamed by the barista nearby, the overhead sound of the flights being called. I close my book and my mind goes into flight mode; thinking of the life I’m leaving behind, the unknown I’m stepping into. The opportunity to turn around is right at the tip of my mind, giving it up and walking back into comfort. “A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing every grows there,” I hear in my mother’s voice at the back of my mind.   

I feel a body sit down beside me, shifting my body a little to the left to move away, our bodies a touch too close in proximity for my liking. I watch as the line gets only a little smaller; children getting agitated at having to stay in line, parents already wishing they hadn’t booked a family holiday. I get transfixed in a weird mix of wistfulness and disgust at a couple on their honeymoon or just fresh in a relationship, as they can’t keep their hands off each other. 

“Isn’t it funny how people feel the need to line up so early?” The male voice next to me says. 

I take a moment to snap out of my reverie and realise that he is attempting to strike up a conversation with me. 

“Haha yep,” is all I manage to say.  

“So what is sending you to Melbourne?” 

I turn toward him, realising that I won’t be able to get out of this conversation lightly. 

“Moving there.” 

“Oh, cool. I live there. What are you moving there for?” He asks, relentlessly trying to keep the conversation alive. 

“Change of scenery,” I say, giving him my best please-stop-talking-to-me-I’m-not-in-the-mood face. 

“Ah,” he says, with an understanding look on his face. “Bad break up?” 

I do my awkward, uncomfortable laugh that saves itself for new people or wrong situations. 

“No,” I say, less than convincingly. Uninvited tears spring up in my eyes as memories cloud my mind, as I hastily rub at my eyes; cursing myself for forgetting I’m wearing mascara. 

This man beside me politely turns away, feigning ignorance at the embarrassing tears. I gain just a sliver of my composure back as I notice the size of the line has lessened. 

“Better get going then hey?” I ask. 

“I guess so,” he says, and sticks out his hand. “Alex.” 

The loudest HA! I have ever heard comes out of my mouth and I cover my mouth in shock. He looks at me with an amused look of curiousity. 

“I reacted to that more than I meant to. I’m Alex, too,” shaking his hand. 

“Nice to meet you, Alex too,” he says, having the audacity to cut in front of me in the line, handing his ticket to the staff member as she smiles politely and scans it. I move up behind him and hand her my ticket, almost expecting him to wait for me, shamefully hoping that his seat would be next to mine. 

“Have a nice flight,” the staff member says for the umpteenth time today, smiling to me as she hands back my ticket.  

“Thank you, you too,” I reply, cringing as I realise what I said; knowing I will remember this for years to come in the dark of the night as I’m trying to sleep. 

I check my seat number – 38C – three times before I’m sure it’s embedded in my memory and I won’t forget as I am trying to find it when I am on the plane. 

“Here we go,” I breathe, walking toward the start of the next chapter of my life.  

I make it to my seat with no problems, saying polite hello’s to my neighbours for the flight, cursing myself at the disappointment when I realise Alex is not sitting near me. After settling in and the plan sets off, I nod off in no time. 

I wake to the plane landing with a dry mouth, a sore head, and a very hungry stomach. I look to the left and catch the woman beside me smiling, as she gestures to under her eyes. I wipe under my own, the mascara residue crumbling at my fingertips. She passes me an untouched cup of water and a ham, cheese and tomato sandwich. 

“I grabbed yours when they passed them out for when you woke up.” 

“Oh my god, thank you so much,” I say, my stomach rumbling in thanks. I shove the food into my bag and down my water, as I stand up to join the rest of the slow moving line of passengers desperate to get off the plane. 

“Enjoy your time in Melbourne,” the flight attendant smiles at me, thanking her and walking into the sunshine. A new home. A new beginning. 

I had a comforting thought in meeting Alex, or even the food-plane-lady, thinking that I was lucky enough to have my first friend in Melbourne even before I had left home soil. People are fleeting, as are moments, as is time. You can spend four years of your life with someone and, after seemingly no time at all, they are gone forever. Relatively, you could spend a mere four minutes, and they could impact you in just the smallest way. 

I booked a hotel for my first two nights, before my temporary home is ready on Tuesday morning, before my more permanent home is hopefully ready by November. Picture it. I’m in my underwear, I’m clutching my wine, and I’m staring out my window at my new landscape – buildings, lights and so many people. Not at all what I’m used to, I cannot see a single star in the sky, not a single soul I know walking the streets below. Change; doesn’t it taste so bittersweet?

© 2017. Rackers.

Categories
Rackers

be authentic

We live in a world where we seek validation from strangers on the internet on whether our photos look cool enough. A photo isn’t a successful photo if it doesn’t get enough likes, nor is your status funny enough for the same reason. I’m obviously completely guilty of it, considering I base the success of my articles on the amount of likes, love reacts and shares I get. Social media — it is both a blessing and a curse.

I think a lot of us have been guilty of comparing our lives to people on instagram. The girl who seemingly has everything, gets to travel for a living and visit all the places we only dream about. The #girlboss whose feed is always én pointé, a flatlay that never goes wrong and seems to be dolling out online orders left, right and centre. The cartoonist who always has something witty to write and draw. We get lost in incredible photos, wondering why oh why does my life not look like this?

The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.

The obsession with ‘aesthetically pleasing’ blogs, for me, came from tumblr. I discovered it in year 9 from a friend at school, and quickly became obsessed. People started following you if you reblogged quotes and photos from other people and then called it your own ‘blog’.

I hit a wall on my own rackers.co instagram, feeling lost for creativity, hating the way it all looked together, and not knowing how to make it look better. I was comparing it to girls with thousands of followers, who filter their photos the exact same every time, and always seem to know how much to expose it and how much to contrast, making it perfectly white every. single. time. I got caught up in trying to make it look like theirs, while also throwing in my own colourful creations, always trying to keep a positive facade… Eventually losing sight of what I was really trying to do.

What I actually wanted to do was share photos, quotes and my own creations to gain followers who like seeing what I write, what I post, what I make. I lost myself in trying to be “like them”, and that’s when I started to lose my own purpose of creating on instagram.

I use it because I absolutely adore the concept of it. I hope to gain a following of people who enjoy seeing what I am doing, and essentially, the same people who I hope to be interested in reading what I have to write, investing in my own novels one day, investing in the art I make now, investing in me as a person.

The main point of it all is to stop faking your life on your instagram or your facebook. Stop trying to make it seem like you have it all. Secret’s out; not one single person on the face of this fucking earth has it all. NOT ONE. People will follow you when they know that you care about what you’re sharing; whether you’re reposting other people’s photos (and please to god tagging them so others know where it came from), whether you’re posting your own work, or photos with friends, or the cool things you do (however rare you do them).

I’m not saying you have to start complaining whenever something shit happens to you. I’m not saying you need to care when I feel like sharing that I feel like shit. But don’t post a photo with a friend that you’re actually currently pissy at, and pretend you’re the best of mates. Don’t like a photo from someone you don’t even like and then bitch about it to someone else (better yet – don’t follow them so they’re not even on your radar). Just be fucking real.

Be authentic. You won’t lose yourself along the way.

Categories
life tips

rackers’ life tips: part 23

1. Stop comparing yourself to strangers on Instagram.

2. November is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month – the cancer with the lowest 5 year survival rate. I’m making mugs to raise funds and you can get them here: http://rackers.bigcartel.com/product/pancare-mugs/ but more importantly, educate yourself, donate separately if you wish, and tell your humans you love them.

3. Just because someone is on a different life path to you, doesn’t mean they’re doing life wrong compared to you. That’s the funny little thing about life; no one knows what the fuck they’re doing but it doesn’t matter as long as they’re happy doing it.

4. Stop thinking someone is feeling how you think they should be feeling.

5. Ctrl alt delete those people who are not adding value to yo life.

6. “We all fear that our feelings are too big, especially in the moment we’re actually having them. We were taught not be too loving, we’d get hurt; too smart, we’d get bullied; too fearful, we’d be vulnerable. To be compliant with what other people wanted us to feel.
… The point is that you aren’t the one who is afraid of feeling too much. It’s the one who called you crazy and dramatic and wrong.” Brianna Wiest, 101 essays that will change the way you think

7. “How do you go from living in a different city, working 6 days a week, to literally never leaving your house?” I dunno man how do you go from loving someone and wanting to spend forever with them, to not even knowing them at all? People change, priorities change, life happens and the way you live it concerns no one but yourself.

8. Anyone who has skin issues like myself, listen here!!! I got the secret!!! I tried so many things, like every skin care secret under the roof. (Even that special one those who have no skin issues always fucking tell you: wash it day and night. Amazing.) Cetaphil, Clearasil, fucking that one that always used to be on ads but I can’t remember it’s name anymore, Aesop. I currently just use miscellar water and a Garnier moisturiser. A month ago, I decided to take the leap and cut dairy completely out of my diet (and despite the occasional pizza hiccup), I have succeeded — my skin is clearer than it has been in yeeeaaarrrssss! It’s actual magic. My skin’s not perfect and I’m not sure it ever will be; I have scarring and still get little bumps and whatnot, but I actually feel confident enough to go in public without makeup and that is a big deal for me! So if you have skin troubles!!! Give it a try! And if you’re sad about what to add in your cereal, tea or coffee — Bonsoy is an actual dream in terms of health benefits and taste.

 

4th August 2017 — 9th November 2017

 


9. Hey man who someone’s banging is no one’s business but dey own (as long as they are single and consensual) Get your nose and your butt out of everyone’s bidness

10. Think of all the humans in the universe. Cut it down heaps and heaps and you’ve still got a shitload of humans as options. Date someone other than your friends’ ex.