Every so often, I think it's time to just stop and reintroduce myself to you all. Some of you are new readers, some of you are old readers who have been gone for a long time, and some of you have stuck by me since the beginning. But people change all the time and sometimes, it's important to just stop and reflect.
My name is Rachel. I am currently 22 and I live in the way-too-fucking-hot state of Arizona, with my boyfriend of three and a half years, who is known on here as Wolfy (mainly because I'm extremely protective of him). We have two hamsters- Cashew the one eyed hamster and his little brother Munchies. I also recently learned that hamsters cannot be friends. If you've never heard a hamster growl, I highly suggest you look it up on YouTube. (Example 1 and Example 2 and Example 3),
My parents divorced when I was six and my mom raised me. I don't have a lot of contact with my dad and I have absolutely no contact with his parents. Out of his family, I only communicate with his sisters and my cousins (one of them being my Godson, who is my entire world). Out of my mom's family, I have her and her mom and stepdad. Nobody likes her dad and stepmom.
I lived in really nice neighborhoods when I was little and was thrown into the straight fucking ghetto when I was almost 13 (thanks to my mom's dad and stepmom). Considering I was already battling with emotional problems, that didn't go over so well, and I became angry and hateful and just plain mean the majority of the time.
By the time I was 14, I realized that it wasn't just normal teenage hormones that I was feeling, but it was straight out depression. By 17, I was planning how to kill myself the last time that I saw my dad. My boyfriend (who was only my friend at the time) and another friend talked me down, multiple times, and I'm glad they did. When I was 21, I discovered that I've been dealing with anxiety too- only I've dealt with it since I was a kid. It's not normal for a 7 year old to have panic attacks.
I was bullied through most of my school life, to the point I even dropped out when I was only in 7th grade. (I'm working on that. If you're good at algebra and geometry, hit me up!) My dad could easily be described as abusive and I've buried so many loved ones that I would literally have to stop and count. For ten years, if I walked outside, there was a high chance of being attacked or sexually harassed (actually- I live in a good neighborhood now and the latter is still a common thing). We (my mom and I) have been stalked, lied to, tricked, and generally beaten down but we've always gotten back up.
I've had dogs, cats, birds, fish, turtles, hamsters, a Guinea pig, a rabbit, a salamander, a frog... The worst part is I'm not sure if I'm forgetting a pet and I'll feel like an asshole if I do. I've been horseback riding, four-wheeling, swimming in streams, fishing in lakes, hiking in the woods, walking in the desert. I've done modeling for an old school and been asked to write posts for huge websites. I've traveled to several states and even seen Canada from across Lake Erie at sunset. I try new food and try to learn new languages, even though I can't roll my R's. I've ridden elephants and pet alligators (though I have no idea where the picture is to prove it). I'm writing a cook book with my mom and I'm writing my autobiography on my own.
But nothing has ever excited me more than when I got an email from somebody saying that my blog helped them and thanking me for opening up. Saying that I made a difference in his life and he's going to keep trying because he now knows he's not alone and somebody understands.
And then it happened again on Twitter. A young girl messaged me for advice. She's barely 14, the same age I was when I was beginning to understand exactly why I was so unhappy. She's been in contact with me about 3-4 times a week since October of last year. Her message to me on New Years was so kind and heart felt, that I started crying, because I actually made an impact on her.
Then more people started messaging me. Either thanking me or asking for advice. Sometimes both. I get 5+ messages a day sometimes. A few times, I've woken up to over 20 notifications. The crazy thing is, I only have 100 something followers on twitter.
I am in no way an expert on anything. I mean, I don't even have a highschool diploma. I'm not qualified to give advice. But how can I turn away somebody who needs somebody to relate to or to talk to? That's just not a thing.
If I've gone through hell and back my entire life just so I can help one other person, it's worth it. I think that's the most important thing that I've learned about myself. If I'm strong enough to survive, I know that other people are too and they just need to know that for themselves.
Should you ever need professional advice, here is a direct link to a list of all the suicide hotlines. They can either help you themselves or put you in contact with you can, Should you ever need unprofessional advice from a middle school drop out that spends too much time taking pictures of her one-eyed hamster, then you can find me on Twitter @WhenALionSleeps or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org (Honestly, I'll probably see Twitter first, because a lot of email goes straight to my junk folder.)
Hi, I'm Rachel. I'm bitchy and sarcastic and have a weird sense of humor. I write about Tough Topics sometimes and sometimes I write funny things, but whatever I write, I want to help you. Whether I help you understand that you're strong enough to survive whatever battles you're fighting or I can just make you laugh for a couple minutes, I want to help you.
I don't want to be that angry person I was when I was 13 and that angry person I was when I started blogging. If you're not up for the changes I'm making and my blog is making, that is perfectly fine, but I'm working on being happier so I want my presence in the blogging/internet world to create more happiness too.
PS Yes, I will still curse, because fuck.
PPS If you know anyone who does graphic design or can help set up a new layout for me, please let me know. I figure a new change should be marked with a new look, but techy things are not my strong suit.