Do you have a safe place you retreat to when you need to protect and guard yourself from harm?
My safe place is my garden. At times people have given me a confused look as if to say what good is a garden when you’re depressed and suicidal?
My answer is often about distraction and keeping busy and waiting out the pain but the deeper truth is my garden is quite simply a place where I don’t have to judge or hate myself.
Sometimes depression makes us angry at hurtful towards ourselves. It doesn’t help when people can’t understand and make comments such as why have you become so selfish? Courtesy and politeness cost nothing. Or you have it easy look at what the rest of the world struggles with. For me at least that just becomes evidence used within me to keep building the case against myself… “Why I am not a worthwhile human being”.
Utter bullshit we learn eventually… provided we are given support to survive and time and knowledge to learn to recognise what is happening within.
My garden doesn’t say anything. I can be a mess. I can swear or cry or just sit and stare and it makes no difference to my plants. They are still beautiful regardless.
Some days I can work until I’m exhausted and can sleep. Other days I just walk through the 5 acres and look at plants with a cup of tea in hand.
My garden is a protective space.
It gives me simple enjoyment of fresh air and sunshine.
A purpose and goal I can achieve or try again tomorrow or next week without pressure or guilt.
Adventure and anticipation hunting for wildflowers.
Peace and quiet.
Something to connect with others about which doesn’t have to involve mental illness.
Projects and interests and passions.
When depressed, I lose hope of ever feeling these things. But in my garden I can sometimes find those emotions. It reminds me those feelings are not lost just buried at the moment.
Being in my garden reminds me to turn off the phone and just exist for a moment. Just be in my safe place and let all the expectations of the world fall away.
I will return in time. I’ve missed all of your gardens in the Sixes on Saturday most of all.
For now I’m in my garden letting it protect me until I feel a little better inside.
Happy Saturday fellow gardenistas.