The REAL me and why I choose to grow!

20170218_135924

I always worry about talking about ‘the REAL life’ stuff on my blog incase people just don’t want to hear it, but here goes.

For the longest time I have suffered from depression. It started in my late teens leading to full blown panic attacks on a daily basis from the age of 17. My moods swing up and down more than the British weather and we all know how erratic that can be.

Unfortunately what you see of me on social media in videos and on posts isn’t always a true reflection to how I am feeling. But you seem such a happy positive person?  I am but sometimes I just want to cry and recoil into a corner. You see I like to think I’m a nice, helpful and warm person, I love nothing more than boosting confidence in others and sharing their joys and giving advice to help them with any problems they may have. However the same can’t be said for myself. To me I am hurtful, I say the meanest things to myself in my head. I have a horrible mind that deludes me into believing people are thinking these horrible things of me too.

You see when I retired from the fitness industry a few years ago, I quickly started gaining weight and my confidence in myself stated to dwindle even quicker. I then developed a severe alcohol addiction to try and ease my pain and suffering, that nobody but me was causing. But the more I drank the more the problem grew. It got to the point where I wouldn’t take a trip to my local supermarket because of fear someone who knew me might see me and judge me. I would bail out on my friends and loved ones gatherings and socials because I was terrified somebody would take a picture of me and it would end up all over social media. This was not a healthy way to live and it’s something I am still battling through.  You see if any of my friends, family or lovely vitual friends were suffering like this I would go above and beyond to help them feel better letting them know they are not alone and I’ve got their back. Yet depression makes you feel so ALONE! I’ve spoken briefly in another post about my ‘Dark Fog’ moments as I like to call them. It’s not easy battling through depression  and I’m very lucky to have a wonderful supportive family, friends and a great husband, but the one thing that really lifts me out of my dark fog is gardening and connecting with nature.

You see the bad thoughts disappear when I’m working the muck, and my spirit rises. I have new fresh clean oxygen pumping in my bloodstream that wipes away all the toxic built up free radicals. And nothing beats that proud accomplishing feeling of growing something beautiful or tasty, see it evolve from seed to bloom to harvest. I did that, wow!

I started blogging mid last year to help me get through my depression and toxic thoughts and submerged myself into the online gardening community, and it’s one of the best things I’ve ever done. This community of people of all different ages, backgrounds and cultures is so incredibly friendly and supportive and help you feel a true sense of self belief and empower you on your growing journey, which brings about confidence and self esteem. It helps me to aspire to help others grow and garden hoping to bring confidence to them too. But it also helps me feel better about myself. Since blogging I have really started to feel so much better about myself and my environment and I’ve even managed to control my alcohol addiction. I do still drink but not daily and in excess and can now even say NO to a drink, how cool is that! I have even started making video blogs on my Facebook page too, this was something I was terrified about doing ( the evil thoughts again) but I manned up and just did it and you know what I loved it, and that’s down to you guys my lovely followers supporting and encouraging me and giving me lots of positive feedback. I guess I will always get anxious about my blogs and now vlogs too, but with you lovely lot and nature on my side I will continue to grow up towards the light!

So I’m saying BOLLOCKS to you depression, you can take your black fog and your little evil whispers and do one! You’re not welcome here!

Please be gentle if you have any feedback!

And don’t forget to subscribe!

Brightest Blessings,

Bo x

43 Comments Add yours

  1. I think it’s good to get this stuff out there, good for yourself and, good for others not brave enough to be so public. We live in a world where social media makes everybody appear to be in a permanent state of rich ecstasy, I call Facebook ‘Gloatbook’ and tend not to post anything on it now unless it’s fairly self deprecating. A year ago I had a severe mental breakdown – panic attacks etc and probably some depression as well, I stopped everything for a month. I had to stop and learn to listen to my body and my brain and some CBT sessions helped give me some coping mechanisms for my busy brain. It’s why I’ve started blogging this year and taking a day a week for my GYO activities. I think anybody who gardens knows that horticulture is a form of therapy, a mindfulness exercise which puts you in the moment rather than the past or future. That’s what makes the community such a warm and friendly bunch. It takes a kind & empathetic person to be a gardener, to take the time to pick up plants that fell over in the breeze at the garden centre or to feel the pain of a dried out dahlia desperate for a drink. So in gardening you find kind people and a therapeutic home for creative minds.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Michelle - The Bohemian Raspberry says:

      Thank you for your wonderful and kind feedback. You are so right to garden is brilliant therapy and gardener just are the best of people. I’m so sorry to hear you had a breakdown, but I’m pleased too hear you are feeling much better and I love your blog and twitter posts so glad it helps you too x

      Like

  2. David says:

    Go Girl! just read your post, good on you for being able to put your personal feelings into words.
    I’ve been in that foggy place on occasions but when I see the clouds gathering, I trim the sails and head straight into the storm.
    Don’t ever take any bollocks from that place.
    David.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Michelle - The Bohemian Raspberry says:

      Thank you David for your lovely positive feedback!

      Like

  3. What a brave and encouraging piece, it must have taken some kahuna’s to post but good on you! You’ve brought such a sense of fun, enthusiasm and gentle support to the garden blogging community over the past months, it’s always interesting to hear more about the person behind the profile pic. And you must know that you’re far from alone in turning to plants and gardens for healing and restoration, everyone’s at it! (Thanks too for using my fave word!). x

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Michelle - The Bohemian Raspberry says:

      Thank you Andrew, it did take a massive deep breath I think I even closed my eyes when I hit publish! Aww thank you I love the garden blogging world, seriously one of the best things I’ve done is connect with you lovely lot, just hope you all realise you’re stuck with me now!! I did throw that word in just for you, I know it’s your fave, think the blog may end up being renamed as The Bohemian Raspberries Bollocks ha ha it could work!!

      Like

  4. Good on you! Keep going.

    One thing about gardening is that it doesn’t judge you. Not you as a person. Or the way you garden. Or why. It just gives you the pleasure. That’s the same about the gardening community. They don’t judge the Gardner either. We all garden for different reasons. I’ve found everyone ( well almost!) have been supportive of each other. No judging. No snobbery. Helpful. Understanding. Informative. You keep going. It doesn’t matter what brought you to it. It’s the pleasure and release you get from it. Keep the blogs going. Keep the vids going.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Michelle - The Bohemian Raspberry says:

      Thank you for your lovely positive feedback xx

      Liked by 1 person

  5. hoehoegrow says:

    Gardening is just the best therapy and always lifts the spirits. I applaud your brave post and hope that it helps others who are suffering in the same way. Having my hands in the soil has helped me through bereavement, and I remember the hope it gave me for the future.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Michelle - The Bohemian Raspberry says:

      Thank you, I really do hope it brings comfort to someone who may need it too. Sorry to hear of your bereavement, I send you lots of love and healing it’s not easy coming through some of life’s journeys xxx

      Like

  6. Hope you carry on making progress. Growing food is the best therapy. I’m glad you have good support – including a really beautiful dog at your side!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Michelle - The Bohemian Raspberry says:

      Thank you, Yes my dog is always by my side for a good cuddle happy or sad, she’s my best friend! x

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My German shepherd was my gardening assistant, cuddle therapist and personal trainer for 11 years. Still miss her every day

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Michelle - The Bohemian Raspberry says:

        Aww sorry to hear that, I can totally relate I did have two shepherds, sadly my other passed on a couple of years ago now and it still hurts now, I guess it always will. They are your babies xx

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Sarah - Mud, Cakes and Wine says:

    I am so pleased you have found GYO and for being so honest in your post. I love your Facebook live and our chats on twitter. Gardening has been my mums saviour with depression so I know first hand what it can do. I garden to loose myself from the constant stress of type 1 and ASD xxx

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Michelle - The Bohemian Raspberry says:

      Aww thank you Sarah,I love our chats too xx Aww I’m glad gardening helps your mum too, it’s such a special thing and so under rated for the therapy it brings for all sorts of conditions and illnesses xxx

      Like

  8. carolyn says:

    A brave blog but a very accurate description of my black dog!! You are right gardening and the muck are great for a bit of relief from those wretched thoughts.
    Sounds like you are trying hard so keep going and well done x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Michelle - The Bohemian Raspberry says:

      Thank you for your positive and kind words Carolyn xx

      Like

  9. Hannah says:

    A very brave post to write. Its such a vicious circle isnt it? Im far too critical of myself and it can be so difficult to pushs that negative voice away and focus on the positives. Growing/gardening is my therapy too 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Michelle - The Bohemian Raspberry says:

      Aww thanks Hannah, yes it really can be difficult, I’m glad you find positivity in gardening too and thanks for connecting x

      Like

  10. thechattygardener says:

    Gardening kept me sane when my kids were small and helps me unwind now they’re exam-stressed teenagers and students. I think society is only just realising what gardeners have known for generations – connecting with the soil is good for you physically and mentally. Gardeners – and I have talked to hundreds over the years – are generous (plants, advice & support), optimistic (it’s always going to be better next season) and more appreciative of making the most of the moment (that flower is not going to last until you have time to stop and look at it). I’m glad you’ve found gardening a help and I admire your honesty and bravery.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Michelle - The Bohemian Raspberry says:

      Thank you so much for your lovely words. You’re so right, it should be prescribed as a therapy. There are more and more organisations creating groups for suffers all over which is so great to see and the more we talk about the positive effects gardening has hopefully the more widely recognised it will become. xx

      Like

  11. Anneontheshelf says:

    Well done you for writing such an honest post! Your words will be an inspiration to others suffering from depression. You are so right about gardening helping. I find it so.Monty Don finds the same too. Have you read The Outrun by Amy Liptrot? You might find it interesting. She has found help in fighting drink and depression in the natural world. I am benefitting from your horticultural skills in the blog and Twitter. Please keep the info and inspiration coming.Thank you!☺

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Michelle - The Bohemian Raspberry says:

      Thank you so much for your feedback Anne, I’ve not read that book no, but I am now adding it to my list! I’m so pleased to hear you are benefitting from my post that’s amazing and so glad I can be an inspiration, thank you xx

      Like

  12. An incredibly brave post Bo. I’m so glad you pressed publish. Talking openly is such a great provision for the many who are managing this every day, or like me have had to go through similar experiences in the sometime suddenly changing world of ours. I’ve never felt closer to you. In gardening and in friendship. I’m glad that we are within the fantastic community too 😊 x

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Michelle - The Bohemian Raspberry says:

      Aww thanks Chivers, that’s amazing, and yes life’s journey is so unpredictable and great communities like ours lift us through those difficult times and provide comfort when we need it. Aww mate so glad it’s improved out bond that’s ace x

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Well done. I know that must’ve been a tough write.
    Opening up to relative strangers isn’t easy for those of us with outgoing personalities, it must be hell for you.
    Nonetheless you’ve done it.
    Be proud.
    You’ve shown the world you’re human too. You too have flaws, you are fallible like the rest of us.
    You’ve published yet another stonking blog and I’ll be keenly awaiting the next!
    I don’t suffer from depression and I won’t claim to be able to relate but I know how devastating it can be. I also know the therapeutic benefits of a peaceful day alone with the soil.
    Keep writing, about whatever comes to mind because I do know, to greater depths, the joy and release of writing , of opening your heart and just putting it all down in words, even if no one but you reads it.
    But rest assured, many will read your words

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Michelle - The Bohemian Raspberry says:

      Oh WOW, thank you so much for those words of support and encouragement and for saying I’ve produced another stonker, that’s incredible feedback, WOW. Thank you so much xx

      Like

  14. Horti Hugh says:

    What a powerful post you’ve written! Yes, having our hands in the soil and dirt under our nails is a great feeling as are the moments of joy at seeing seedlings arise, flowers bloom and the taste of homegrown produce. They’re a good antidote to the manure and slugs that life slings at us. Your gardening endeavours continue to bring us all towards the light … take care

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Michelle - The Bohemian Raspberry says:

      Thank you for your lovely continued support Hugh, really appreciate it 😘👍🌱💚

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Johanna says:

    You are so brave to post this. Isn’t it amazing how getting your hands into soil and watching seedlings grow to huge plants is healing, empowering even? I’m writing from across the ocean but this garden community online is so funny, I often feel like my fellow gardeners are just over the fence.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Michelle - The Bohemian Raspberry says:

      Aww thanks Johanna, maybe oceans apart but we’re all still one community – thanks for your kind words x

      Like

  16. sallybongo says:

    Gardening is such good medicine and so satisfying too with tasty beautiful produce as a bonus.
    I’m so glad it’s helping you through tough times.
    It’s great to see you taking action that is so joyful and fulfilling.
    Keep doing whatever it takes to move step by step towards feeling better more often, don’t judge yourself for any slips or set backs and be as kind to yourself as you can.
    I find that self judgement has been my trickiest foe in my journey to unconditional happiness but over the years it’s helped me find great ways to challenge it and to build my happiness levels regardless of circumstances ( and I now love sharing what I learned with others ).
    As well as mindset work, having fun in the garden has been a great help to me. Putting my hands in the soil and watching my garden grow gives me immense pleasure ( and inspires a lot of my coaching work ) 🌱😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Michelle - The Bohemian Raspberry says:

      Thank you Sally, every day is different even good days can fall flat, but I’m getting good there and all the lovely words of support have helped me realise I’m not alone and I have people who care. Xx

      Like

  17. dogwooddays says:

    Great post – you should be proud of writing it and helping others through your honesty. It’s lovely that being outside with nature and growing your own has had such a positive effect on your life – I think it has the potential to help so many people and hopefully it will become more standard in the future to advise gardening and horticultural therapy for people who are suffering from depression. I have certainly found it very helpful and have written about how gyo has been therapeutic in my life. Hope you continue to go from strength to strength, inspiring others as you go. ☺

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Michelle - The Bohemian Raspberry says:

      Thank you so much Nic.2 it took some guts but I’m so glad I did it! Totally agree with you hort should be a more widely recognised therapy for depression and MH. Thankso for your feedback is appreciate it xx

      Like

  18. karen says:

    Well done for writing such a brave and honest post. I am always here for you. Just send a message if you ever need a friend. Some people says things they do not mean. But honestly, just let me know if you ever need to talk to someone. Good luck with all your growing projects. Love from Karen. X

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Michelle - The Bohemian Raspberry says:

      Aww thank you Karen, what a lovely person you are. Thank you for your support, love and encouragement it means a lot to me xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  19. seedymum says:

    Hi Michelle, I love your blog and this post in particular for its brave honesty. I am new to garden blogging but great to see what a supportive community there is. Like the Chatty Gardener I find gardening a huge stress reliever when life with young kids gets too much. Also agree that social media can paint too perfect a picture when lots of us are struggling daily just to keep our head above the water! Look forward to reading more from you (also loved your Rebel Yell – I rarely garden by the book!) Ciar

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Michelle - The Bohemian Raspberry says:

      Thank you for your lovely words, and thrilled to hear you enjoy my blog too! Welcome to the gardening and blogging community you’ll love itlook forward to you posts 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Create Space says:

    Michelle, what a lovely post and don’t worry about the people who don’t want to hear it, that’s their problem! Keep growing!

    Like

    1. Michelle - The Bohemian Raspberry says:

      Aww thank you for your kind words, means a lot! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  21. EXCELLENT POST!!! Do you meditate and/or do affirmations? This is one that I was listening to and I thought about you.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=za5nVIJKLRs&t=426s

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s