“The Impact And Importance Of My Hobby In Terms Of Recovery”


"Garden Arbor"By Howard Lovely, Jr.

Having something to look forward to each day can,…and does have a huge impact on my recovery process. Ironically I learned to garden from one of the very same parents that contributed to the violent home environment that I grew-up in,…which in turn precipitated my Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder (PTSD). My garden provides a daily dose of inspiration, joy, creativity, wonder, peace, excitement, a sense of accomplishment and an entire host of other feelings and emotions to say the least. I get to watch the antics of various types of birds (Blue Ring-Neck Doves, Finches, and Robins) that regularly fly into my backyard to feed and drink. Though impressive with it’s wing span, the occasional Hawk can wreak havoc on the smaller birds and their nests. My ears get serenaded on occasion by beautiful bird songs & tweets and my eyes get pleasantly assaulted by vibrant plumage such as that of the Red-Winged Black-Bird. These are all by-products of my garden space because I simply like eating fresh vegetables and watching them grow,…it’s my passionate hobby. Although Mental-Illness has an invisible way of imprisoning an individual,….having a creative hobby of any type,…may allow our minds to fly free through the bars of dispar, anxiety, depression, feelings of being out of control and daily isolation. As a matter of fact,….gardening teaches me how to let go of the desire for total control and thus learn to experience the power of [choice] and [perseverance] under less ideal conditions. Also I get to witness the tenacity of plants as metaphores. I get to choose to feel the excitement and surprise of checking the garden each day with anticipation of seeing what seeds have chosen to sprout on their own internal time-table,…not when my futile thinking dictates they should sprout. Ironically,…I’ve discovered that there is power and control buried just beneath the surface of surrender. Don’t take my word for it,…look for yourself,…feel it for yourself,…through your own hobby.

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