Updated: Mar 14, 2021
How Depression and Dating led me to peace, growth, and self acceptance through plant therapy.
I was raised on an island surrounded by women who lovingly tended home gardens. One of my fondest memories as a kid was running through aisles and hiding in the leaves of my neighbor's orchid greenhouse. I always said that I would grow a green thumb and join the ranks of these ladies, but so many unlucky plants had to die before I could get there.
It wasn't until a boy broke my heart in 2015, that I really started being serious about the type of person I wanted to be. Back then, I spent countless quiet hours alone in nature preserves. Being around plants was the only that quieted the voices of self hate, unworthiness, and hurt. I didn't know it at the time but I was fighting my depression with my primal love of plants and nature.
For many of us, quarantine means spending more time at home, cultivating new hobbies like gardening. It also means time away from loved ones, work, and all the usual distractions we use to fill our time. This kind of isolation can be the perfect soil for seeds of depression to root. It's no surprise that early reports on the effects of the pandemic talk about the uptick in mental health issues. It's not easy living through a pandemic! But many like myself have turned to houseplants and "urban jungles" to help cope with the uncertainty.
Once I figured out how nature could help me cope, I began my plant mama journey and bought a golden pothos.
I'll be honest, I was more focused on getting out and dating again than caring for my plant. Then I met an impressive young man. Plant Daddy has entered the chat! He had the all the qualities I wanted in a partner and more importantly, qualities I wanted for myself. I quickly realized to attract that kind of energy in my life I had some evolving to do. I wanted to be impressive too! I wanted to have a flourishing garden, drink craft beer, and casually chat about stocks. I poured myself in plant research, working out, and financial literacy. Mind you, I did all the hard work. He was just the impetus to stay committed! I became so dedicated to self-improvement that even after things fell apart with plant daddy I was a completely different version of me.
I'm so grateful for that season of evolution because there are so many Life Lesson that Plant Therapy teaches you:
Mindfulness- Connecting with nature and quieting distractions to focus on something else that is dependent on you.
Patience- Good things take time and so will developing your green thumb!
Gratitude- Appreciating even those things outside of your control.
Acceptance- Coming to terms with life, death and everything in between.