Back in the day, in my ongoing quest to have my outsides look perfect, my yard had to be spectacular. Like all things, I learned as I went. In our first house, we had beautiful gardens. But, because I had way too many kids, we had to move and I had to start all over again. Which was totally fine for me.
Until my addiction got to a place where I would never leave the house, I gardened (in the summer, duh) like a madwoman. I would google plants, drive anywhere to get that "one kind" of perennial, I had drawn out plans, and I obsessed. I would dig up whole parts of the yard and plant thirty plants in one afternoon. I would work morning till night. Weeding and fertilizing and replanting, and splitting up and work, work, work. I wore headphones and felt like superwoman. Pretty weird for an addict/alcoholic to go so overboard right?
My yard looked perfect. A little coke or meth or diet pill and you can spot a weed from 1/2 mile away and not give up until it's done PERFECTLY. For me, it was magical.
Once I got to a place where outside became too scary, I took many years off. I just let it go. Not able to muster up the "give-a-shit" (as John MacDougall, from Hazelden, always says) to care. I would walk out the front door in the spring/summer, wanting to be able to WANT to garden, and feeling like a failure, because I knew I was too sick. Seeing the grass jump the rock boarder hurt. Watching the Creeping Charlie replace all of my grass made me really want to crawl into a hole and hide. It was a constant reminder of how bad my life got.
Not to mention, my neighbors must really think we are assholes because of our shitty yard, right? Oh, wait, probably more because of the "fuck you" screams coming through the windows from days gone past. But I'll get to that another day.
This year, finally, I decided to get back out to the yard and see what I could save. It wasn't as much fun and I didn't have as much energy. I didn't care about every weed and didn't feel like splitting up the plants. I really only have the attention or care to do it for an hour or so at a time. And that is okay.
I am surprisingly triggered by this activity. One part of me loves to do it. But the other part, the addict in me, knows what would make the job easier. And I DON'T want to get stuck there. So the recovering addict in me knows how to play that tape all the way through, and see what will happen if I give in to that nagging little addict.
The warm weather, the yard work, the smell of summer, are all triggers for me. But I know that triggers happen. And I can acknowledge them, and move on. I won't be afraid of that feeling, because I have to be aware and realistic. I can work through it with my people and I will be fine.
So, I just garden a little at a time. It looks a LOT better than it has in years.. It doesn't look as good as the perfectionist in me thinks it should. But the life that goes with it is for sure, much better.
This isn't a sober garden, I'm afraid. But very nice. To me it is beautiful and ugly at the same time.
This is a sober garden. Not as good, but so much better.
Please comment and share this if you would. I like to hear what you say. Even it you want to say I suck. Let me know.