My Experiences

Just a story about growing carrots

One day I decided to start growing some carrots. It was something I’d wanted to do for some time but it took me a while to gather the courage to put my plan into action. I made sure that I felt prepared; I spent hours reading all about sowing seeds, watched numerous youtube videos on plant care and gathered all of the things I required from the shops. I was excited that I was finally going to grow some carrots.

It was a gorgeous summers day. Alongside the daylight breeze, I sowed the seeds to the best of my ability. Each day after this I ensured that I watered them, keeping an eye on their progress. About two weeks later, my hard work appeared to be paying off – a few seedlings started to appear, followed by a few more until there were rows upon rows of them. I felt a huge sense of pride and I looked forward to seeing them each day, growing and ageing as the summer progressed.

One morning I walked to the top of my garden, smiling in anticipation of greeting my crops, but I was instead greeted by shock. Where there had once been seedlings, there was chaos. Rows upon rows of defeated and ruined seedlings. I stood there, processing what had happened, but also questioning how it had even happened at all. All of the hard work and preparation of the last month was destroyed before my eyes, ripped apart in a matter of minutes. I blamed myself, I felt like I could’ve done more and that the situation occurred as a result of my inability. I felt deflated and couldn’t bear to look at the vegetable patch, it was just a constant reminder of how I had failed. I found myself withdrawing from the garden, questioning the point of trying to grow anything in the first place as it obviously wasn’t working out.

The next Monday I woke up with a more positive energy and decided to give the carrots another go. I read a bit more information online and considered the advice of other gardeners from internet forums. It appears that my carrots may have been the victims of some cheeky little birds. I researched how to protect my carrots and better prepare myself for the next attempt. The next day I sowed more seeds and considering my new gained knowledge, added a fabric mesh over the top of them. Once again I would water and monitor the seeds each day and sure enough, the seedlings appeared again. But this time the seedlings surpassed their previous size, growing and developing each day until they were ready for picking.

Reflecting upon the past, I realised that what happened was out of my control at that time (cheeky birds), but the experience allowed me to learn and expand my knowledge so I was better prepared for the next time. Now each day I look at my lovely carrots not only smiling with joy because of their pure existence, but also appreciating the journey that it took to get them here. It didn’t work out the first time around, but I tried again and I’m so glad that I did.

For some, they may consider this story to be a metaphor. They may see it as an example of how an individual can grow, recover from setbacks and come back stronger. But really, this is just a story about growing carrots.

My Experiences

Are we all bus drivers?- a mental wellbeing metaphor

This week I was travelling on a bus. Whilst travelling I observed something which I felt was such a fitting metaphor for mental wellbeing that I feel I should share it. In a way I love bus journeys. I live in a fairly rural place, so when I’m on the bus I’m usually looking out the window to be greeted with serene scenes of fields, livestock and wildflowers. I find that travelling down country lanes is so often suitably calming.

On this particular morning, I was sat at the back of the bus, watching the world pass by on the outside. There was a variety of passengers on the bus, all varying in their appearances and ages; there was a small child in a pram talking to its mother about big dogs, next to an elderly gentlemen reading the days news in the Guardian. Although full of different people, there was a peaceful equilibrium as the bus drove peacefully through the lanes. As the bus progressed, it picked up and dropped off people, still maintaining its peaceful environment.

But at one stage of the journey a young couple got on. They sat down and started a heated discussion, apparently the guy had been seeing someone else and hadn’t told his partner. This argument got louder and more aggressive between the two as the journey went on, and the environment began to feel hostile. Although things in the back of the bus were beginning to become nasty between the couple, the bus driver still had to drive on. They couldn’t pull over because it wasn’t safe to do so. Also the driver had to keep to the set timetable, so they just carried on driving, transporting this negative energy with them. While all this was happening, a bus passed on the opposite side of the road. The bus drivers shared a friendly hello gesture and a smile as they passed each other, irrespective of the events happening in the back of their vehicles that they were transporting around.

At this point I found myself reflecting upon this, comparing the bus to an individuals mind. The chaos that ensues inside an individuals mind is not totally visible to those outside, similar to that of the events on the bus. Irresponsive to the events on the bus, the driver presents a positive face to other drivers as they pass. I feel this to be representative of the face that an individual presents to others. For some who are living with mental distress, they may feel the need to cover this up, often appearing smiley and cheery to others, regardless of their actual feelings. We are all bus drivers in a sense; travelling with our own passengers and events going on. I just found this metaphor to be so fitting I felt I had to share.

So be kind to your fellow bus drivers, even if you can’t see inside their vehicle very well. You just never know what chaos they may be having to handle inside.