Hal Mathew


You the Seed vs. You the Gardener

Lettuce now compare agoraphobia to a garden

Posted Mar 24, 2015

  I officially began garden season today by planting some seeds in flats and plastic containers.  And for each miniscule form of life I planted in the soil, at least one seed of thought got planted in my brain. Writers who garden are constantly tending their greenery to come up with metaphors and similies that relate the horticultural arts to one’s life as well as the lives of others.

   Gardening is particularly ripe with meaning for those afflicted with panic disorder and agoraphobia. Here, I’ll make up a few which I hope will help you sprout some of your own.

 1. You have taken root in an area that is restricting your growth.
 2. You have seeds you’d like to sow far from where you are.
 3. You are a fragile seedling that needs particular protection from the elements.
 4. You are a seed, full of potential, but don’t have access to soil where you can truly          sprout.
 5. Whenever you try to spread, giant nasty weeds confront you, driving you back to your spot.
 6. When you finally get to bloom, your flower will be the most beautiful display ever seen.

  I could go on and on—after all, I’m a writer—but now it’s your turn to think of ways your situation can be compared to gardening. I wrote a blog earlier on how important the season of Spring has been to me through my life. When I was a prisoner of agoraphobia, Spring represented renewal, new growth, new possibilities, and hope. My hostile world, particularly the coldest months, seemed somehow softer and safer when Spring arrived in my home state of Montana.

   Because this season is so important to me, I decided to increase my share of it by moving to central Oregon where Spring begins about two months earlier than in Montana.  In some ways, the Willamette Valley is eternal Spring with a touch of 2 or 3 others.

   So I planted some seeds today and thought about their future. They didn’t look like much as I gazed upon them nestled in my garden-stained palm.  Each tiny seed can reach its potential and become a most magnificent living thing, be it broccoli, carrot or zinnia, only by undergoing a dramatic change. I will be the agent for change—by pushing each seed beneath the surface of dirt and then faithfully watering and fertilizing and nurturing, giving each the best possible chance to become the best it can be.

   Now let’s make you the seed and the recovery program in Un-Agoraphobic all the soil, nutrient, water and sunshine you need to become the being you hoped you would. You must now carry out each day devoted to the care and nurturing of this precious new you.  The growth you are undertaking will lead to a dramatic change – complete freedom forever. Have fun. Only a negligent gardener could ruin your chances.