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Farming as healing.

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by Ladyhawke1, Feb 24, 2009.

  1. Jena

    Jena The Welsh Witch

    Nov 2, 2008
    all true.

    Thanks for the link.

  2. I didn't have time to read the entire article but I wanted to touch on this subject. It's a good one.

    This my second year on my farm. I suffer from Anxiety Disorder, Post Trumatic Stress Disorder, Depression, and a couple of more physical issues like Chronic Lyme Disease (I've been in remission for over a year now, YAY), and Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.

    Before I moved out here I lived in a very busy city in Rhode Island my entire life. At one point I lived so close to the airport that I could count every plane that came or went from my bedroom window. At night the runway lights flashed into my house and there were times when the plane engines were wet in rain that you seriously would question if the noise was the plane about to explode.

    Having a naturally anxious personality, I see now that living in that type of environment was hell for me. I would have up to and sometimes over 10 anxiety attacks per day. I was socially anxious to the point where I could not answer the door if I wasn't expecting someone or the phone if I couldn't see who it was.
    I couldn't leave the house when my husband wasn't home. He was my security blanket. Without him I shut down mentally and would simply wait for his return.
    Housework fell by the wayside. The children didn't get the best of care.
    The resulting depression was awful. I felt so cut off from the world but I was scared to death to partake in anything.

    Then a blessing came in disguise. The airport bought our house for demo. I was a mess. My house was my sanctuary. We started looking for a new place to live right away and they gave us 6 months to do so. They paid for movers, etc. Just when we thought we weren't going to find anything suitable, we found a 3 bedroom modern raised ranch on 2 very wooded acres in one of the most rural cities in the state. I fell in love with the house, though the rocky landscape worried me. We went through paperwork nessesary and we waited to find out if we would get it. The week before we started trying to finalize that house, I got a random e-mail from an older man answering a very old craigslist ad I had put out months earlier looking for housing who told me simply "I have a 1727 Colonial with 5 bedrooms, 6 fireplaces, and almost 5 acres in Coventry you wanna come see it?".
    My husband and I went out to see the house. The place was huge and needed a lot of work. It had a huge barn, beautiful rolling hills, lots of space, and it was beautiful. But the house scared the daylights out of me and before we even got into the car after the showing I was madly shaking my head at my DH telling him "NO WAY!" It needed so much work and was out in the middle of nowhere.
    Well, a week passed and we were now waiting on info from the modern house that I really loved. Our deadline for moving was closing in fast and we finally got a call one morning from the realtor, we lost the house to someone else. I was devestated and felt that we never going to find anywhere to go.
    The day after we got a call from the people with the Colonial again. They said, "Just come out and see it again!" We did (I went dragging my feet). When we got there they told us more about the house and this time the house didn't seem like such a maze to me. The history of the 200 plus year old home was fasinating. But still, I didn't want to live here.
    Then the man and my husband started talking about the huge tree in the front yard. The tree is easily 40 feet taller than the house and it's not like anything I had ever seen before. It was cold and the leaves were gone already so I had no idea what kind of tree it was.
    The man told us that the tree was a Georgia Magnolia tree brought back from the Civil war. The story goes that 3 brothers used to live in this house and it was the main plantation house on 350 acres. All three brothers went to fight. When all three came back they each brought identical Magnolia saplings. The oldest brother planted his in the front of the Colonial because he was going to take over the farm and live out his life in the house. The younger two brothers planted theirs on new plots of land that they then built their houses on. All three were here in the same city. Over the years, one tree and house burned down, and the other is still standing.
    Learning that this was a Magnolia tree in my front yard sealed the deal for me. In 2004 my husband and I lost a son and afterward we said that we wanted to plant a Magnolia tree as a memorial tree for him. We hadn't been able to yet but we wanted to so badly that when we heard what kind of tree it was, it was like a shining beacon beckoning me. Magnolia's aren't common here in New England, and no one has ever seen one as large as this one.
    We moved in a month later. That entire month before we moved in I didn't sleep a wink. I was scared to death of moving out to such a rural area. I thought coyotes would eat me and some chainsaw murderer would hack us up.
    The night we moved in, I went to bed and slept like a ROCK. It was one of best nights sleep I have ever had and I was never scared to be here again.
    Since being here, I have very few anxiety attacks. My depression is nearly gone. The first day here I went walking in the woods. It was like finding Heaven.
    Funnily now, when I pull off my street I get anxious and when I come back home it's like a weight off my shoulders as soon as I pull into the driveway.
    This entire place has been better than any medicine ever could have been for me. I think it will only get better as we restore it more and can do more things with it.
    I have never felt more strongly in my life than I do now about being where I'm meant to be.

    *I wanted to add that I do things now that I would have NEVER done before I moved out here. I talk to strangers all the time now, I innitiate contact with them. I take my kids places alone and we do all sorts of stuff. It's amazing the change that took place. Everyone in my DH and my family has been amazed.
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2009
  3. Lesa

    Lesa Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 28, 2008
    Upstate NY
    Isn't that interesting? Agrotherapy- I guess it is something we all instinctively knew- but now it has an official name. There is nothing as peaceful and meaningful to me as gardening and taking care of the animals... The world would be a better place, if more people took advantage of the beauty..
  4. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    That's an idealic view of living off the land.

    Try having 100% of your income come from farming and ranching. Then it's not such a relaxing life. Fighting weather that can wipe your income out for the year, markets you've got no control over, input costs that sky-rocket those are just a few of the things that make it very stressful.

    I get tired of people thinking if you live on a farm you have this peaceful stress-free life. We get 100% of our income from our farm & ranch operation. Would I trade it for another life?....not in a million years, but it's not the life people think it is.
  5. Lesa

    Lesa Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 28, 2008
    Upstate NY
    Katy- I hear you. My heart always goes out to farmers on the news, when I see floods, fires, etc. I have a day job and garden and take care of chickens as a hobby. I am sure from your perspective it is very different. However, I would also say, don't forget how lucky you are- don't forget to enjoy what you have... I try to find beauty in everything and I know that sounds wicked corny- but... This is my first winter taking care of chickens- previous to this there was nothing that would get me out of hibernation mode. Now, here I am out to check on the girls 4 or 5 times a day. Yes, it is snowing, yes, the wind is blowing- but I have witnessed some really special things that I would have missed if I was inside hoping for spring. Nobody can really walk in your shoes- but I do hope you remember to slow down and enjoy what you can...Wishing you all the best!
  6. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    I said I wouldn't trade my life in a million years and I do enjoy doing what we do. It's just that 99.9% of people have an unrealistic view of living on a farm.
  7. Jena

    Jena The Welsh Witch

    Nov 2, 2008
    Hi Katy,

    I understand what you are saying. the truth is there are stresses in any life when you are trying to provide for your family.

    It is a question of "The other Man's Grass" sometimes. But like you say you would not change your life, but for city dwellers it all looks pretty and calm. they don't see the desperate issues of life and death on a farm, dealing with all kinds of weather, and threats to your livelihood.

    Maybe the biggest threat or the most scary thing to face is other people.

    If we are faced with animals that kill to live or survive we take it simply that that is nature, but we all suffer the dillusion that we are different or better so when we are faced with the facts that in cities we are more likely to be faced with dangerous people or people that will set out to hurt you and take from you our illusions are smashed and suddenly the countryside looks amazing and safe.

    When peole suffer from PTSD, stress and anxiety it is usually because of experiences that have had in dealing with people, so the isolation of the country looks appealing, and the stresses fall away.

    When you don't meet people so often you have a chance to recover, and take things in your stride and slowly you find the world is not such a bad place and not all people are bad. Not all animals are good, but their reasons are different.

    It is a hard life to be dependent on your own efforts in working the land, but you also have joys associated. It is true that you learn more in the countryside that makes you stronger, and maybe it puts your perspective straight.

    Some people on both side have charmed experiences and benefit in life, some just seem to get the bad times wherever they are.

    but we can all learn, even if we only have a park to walk in and see a small bit of nature as it is.

    Thanks for your wisdom.

  8. English Chick

    English Chick English Mum

    Jun 27, 2008
    Cheshire UK
    Quote:Too true says I as a farmers wife ....
  9. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    Quote:Too true says I as a farmers wife ....

    They need to call it "living in the country as healing" not "farming as healing".

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