Fren Garden is a fantastic awareness campaign aiming to erase the stereotypes and stigmatisation associated with depression, organised by the gorgeous lady over at Mud & Bralettes. The core message of Fren Garden is that every mind has the potential to flourish; you’re encouraged to download and print the mind image template and fill it with whatever you like — what you’re currently feeling, what you’d like to be feeling or how you’ve felt in the past.
The mind is a garden. It blooms and it wilts, it winds and it inspires. Sometimes it becomes tangled and choked with weeds. Sometimes buds lose their hope in the shade. But given some time and loving care, even the most wilted of gardens has the chance to blossom again.
Illustrating the mind image was beautifully therapeutic, and encouraged me to think more about my own mind. Depression and anxiety can be ferocious: they envelope everything until even the simple things that used to bring you so much joy — lazy Sunday mornings, breakfast with your other half — are covered in a layer of anxious feelings and “what-if”s. What if I can’t get up today? Am I going to waste the day again? Will I ruin it for others if I get up? Will I ruin it if I don’t?
Luckily for me, my form of anxiety is rather mild and easily treatable. I know what severe depression looks like, and I’m very thankful I’ve been spared. These days, thanks to my beautifully patient soulmate helping me get up every morning and encouraging me to get a bit of help, my thoughts are more like that of a healthy 24 year old. I still have those days when I feel a little bit anxious and alone, especially lately while the aforementioned soulmate is living in a different state for work. I still sometimes feel like not getting up in the morning might be the safer option, but now I know that the day doesn’t have to be perfect to make it worthwhile, and neither do I.
You’ll find a good explanation of the campaign, as well as the downloadable mind image template, over at Mud & Bralettes. Get on it!