My Invisible Therapist E-Book

My Journey to Trauma Recovery and Food Security, with Aquaponics

Broke, broken, besieged by depression, anxiety, PTSD and in the midst of legal issues I found a way through the mental health struggle. My journey of learning about aquaponics on a practical, as well as deeper level, taught me about myself. Helped me to heal myself, not through repressing, but understanding.

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What's it About?

A personal story that reflects on the situations, the experiences, the emotions and the fears. to come to this conclusion:

I was struck at that moment with how much my life felt like an aquaponics system.

Standing in shit up to my thighs, in a container that I felt I was suffocating in, in the dark and hard to breath. This filter is where the process starts. The solid waste is collected here (and one large Murray cod that managed to find its way in there), it got stuck in the matting and the water that flowed out was cleaner.

It needed to go through the second biological filtration tank, where all the nutrients were converted into fertiliser that the plants could absorb. From the biofilter, the water went through a deep-water system with rafts on top allowing the plants to absorb the nutrients, cleaning the water for the fish. The water then went back into the fish tank clean, and the cycle kept happening. Water suctioned out the bottom of the tanks and moving though.

The fish tank reminded me of my thoughts churning, the water constantly flowing and moving, set at an angle to let the water churn and mix the air in the water. The fish represented the thoughts and the pressures that I was feeling, leaving me overwhelmed. The water with these thoughts/ fish waste went into the first sump containing the matting which removed the solid waste. Kind of like isolating what are my real thoughts and the thoughts that the anxiety octopus was causing me to think. The separation of things occurred in here.

My thoughts had become like the ammonia in the water now, not just the overwhelming label of ‘fish waste’. Moving into the biofilter where the ammonia is converted by bacteria first into nitrite, then nitrate ~ which can be absorbed by the plants.

My life was like an aquaponics system, and I was inspired by the potential this held.

Chapters Include:

Chapter 1: Rock Bottom

Chapter 2: Is this right?

Chapter 3: So, is that it?

Chapter 4: The Gardening Background

Chapter 5: Fishing

Chapter 6: Watching

Chapter 7: The other side of the coin

Chapter 8: How life differs

Chapter 9: The obsession

Chapter 10: When nerves hit

Chapter 11: It crept up on me

Chapter 12: Working for it

Chapter 13: Mental Health

Chapter 14: Suffocating

Chapter 15: Taking Action

Chapter 16: Anxiety Strikes

Chapter 17: What's Normal?

Chapter 18: Mindfulness Rediscovered

Chapter 19: A metaphor for life

Chapter 20: Getting it right

Chapter 21: It Happened

Chapter 22: A change happened

Chapter 23: The Purpose

Chapter 24: When you notice the difference

Chapter 25: Making peace with perfectionism

Chapter 26: My life is an aquaponics system

Chapter 27: Health

Chapter 28: The Difference

Chapter 29: It's not really that expensive

Chapter 30: Making it easy

Chapter 31: The competition

Chapter 32: Renting, and making it work

Chapter 33: I was rebuilding me