Tammie McKeey’s Healing Oasis
Tammie McKeey’s lime green and blue outdoor space is astonishingly calming. I love how the white rocks bring out the colors of her patio cushions. The fire pit added in the middle combined with the pool surely sets the tone for a relaxing summer retreat after a long day. If she needs to cool down from the humid Mississippi heat, she can jump into the pool and come right out to relax on her homemade cinder block bench.
Being someone who dreaded being outdoors due to her time in the army, Tammie fell in love with being outside again after her DIY cinder block bench project. Upon laying eyes on her unique, awe-inspiring do-it-yourself cinder block bench I’ve come to the realization that you can create anything as long as you have the imaginative mind to do it.
Tammie shared with me that she is a disabled veteran who served as a combat medic in the U.S Army. As someone who suffers from PTSD, it was hard for her to transition from the military back to civilian life. She struggled by isolating herself from everyone, including her family for days at a time, sometimes months.
As a result of her condition, Tammie experienced significant problems in social situations, work situations, and her relationships. Furthermore, her PTSD even affected her ability to complete her normal everyday tasks.
Tammie learned that there is no quick recovery for PTSD. The recovery process is a gradual and ongoing process. She realized that healing doesn’t happen overnight, nor do the memories of the trauma ever disappear completely.
Going outside was a trigger for Tammie because as a medic she was outdoors the majority of the time. This is where she witnessed injuries, death, and performed emergency medical treatment on top of her duties of patrolling and guarding. Tammie began to associate being outside with those traumatic memories making the outdoors a distressing place for her to be.
However, in an attempt to heal and cope with her PTSD and reduce her anxiety and fears, she decided to create this space in her backyard to help her reconnect with nature and the joys of being outside. She said that it was initially extremely difficult for her to sit out there because she was “on guard” for years. The more time passed, the easier she found it to let her guard slowly come down.
From enjoying a good book, listening to music or simply admiring nature Tammie now considers this space her “therapy”. She benefits greatly from the relaxation, seclusion, and peace that comes with being in her calming space.
Tammie’s immensely moving story demonstrates that you can move past anything as long as you take the time out to cope and heal the correct way. In her case, it was creating a safe space that she can rely on to bring her into a state of relaxation.
If you enjoyed Tammie’s story and want to hear more about what she’s done check out my blog post on the DIY cushions project that she constructed for only $42.
Do you love Tammie’s space and want to recreate it at home? Check out the incredible products below.
Pantheon Limestone Fire Pit – Amazon | $1364.85
Pantheon Concrete Fire Pit Kit – Lowes | $578.84
Rain Forest White Egg Rock – Lowes | $30.30