I went through lots of medical treatments in 2010, and most of them are quite common. But perhaps not everyone is as bonkas as me and find solace in ummm, stuffed animals. You might find this queer, but I guess what I am trying to say is, take the opportunity of your depression to find creative ways to help yourself… I had my “baers”…
These are normal bears but I pronouce them as “baers” and hence the spelling. It is intentional. I now have 14 of these baers, and I am doing some free advertisement for GUND. My first GUND Snuffles bears were presents from my roommates back in the days of Harvard Summer School in 1998. They were so soft and squishy I loved them at first sight.
2 years ago, I bought the 14 inch version and named him “Floppie”. As 2009 came and went, and my pain intensified, Floppie stayed with me throughout and was my comfort pillow at times, other times I would hit him and let out my anger and sadness on him. But he always smiled his adorable grin and looked up at me with all the warmth in his face.
Snuffles is really one of a kind soft toy. The way it is designed it looks as though it is sitting up and smiling up at whoever is about to hold it. It brought me solace. As I mulled around with nothing to do but struggle with pain at home in 2010, I started to google “Gund Snuffles” and found out about its history the limited editions, the colors, the make etc. I even tried to find the factory in China where they are paid. It sounds silly but it occupied my time and mind away from suicidal thoughts.
Then I started buying them on e-Bay and other toyshops in Beijing and HK when I could muster up some energy to leave home. Indeed, it gave me motivation to leave home once in a while and get out of the depressing environment I had built for myself. There would be bouts of joy and glee when a Snuffles I had ordered turned up at the doorstep and I would momentarily forget my misery.
And because I had so much time on my hands back then and couldn’t even watch TV or look at my computer screen in pain, I started to play with the baers as a 3 year old would. I gave each Snuffles a name. I talked to them. I gave them personalities and took them with me out for a walk sometimes. I made up stories and adventures for them. I entertained myself.
You might look at me and ask if I was crazy. I am 29 years old after all, is playing with stuffed animals not too childish? Perhaps. Or not. It doesn’t matter. These seemingly unimportant balls of cotton and fur helped me through my year. Maybe for you its something else, and maybe you need to find something to dwell on while you struggle to stay alive too. Even if you are not ill, having a safe refuge in something you love and can make you smile, whether it means anything to other people or not, would, I’m sure, help de-stress you from life.
Work your creativity. Just be you.
And here’s introducing my baers:
Floppie – loves to sleep and watch TV, representative of me when I was ill as sleeping was all I did
Muddie – loves to break dance, skateboard, run around, sing, and does the “chuckle wiggle”, representative of my boyfriend, and my recovery when I started to get out of my comfort zone
Slumpie & Winkie (the two white ones)– the first 2 Snuffles I had, a life of their own as a pair, going off to steal honey around the world, representative of my craving to travel the world and sometimes thinking of mischievous things to do but never actually doing them with my strict upbringing
Slurpie – a bit lopsided in his face, a hardly a grin, but cute in his own way, representative of the fact that he can be unique and worthy in his own right
Fuzzie – mohair limited edition, the “banker” baer, busy on the stock market and reading Financial Times, representative of my past life
Wuzzie – has no idea who he is or why he is where he is, flies a bubble jet around powered by bubbles Bubblie blows, representative of my period of confusion and transition in my own bubble
Beezie – runs around but not sure what he does all the time, representative of my past habits
Crushie – likes lollipop and eating, representative of me simply, I love eating, but didn’t eat much while I was sick so a reminder to myself of all the delicious gourmet in the world
Dummie (brown one) – just a bit dumb and stupid
Clumsie (pink one) – trips over himself like I do
Fumblie (grey) – does forward rolls all the time and “fumbles”, thinks he’s a rhino and has an identity crisis, representative of me trying to find out who I am after a sense of identity loss
Bubblie (brown) – bubbly and happy all the time, blows bubbles, representative of who I am inside at the core
Shinie – always looks on the bright and positive side of things, and a ring bearer, serves to remind me to stop indulging on worst case scenarios and jumping to wrong conclusions