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

20 Responses

  1. Francy says:

    Nice baers!!
    Funny thing, I love stuffed animals too, a lot ^___^

  2. Alice says:

    They’re ADORABLE!
    I need some bearapy!

  3. Leah says:

    TY for this story! Your baer family is adorable. I got my first snuffles “Snuffy” when I was 1yr old and she’s now 32. She’s given me LOTS of bearapy over the years. She’s now accompanied by many friends, all with names and personalities like your baers. Its nice to know there are others out there like me. I also identify with many of your other posts. Thank you for sharing your insights on life!
    P.S. Where did you find little Shinie?? My littlest is Beezie’s size.

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  9. Rob-bear says:

    I never thought about Beartherapy. I have a Teddy Bear that’s been with me since my first Christmas, plus one I made maybe ten years ago. And I have a Snuffles, too!

    This could be interesting.

    Blessings and Bear hugs!
    Bears Noting
    Life in the Urban Forest (poetry)

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about Noch Noch

Enoch Li, (pen name: Noch Noch) was born and raised in Hong Kong and Australia. She has also studied / worked / lived in the US, France, UK, Japan, The Netherlands, China, and has travelled to more than 40 countries. She loves travelling and her curiosity in foreign cultures and languages has led her to enjoy her life as an international executive in the banking & finance industry. However, she was forced to take time off work in 2010 due to her illnesses and after spending time in recovery, cooking, practising Chinese calligraphy, reading and writing – in short, learning to take care of herself and letting out the residual work stress, she has transitioned into a Social Entrepreneur and founded BEARAPY to help corporates make workplaces mentally healthy, and support executives to become more resilient.