(noun) Security blanket, teddy bear, or any physical item (for children) or emotional feeling (for adults) that gives you that safe, fuzzy, warm aura. (urbandictionary.com)
We all have them. Admit it! Even as an adult you have your own personal woobies! As kids our woobies are pretty obvious, you might have had your favorite blankie or teddy bear. As adults our woobies can be a little more subtle. Maybe it’s your favorite ice cream or your mother’s homemade stew. You might turn to a good book or your best friend in times of distress. There are a variety of things you might turn to when in need of comfort during times of trouble.
I know I promised some further blogging about my depression but before I go on I really need to talk to you about my woobies. You’ll understand why in a later post.
Some of my woobies are a really good book. I re-read the really, really good ones. For instance, My Name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok. This book left a lasting impression when I read it as a young teenager. I have many others such as A Separate Peace by John Knowles and I could go on and on. Books such as these provide a sense of introspective security as they helped shape who I am today.
I have other woobies that are more superficial like a giant bowl of ice cream (any flavor but vanilla, that’s boring!), a nap on a sunny beach while I hear my boys squealing with delight in the background, and a really big hug from a caring friend with a listening ear (which I’ve probably chewed off by now with all of the talking I do.)
But,of all my woobies here are my definite favorites; their names are Chaos and Havoc. (I know; I’m so clever… or crazy!)
If you’ve been reading my blog from the beginning you have probably read about the hysterectomy I had back in December of 2000. Needless to say, it was an extremely difficult time in my life. I was living in the Seattle, WA area and my sweet roommate, who was my best friend at the time, had also moved back to Utah shortly before this all transpired. Rather than go into too much detail here, I’ll refer back to my previous posts through this link.
To sum up, I felt completely alone. I was single, living away from almost all of my family, and I had isolated myself in some unhealthy ways as a result of the depression I felt at the time. I could hardly breathe through the intense grief I experienced at having to say goodbye to my dreams of ever bearing my own children. I used to lay awake at night and wonder what they might have looked like if I would have been able to pass along my genetics. Would they inherit my green eyes or my lopsided smile? Would they inherit my silly personality or my drive to achieve? I used to try and rationalize through my sorrow by saying that it was probably better that no one would ever inherit my propensity toward illness or my destructive perfectionism. I used to say it was better that no one would have to look like me anyway.
Yeah, I was one hot mess during that time. Who am I kidding? When am I not one hot mess these days?!?
So I decided that I needed a companion, a warm body that wouldn’t really ask much of me in return, someone that I could cuddle up to at night and who would offer selfless love and comfort. I’ve always been an animal person but I’m highly allergic to both cats and dogs. I’d tried a bird and it just wasn’t the same. Patrick, my little bird, was cute but he certainly wasn’t very cuddly. In fact, he seemed quite indifferent to my presence at all.
In the end I opted for a dog because I am slightly less allergic to dogs than I am to cats. In truth, there was no guarantee that a cat would act any better toward me than my bird and it might have even eaten my bird. I couldn’t have that! So a dog it was.
And that is how Chaos came to be with me. I’ve had him since he was just four weeks old, he’s almost 14 years old now. It was love at first sight! Whenever I came home from work he’d run around my apartment looking like the Tasmanian Devil from Looney Toons, hence the name Chaos.
He saved my life…
No, I mean it… HE SAVED ME!
Sorry for yelling it at you but I really don’t think I can emphasize that statement enough! He became my reason for living because I had to get out of bed to feed him and walk him. I had to wake up from my depressive gloom in order to properly care for him and he loves me. Oh how he loves me. For those of you who are dog owners you know what I’m talking about. For those of you who aren’t it is hard to describe the bond. It’s a bit like having someone love you no matter what you do or say, in spite of any disagreements you might have, and purely for who you are, right then, in that moment. Their eyes light up when you enter he room, they seem to have a sixth sense about them that lets them know when you’re in pain or when you might need a warm snuggle with no strings attached.
For about two and a half years it was just Chaos and I. He was there to soothe and reassure me after my therapy sessions. He was there to calm my hurting soul during those late night brainstorms about never being able to bear children. He was there to console me after my difficult doctor’s visits.
At some point I decided that he might need another furry little companion to lounge about with while I was gone during my long work days.
So two and half years later Havoc came into the family. Havoc was my little ball of sunshine. Oh he was just the sweetest dog you’ve ever met and yet he could be so very protective in spite of his petite stature. He would smile at everyone. I mean, full on, teeth bared smile. It would scare people until I explained that he smiled like a human. When I came home he would run to the top of the stairs and stand at eye level with me wagging his entire body and grinning from ear to ear looking absolutely thrilled to see me. But he could be fierce when he wanted to be. Shortly after Sean was born I’d taken him in the stroller with me to the local dog park. A positively giant Great Dane stuck his nose in the stroller just for a casual sniff and my little sweet Havoc turned terror on him. Before I could even blink Havoc had chased that dog halfway across the dog park. The Great Dane’s owner and I had a good hard laugh about that.
I loved Havoc every bit as much as Chaos! Chaos had a harder time warming up, but once he did they were inseparable. We three were a family until I met my husband and then they bravely accepted him and our two adopted boys after that. What a blessing it has been to have such loyal and loving companions all these hard years. I could not have survived all of life’s crazy curve balls without them.
They are my woobies! What, or who are yours?