TOOLS OF COMFORT

When we are going through tough times, we have things we do or even something material that brings us comfort. Some have hobbies that bring them comfort, some find snuggling a stuffed animal brings them comfort, and some have a special object. When we are kids, we find comfort when afraid of monsters in the closet and the outside world in a special toy, a blanket, or even a pillow. Whatever you use to help ease your worrisome and troubled soul is important to you and is a part of your own coping technique. Just be sure your tools are healthy ones. Unhealthy tools are drugs and alcohol.

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How many of you watched the Dumbo cartoon movie as a child? I fell in love with the movie when I was a child. I related to Dumbo. He was teased for his big ears and I was teased for being learning disabled. I knew the agony he was feeling when his own kind laughed at him. I felt the same. We were both different. His mother tried to protect him, like my mom did. My mom fought with the school, trying to get me proper help and telling teachers I wasn’t hopeless. Dumbo’s mom was labeled a mad elephant for causing chaos to protect her son, and often my mom’s fight for me fell upon deaf ears.

I don’t remember what age I was when I fell in love with that cute elephant with big ears, but I was young. One Christmas I asked Santa to bring me a stuffed Dumbo for Christmas. I got a stuffed elephant with ears not as big as Dumbo’s, but I didn’t even notice. I loved my stuffed animal. He became my best friend and my tool of comfort. I took him to bed every night.

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The constant teasing I faced in school and the put downs by my teachers slowly led me into darkness. I began to have problems sleeping at night. I was plagued with night-mares and I worried about going to school the next day. I feared the darkness of the night. I lined my bed with stuffed animals. My mom wondered how I found enough room to lie down in my bed. I snuggled my Dumbo tight to my chest.

My elephant became my tool of comfort. I couldn’t go to bed without him. He made me feel safe. I squeezed him tight when I had night-mares and when I couldn’t sleep I snuggled with him and talked to him until I fell asleep. After a rough day at school, I sat in my room cuddling with my Dumbo until the tears went away. He became my best friend when I didn’t have one. I played with him, I cuddled him, and I confided in him. He was more than a stuffed animal to me.

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Recently my husband took me to see the new movie that just came out of Dumbo. Soon as it came out, I told my husband all about my toy and how much he meant to me. So last Sunday I got a day off and my husband took me to the movie. He wanted to buy me a stuffed Dumbo, but they were all out. He was able to get me a mug instead.

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The movie brought back old memories. I was relived my childhood through the movie. That night we were able to find a stuffed Dumbo online and we ordered it. The next morning I searched our attic and found my old stuffed elephant from my childhood. I began thinking about how much that stuffed elephant gave me comfort and I began thinking about my tools of comfort that I have as an adult.

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I no longer sleep with stuffed animals to get through the night. Instead I find comfort in my husband’s arms. When times are tough, I talk to my friends or I text them. I have my own support team: my husband, my parents, and my friends. The other day my friend Amy talked me through an anxiety attack. She, like my other friends, used what she learned from my blogs to help me.

I have found comfort in my dogs. I’ve had four different dogs in my adult years and each one brought me comfort in it’s own way. The dog I have now, Esther, likes to snuggle on my lap. When I went through surgery for a detached tendon, she didn’t leave my side. When I went through breast cancer, she stayed close. When I’m feeling down, she lies on my lap and nuzzles my hand with her nose until I pet her.

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Our tools of comfort help us cope with a harsh world and awful illnesses like mental illness, breast cancer, and so on. While dealing with chronic pain and other health problems my friend Cheryl finds comfort in taking pictures of birds. A young coworker carries a piece of a toy around with him. It gives him comfort when he’s stressed and anxious.

Find your tools of comfort to help you with your struggles. Jog, talk to friends, do crafts, sleep with a teddy bear, snuggle up with a pet, cuddle a special pillow, or play with a toy. Find whatever it is that helps you cope with mental illness, breast cancer, life, and so on. Whatever it is that helps you deal with the struggles you face in life, use it.

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I use my tools of comfort to face many trials in my life. I found comfort in digging up my old childhood treasure and remembering how important he was to little Aimee. I know there will be ups and downs in life and my tools of comfort will help me bathe in the light of recovery.

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