Boggle the Owl

I wrote a blog for work that I love… but it was shot down because of certain reasons. It was written with love so I am going to just share it here instead. I hope you enjoy it. I’m sorry that I never got the chance to speak with Aria Heller but if she reads this – thank you.

Boggle the Owl Brings Encouraging Messages

Boggle the Owl, a caring, thoughtful cartoon character, was created in 2012 by artist Aria Heller as a gift to her friends who were having a bad day. She wanted to create something to cheer them up. From the first cartoon, “Please don’t be too hard on yourself today,” Boggle became a poster-owl for positive mental health messages.

Heller, who had no experience with cartooning, created Boggle as a one-shot cartoon but the encouraging words of the owl resonated far beyond just her friends, with more than 105,000 reposts. People had found something they needed in this little owl, and many of them sent Boggle personal messages about their struggles. Heller began using Boggle to respond to readers with concern, love, and affirmation and sharing her own stories of mental health challenges. The response was thousands of people linking, reblogging, and writing to Heller about how Boggle’s words affected them profoundly, and in some cases even saved their lives.

While Boggle is no longer active online, the hopeful messages still strike a chord today. A quick Google search turns up numerous images and messages on a variety of social media platforms.

Recent celebrity suicides have garnered a lot of attention and commentary as the “why” someone would take their own life. Many public comments were expressions of dismay, worry and hurt while others were angry and called victims “weak” or “selfish.” The positive, practical, hopeful message from Boggle the Owl seem an important part of the discussion. Many resources are available including resources from APA, from the National Suicide Hotline, the Crisis Text line and many others.

“A cry for help,” is one of Heller’s most popular and strongest message. It even adorns the walls of some therapist’s offices.

Heller described her experience with Boggle to Comic Alliance in 2012: “These people who write in, who are often so depressed, and so self-defeating, and so self-loathing, are getting advice from a cartoon character… who is caring, and kind, and only wants what’s best for them. It makes it so that the things Boggle says can get through to them, when they wouldn’t if I were the one saying them… They know Boggle can be trusted, they know Boggle really means what he says.”

In her cartoons Heller consistently stresses the importance of reaching out for help—to a psychiatrist, a therapist or other health care professional. If you find that you are in need of a psychiatrist, you can use the APA Psychiatrist Finder to locate one near you.

 

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Been a minute…

I know I haven’t been as consistent as I’ve wanted to be on here. I feel like I mentally compose blogs all the time and in the rush of my day I’ve posted them in my mind and kept going. I know that mental posts don’t help others and I really need to schedule into my day blog time – which I am doing right now.

My boss has asked me to write more blogs and I need to practice my writing skills here. My coworker is an excellent writer and editor, but I feel like my writing is subpar and she has to edit the hell out of everything I submit to her.

Sigh. Kate Spade committed suicide. Trump is still president. I am still fat.

Daily realities. Possibly an alternate timeline. I feel topsy turvy since 2016. I know all the epithets thrown at anyone with a liberal point of view. I get it. I won’t write more. I’m just stating my frame of mind. Because, though my personal journey is to lose weight, I feel depressed and anxious a lot more than I ever have in my entire life!

Look, I don’t go about my day cowering in my office but there are moments of sporadic anxiety that pop in and say ‘Sup?’ intermittently within any given day. There are times when I look at my Jenny Craig food and program and groan inside. (My God this program is too damn expensive!) I get low when I read about suicide, politics, #metoo, and so many things that affect our day-to-day. I know people will say to just brush it off and go about your day and focus on important things… but… these are important right? To someone even very close and personal.

I took a mental health trip to the midwest for Memorial Day weekend. I much needed escape to the quiet. Nature. Friends. I crave that peace in my daily life. I feel like another part of my emotional eating issue comes from caring about things I can’t control. I think that’s why many people turn to religion. I get it. I’m very spiritual myself so giving things up to someone else to worry about makes sense. At least for now.