About Jillian

In Which We Meet Jillian And Her Bear.

Jillian and her Bear


I don’t remember a time without Winnie The Pooh in my life. I know my bear was gifted to me by Santa for my 2nd Christmas, in 1987. The two of us have rarely been apart since. Even before then, other Pooh items had made their way to our home for my older brother. Even one of the diaper bags my mom received before I was born was a Pooh bag. She hadn’t really known of Pooh before, but came to know him well, especially as I grew up. 

We didn’t own the full length movie when I was little, but did have two of the three “vignettes” (a section of the whole movie that told a single story). We also had the vhs of “A Day for Eeyore”. I watched those videos and the “Pooh Corner” tv show (live action costumed characters) so much that my whole family knew all about Pooh, too. Dad would regularly quiz me when we were in the car, asking me who said, “I’m not in the book, you know!” or “Can I fly Piglet next, Pooh?” Then he’d pretend to be frustrated that he never could stump me.



Jillian and her Bear, about age 4


Jillian and her Bear, at the State Fair 2019


The Bear And I


As a young child, Pooh tended to come with me everywhere. When I got tired of holding him, and Mom refused to hold him for me, I devised a method to carry him arm-free. This involved him and I sharing the neckline of my shirt, which didn’t please Mom, concerned about it becoming misshaped.

We did eventually part during the day, for school and whatnot, but always joined up again at bedtime, at least. Occasionally, Pooh would be off on an adventure, unbeknownst to me (or at least, I didn’t remember, if I had known), and not awaiting me in bed when it was time. Then the whole house would be searched, because I just could not sleep without Pooh.

Love Bears All


That arrangement worked well, until part-way through middle school and then high school. Something inside me began changing, though, and it became more and more difficult for me to do normal things – such as go to school. I was a good student, and usually pretty well liked, but I began feeling physically sick before school. Every. Single. Morning. It was a scary and frustrating time for both my mom and me – neither knowing what was wrong. Mom trusted me enough to believe me, but felt pressed by the school to make me go anyway. The school seemed certain I was faking; just trying to skip. But I loved school, and had previously been a gifted student – so my not being able to just go as before, was alarming to me. I didn’t know why my body was suddenly trying to sabotage my education, and happiness. Yes, there were friendship issues and some bullying (even by said “friend”) but even when we implemented ways for me to avoid that (different bus, no classes together) – my health predicament didn’t go away. When I did go, I’d be so exhausted by the time I got home I couldn’t function when I got home. My homework suffered, adding to my school stress.



During this time, I found renewed comfort in Pooh’s presence. To the point where multiple times he accompanied me to the bus stop and a couple times he even came to school with me – as I didn’t realize I still had him in my arms until I went to open my locker! 

Eventually, I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Panic Disorder, and I have agoraphobic tendencies. Most of my adult life, I’ve found it easier to just avoid everything that triggers me or let someone else do them for me. Usually that was Mom. When I did venture out, having a doll or Pooh along felt comforting. I could distract myself with them and they also brought smiles from others. I think they also served as an indication to others that I’m not exactly normal. Which is fine with me, because I am not normal. My disability is just invisible.

I’ve noticed, though, that if I carry a doll around, the conversation (because others are always curious) tends to be about the expense of the doll. Some people, thinking themselves clever, will comment on how creepy they find dolls, and look at me like they think I’ll agree. But, with Pooh, the conversations are much friendlier. People will tell me about the Pooh fan in their life, or their own love of Pooh. They’ll compliment him, or remark on how different he is from the current Pooh bears. A few poor souls ask me my Bears name, apparently not knowing Pooh well enough to identify one in the wild.

Plus, Pooh is more comfortable to carry around.  He fits easily in a backpack, head poking out, when our adventures require it. And I don’t have to worry about him getting wet or being stolen (he’s priceless to me, but probably too old, worn-out and faded to be worth much money), although I do take precautions.