Inspiring Women: Dealing with anxiety and the launch of the worry dog for children – little wuppy®.
Linda is an amazing lady who has suffered from anxiety and panic attacks for many years. When talking to Linda, it’s so refreshing how honest and transparent she is given the nature and the perceived stigma of this taboo subject.
After University Linda worked as a primary school teacher in Australia for many years but unfortunately had to resign from her job as her illness left her no option.
Linda: I was always an anxious child; I hated change, I loved routines (still do), I would worry incessantly and I was a perfectionist. Over the years, my anxiety manifested in a variety of ways, and in recent years, my panic attacks became so severe it led to me resigning as a primary school teacher. Although my decision to resign was made with a heavy heart, it was a decision I needed to make, and one that led me to where I am now.
Black Sheep: How do you manage and cope with your illness now?
Linda: I decided against medicine and threw myself into my creative work, which has always been my passion. Creativity is an oulet for me and is when I am at my happiest. When I am creating my anxiety takes a back seat.
Black Sheep: How did you come up with the idea for little wuppy®.
Linda: Having many years experience teaching children I had first hand experience. Also, talking to family and friends and being open and honest about my own personal illness, many parents would confide in me about worries they had about their children. I knew that anxiety in children was a major problem so I started thinking about how I could create something to help children who are suffering.
Black Sheep: Is anxiety in children similar to the symptoms in adults?
Linda: Adults are able to explain and understand their feelings to varying degrees. The symptoms of anxiety differed enormously from child to child, but there seemed to be one commonality – providing opportunities for children to express their thoughts and feelings gave them great comfort. Whether it was having a conversation about their thoughts and feelings with someone they trusted, whether it was writing them down or whether it was being able to express them through art or movement, it was evident that getting the thoughts out of their heads and revealing the feelings in their hearts, helped them immensely. And it wasn’t until my own anxiety hit me hard, that I truly understood that ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’.
Black Sheep: Why a Sausage Dog Comforter?
Linda: I combined my love of drawing, my love of sausage dogs and everything I had learnt whilst teaching, to design the little wuppy® – a sausage dog worry puppy. It’s small enough to be discreet and the texture helps sooth and comfort. There is a little heart on the dog that children can place against their own and can transfer all their worries to their special friend.