The Inanimate Object That Helped Me Get Over My Divorce

It was the same thing that helped me through the tense times of my childhood.

Inanimate Object That Helped Me Get Over My Divorce Aravis, Jacob Lund | Canva

Not long after I stopped sharing a bed with my husband, I brought home a new friend to fill the void. Adorable, snuggly, and a phenomenal listener, he was just what I needed to soothe my post-divorce blues. 

Each night he waited dutifully in bed for me, never moving from my side until the alarm went off in the morning. When I left for work, it brought a smile to my face to see him still lying in bed, rumpled and disheveled from our all-night cuddle session. Best of all though, he came straight to my door with free two-day shipping and a modest price tag of $18.45.


Sleeping with a stuffed animal may not be the first coping strategy that comes to mind when you think about divorce. 

A typical strategy might involve alcohol, Tinder, a tropical vacation, or all three. Instead of picking one of those temporary distractions, I wanted to do something meaningful that would help me feel better day after day. Something to soften the loneliness of being the only heartbeat in a house. Something to fill the frosty expanse of an empty bed. 

Something to help me confidently navigate my new post-divorce world. 

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I thought back to what helped me through the tense, frightening times of my childhood — like the time when I was terrified of going to the hospital to get my tonsils removed, or when I was overwhelmingly homesick at my first sleepover. The answer was simple: I always had a stuffed animal (or three) to help boost my self-confidence and lower my anxiety. I figured if a plush animal had quelled my uneasy emotions as a girl, it might work as a grown woman too, so I ordered myself a huggable fox friend from Amazon.

The decision to purchase a stuffed fox as opposed to an iconic teddy bear wasn’t a random choice. Quite the contrary, I deliberated the matter carefully, complete with equal doses of soul searching and Amazon searching. What was my ideal spirit animal? Which animal would feel “right” hugged tight against my chest? Which would look good as a stuffed toy? 

A coyote was an early contender, but a stuffed coyote is barely distinguishable from the more common stuffed dog. While some people may have a dog as a spirit animal, my soul simply refuses to be domesticated. The river otter was the next runner-up, but the otter’s upright pose seemed stiff and formal, not the kind of inviting squishiness you’d expect from an emotional support animal. Ultimately, my hunt ended when I settled on a sly-faced stuffed fox. Cute, fluffy, and perfect for a big hug, this clever creature pounced into my heart and became part of my home.

stuffed animals P Maxwell Photography / Shutterstock


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Initially, I faced a wave of shame and embarrassment about sleeping with a stuffed animal while over the age of twelve. What self-respecting adult needs a plush imaginary friend to feel secure? After a few weeks with my fox, and validation from my therapist, I started to shed my self-consciousness and replace it with a newfound sense of well-being. 

My fluffy, beady-eyed fox was precisely what I needed to weather the emotional storm of divorce. His presence was calming in the evenings when the last rays of sunlight vanished and the heavy silence of an empty home became suffocating. At bedtime, his warm, fleecy body was just the right size to hug tight to my chest, his furry face burrowing tenderly against my chin. Holding his orange-and-white body in my arms made the bed feel less like a barren tundra and more like a sun-warmed meadow.

During the day, merely knowing that his fuzzy face was waiting next to my pillow helped me conquer my fear of coming home to a vacant house. 

Anytime I felt the claws of anxiety closing around my heart, hugging my fox helped me relax and breathe more easily. His face nestled against my cheek, cold little nose pressed to my skin like a kiss, provided a balm that prevented me from spiraling into the dark forest of my negative feelings.


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Even now that the initial, acute phase of the divorce has passed, I still relish having a stuffed animal waiting for me by my pillow. My fox has become a staple in my life, proudly traveling along with me on trips, never missing an evening at my side, even if we’re tent camping in the mountains. Our favorite place to snuggle up though is home, sweet home. Each night I jump into bed, wiggle myself under the crisp sheets, curl up in my favorite side-sleeping pose, and nestle my cheek alongside his. 

I feel a pure, inherent joy from pulling such a soft, fuzzy creature into my arms, crushing his floppy body to my chest, his well-loved fur tickling my face. Perhaps this joy stems from something as simple as falling asleep and knowing you aren’t alone. Or maybe it springs from ending a long day feeling loved and safe. Either way, I wish it hadn’t taken a divorce to show me how much happiness I could find in an $18.45 package of orange-and-white fluff.


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Jennifer Honeycutt is an avid reader, and sometimes writer, from Raleigh, North Carolina. She enjoys exploring all the quirks of life, even if that raises a few eyebrows.